PITTSBURG, Kan. — Finally, college basketball has returned.
The Pittsburg State men’s basketball team officially stepped on the hardwood after more than 250 days since its last game — a season-ending 71-69 loss to Rogers State on March 5 in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Postseason Tournament. That was just a week before COVID-19 swept its way across the globe, ending all sports at every level.
But PSU head coach Kim Anderson is ecstatic just to get things going again.
“Our guys are excited to play,” Anderson said on MIAA media day. “We had a secret scrimmage, and you would have thought we were playing for the MIAA championship. There will be changes, games moved, games that are played on different dates. People have to make sacrifices. Coaches have to make decisions they don’t want to make. But if we’re going to play basketball in the MIAA or Division II, we have to work together as a conference and as a group of schools.”
And the Gorillas made an emphatic start to the 2020-21 season with a 109-49 exhibition victory over NAIA Tabor College on Saturday afternoon at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court.
Five PSU players scored in double figures with newcomers Gwarren Douglas Jr. and Bobby Arthur-Williams Jr. leading the way. Douglas scored a game-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. Arthur-Williams added 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Antonio Givens II and Martin Vogts chipped in 15 points apiece while Ike Moore added 10 points. The Gorillas shot 60% from the field, converting on 46-of-77 attempts. PSU knocked down 14 3-point field goals.
Quentin Hardict Jr. scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out a game-high seven assists for the Gorillas. Moore and Ryan Pippens added six assists apiece. Vogts blocked three shots as well.
Tabor, off to a 3-1 start, got a team-leading 17 points from Leon Marcikic.
The Gorillas open the regular season on Saturday at Central Oklahoma. The original opener on Thursday night at Newman had to be postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24.