The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

January 20, 2013

Gorillas post sweep over Fort Hays State

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Coming off two consecutive losses on the road, the Pittsburg State Gorillas looked to bounce back at home.

The Gorillas responded with a much-needed 72-69 victory over Fort Hays State on Saturday at John Lance Arena, snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Tigers.

Doing so was no easy task, however.

Trailing 71-69, the Tigers looked to take the game into overtime as Lance Russell curled to the basket for a lay-up attempt with 2.2 seconds. But the shot missed, and PSU’s Courtney Ingram made 1-of-2 free throws.

Gorilla forward JaVon McGee led all scorers with 22 points, going 9-for-15 from the field. PSU guard Marky Nolen added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Four Tigers — Russell (21), Craig Nicholson (15), Dwayne Brunson (14) and Ben Congiusta (11) — scored in double figures. However, only eight points came from the Fort Hays bench.

Pittsburg State (12-4 overall, 5-3 MIAA) closed out the first half on a 15-2 run to erase a 13-point deficit.

The Gorillas began to slow down a Fort Hays attack that opened on fire. The Tigers took a 33-20 lead at the 3:30 mark of the first half after opening the game with five 3-pointers.

Fort Hays State (10-5, 4-3 MIAA) shot 42.9 percent from the field in the first half but only 34.4 percent in the second.

In the second half, Pitt State used a 12-3 run to take a 67-58 advantage with 3:41 to go. The Tigers rallied with an 8-0 run to make it 67-66 with 1:44 left.

The Gorillas will return to the road Wednesday as they face Northeastern State at 7:30 p.m. in Tallequah, Okla.

PSU WOMEN 51, FORT HAYS 48

Fort Hays State sophomore center Kate Lehman entered Saturday’s game among the MIAA leaders in scoring and field goal percentage.

However, Pittsburg State’s interior defense limited Lehman to 2-of-15 shooting from the field for four points as the Gorillas mustered a conference victory Saturday at John Lance Arena.

Pitt State’s Lizzy Jeronimus, the MIAA’s leading scorer, was limited to 13 points in the low-scoring affair. Morgan Westhoff came off the bench to lead the Gorillas with 14 points.

The Pittsburg State (12-4 overall, 6-2 MIAA) bench outscored the Gorilla starters 26-25.

The Gorilla defense held Fort Hays to 22 percent from the field.

Fort Hays State dropped to 11-4 overall and 3-4 in the MIAA.

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