LAS VEGAS —
Senior forward JaVon McGee and freshman guard Kaleb Porter combined for 44 points, and Pittsburg State rode a strong first half to post an 84-76 victory over Arkansas-Fort Smith on Tuesday afternoon in the Las Vegas Challenge at Orleans Arena.
The Gorillas (8-1) shot 57 percent (21-of-37) from the floor and committed just three turnovers while building a 51-30 advantage at the intermission. But in the second half, the Gorillas’ shooting cooled to 35 percent (11-of-14) and the turnovers increased to 14.
The Gorillas led by 22 points twice in the second half and owned a 74-53 lead after Rico Pierrevilus’ 3-point goal with 5:33 left. Arkansas-Fort Smith outscored the Gorillas 23-10 the rest of the game but never got closer than five points with 30 seconds left.
McGee hit 10-of-14 field goals and all five free-throw attempts for 25 points, and Porter added 19 points, including two treys and a 7-of-7 performance at the charity stripe. Both grabbed seven rebounds, and Porter also dished out five assists.
Marky Nolen added 10 points and four steals, and A.J. Adams scored 10. PSU, led by Pierrevilus’ 10 rebounds, dominated the rebounding 46-36.
Jake Toupal paced the Lions (5-4) with 24 points. Djordje Stojanovic added 14 points, and Corey Copeland and Xavier McClish each had 10.
The Gorillas face Dixie State tonight at 8:30.
Pitt State women fall
The Academy of Art Urban Knights did was they do best, and it was too much for the Pittsburg State women.
The Urban Knights entered the day forcing a nation-leading 28.6 turnovers per game They forced the Gorillas into 26 and sent Pitt State to an 82-73 loss at the Las Vegas Challenge.
Academy of Art began pulling away in the final five minutes of the first half. After Pitt State’s Hailey Roderique hit a pair of free throw to force a 27-27 tie with 4:53 left, the Urban Knights ended the half with a 15-3 run.
The Urban Knights pushed the lead to as many as 22 points at the 7:31 mark of the second half. Pitt State was able to get the deficit down to single digits at the 1:21 mark, but it wasn’t enough.
Lizzy Jeronimus led Pitt State with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Roderique, a sophomore from Webb City, added 18 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the foul line.
The Urban Knights had four players in double figures, led by Regina Camera’s game-high 23 points. Jordan Rogers had 20 points and seven rebounds while Zoie Sheng added 11 and Alisa Griggs at 10.
The Gorillas play again tonight at 6 against Dixie State.