Climbing back to the top
Trent Johnson | reporter
A return home for the Pittsburg State Gorilla women to John Lance Arena could not have come at a better time. The Gorillas were coming off their longest losing streak of the season, three games, all of which were away from home. The Gorilla women put to rest any doubt that they were still capable of knocking off the MIAA conference top dogs.
Truman State was first up for the Gorillas. The Bulldogs came into John Lance Arena with a 16-3 record, 9-3 in MIAA play. A complete performance for the Gorillas on both ends of the floor led the way from the opening tipoff. Through the first 10 minutes of the first half the Gorillas led 13-12. The final 10 minutes of the first half would be owned by Pittsburg State, closing on an 18-5 run. The Gorillas finished the first half shooting 61 percent from the field.
The second half would set up much like the last 10 minutes of the first half. The Gorilla women extended the lead to 16 points on two occasions throughout the second half. The Bulldogs could not manage to cut the lead to single digits at any point throughout the second half. The Gorillas outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 34-14 and held the Bulldogs to just 23.7 percent from the field.
“Tonight we played with just an outstanding defensive team effort,” said head coach Lane Lord, “(I’m) just really excited about the way we played on the defensive end.”
Pittsburg State was led by Lauren Brown with 19 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. Lizzy Jeronimus added 15 points on just seven attempts from the field and hauled in five rebounds. The Gorillas as a team shot 57.4 percent for the game. This was Lord’s 100th victory.
Lord and the Gorillas would ride the momentum of that big win into their game on Saturday. Southwest Baptist (9-12, 4-9) was next up for the Gorillas at John Lance Arena. Again, the Gorillas put up a complete team performance.
Pittsburg State allowed the Bearcats to lead just one time throughout the game, and it lasted all of 19 seconds. The Gorillas took the 10-9 lead with 14:45 left to go in the first half and never looked back. Pittsburg State led at the break 39-25 before winning the game by a final of 74-61.
Much like in the victory over Truman State, defense was the main story for the Gorillas. Southwest Baptist shot just 31.7 percent in the game, compared to 47.9 percent from the Gorillas.
Pittsburg State was led by Jeronimus with 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Three other Gorilla women were in double figures: Alexa Bordewick who had 14 points, as well as Brigit Hesser and Kylie Gafford, with 10 points.
The Gorillas are now 8-5 in the MIAA and tied for sixth.