The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 6, 2013

PSU women, Northwest men win MIAA openers

MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Northwest Missouri Bearcats used their shooting touch behind the lines — the foul line and 3-point line — to hold off Pittsburg State 75-59 in the MIAA opener for both teams on Thursday night.

The Bearcats (5-4) hit nine 3-pointers — six in the first half — and were 18-of-21 from the foul line in the win. Pitt State (3-4) meanwhile, hit six treys and shot just eight free throws, hitting five.

Northwest jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the Gorillas came back to cut the lead to 33-28 with 2:40 to play in the first half. But Northwest turned its eight-point halftime lead into a 13-point advantage early in the second half and kept it in double digits for the final 13:42.

The Bearcats were led by Conner Crooker, who was 6-for-9 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 27 points. Dillon Starzell added 15 and Grant Cozad scored 12.

Pittsburg State was not its usual high-scoring self on offense. The Gorillas came into the night averaging 84 points per game, but were held to below 60 for the second game in a row.

Devon Branch, who was averaging 24 points per game, was held to 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting from the field. The Gorillas were led by Josiah Gustafson’s 16 points.

Pitt State is off until hosting West Texas A&M on Dec. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

PSU women 57-55

Pitt State trailed by seven in the first half before building a second-half lead and then holding on for the win.

The Gorillas (6-3, 1-0 MIAA) tied the game at 28 at halftime and then found themselves with a 52-43 lead with just 6:50 remaining.

The Bearcats (2-5, 0-1) then went on an 11-3 run to cut the PSU lead to 55-54 with 2:09 left.

Northwest’s Ashleigh Nelson hit one foul shot to pull the Bearcats within 56-55 with 25 seconds remaining before PSU’s Brigit Hesser hit one charity to push the lead back to two with 16 seconds left.

Northwest got two shots at the tie — one was blocked by Cathy Brugman and the next was rebounded by Brugman — and then got a turnover in the final seconds, but Hailey Roderique came up with a steal to seal the win.

Lizzy Jeronimus led the Gorillas with 11 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. Antqunita Reed had 11 points while Alex Muff scored 10. Y’Cedria Devers added nine points and four steals.

Northwest was led by Nelson’s 18 points.

PSU is off until hosting Truman State on Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

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