WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Senior guard A.J. Walker posted his third consecutive 20-point game as the Pittsburg State men’s basketball team secured a 68-57 road victory over Central Missouri on Wednesday at UCM’s Multipurpose Building.
Walker converted six of his 11 shots from the floor to finish with a game-high 21 points, making five 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to help improve PSU to 7-9 overall and 3-4 in MIAA play. The Mules (6-9, 1-5) suffered their fourth consecutive loss.
The Gorillas shot 44.4 percent from both the floor and 3-point range while limiting the Mules to 28 percent shooting in both areas.
PSU held a 30-25 advantage at halftime and held its largest lead of 13 points after Walker made a triple with 37 seconds remaining.
A 6-0 run by UCM to open the game was followed by a 10-0 surge by PSU, and the Gorillas never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.
A jumper by Daniel Farris capped a 6-1 run by UCM that trimmed the PSU lead to 33-30 early in the second half, but PSU again responded with a run of its own to go back up by double digits, 41-30, with 13:03 remaining.
UCM women 72, PSU 50
After falling behind by 14 points at halftime, Tristen Gegg hit three consecutive 3-pointers to briefly cut Central Missouri’s lead to 39-32 early in the third quarter, but the Pittsburg State women ended up falling by 22 on the road as the MIAA-leading Jennies improved their conference record to 6-0.
UCM (12-3) claimed its 10th consecutive win after starting the season 2-3.
Gegg scored a team-high 16 points and added eight rebounds and two blocks for PSU (8-7, 4-4). Erin Davis went 4-of-5 from the floor and tallied nine points while Marina Bauza Rupert chipped in seven points and Kaylee DaMitz six.
The Gorillas were limited to 37 percent shooting from the floor and 30 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Starting guard-forward Maya Williams did not play because of a knee injury, and Athena Alvarado did not play in the second half after twisting an ankle during the halftime shootaround.
Central Missouri, shooting 48 percent from the floor and 17 percent from deep range, was paced offensively by Nija Collier, who shot 9-of-13 and registered a game-high 21 points. Morgan Fleming and Megan Skaggs also scored in double figures with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
UCM led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter and managed to score 18 points off 16 PSU turnovers. The Jennies accounted for 11 steals, including five by Morgan VanHyfte.
The Gorillas play at Lincoln on Saturday, with the women’s game starting at 1 and the men’s game following.