Women fall in post-season tournament

| Michael Bauer sports editor |

The Gorilla women headed into the MIAA basketball tournament on a 12-game winning streak, a streak that included victories over second-seeded Emporia State and Washburn University. But the Bearcats of Southwest Baptist didn’t seem to care.
On Thursday, March 6, in Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium, the 11th-seeded Bearcats (13-16) delivered a shocking defeat to the Gorillas (23-7) with a final score of 67-65 and only 0.6 seconds left on the clock.
Alex Botkin of SBU scored the final five points after the Gorillas took a 65-60 lead with 90 seconds left, including the game-tying 3-pointer and the game-winning put back.
The loss eliminated the Gorillas from the MIAA tournament.
“You’ve really got to give SBU all the credit tonight,” said Lane Lord, head coach, in his post-game comments with Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “They came in here, won the 50/50 balls, outhustled us, and all the things that have helped us go on a 12-game winning streak, really SBU just took it to us tonight.”
Junior Antqunita Reed came off the bench and scored 16 points to led the Gorillas in points for the night. Junior Lizzy Jeronimus finished the night with 13 and lead the team in rebounds with seven. Sophomore Cathy Brugman put up 11 points in the second half.
The Bearcats took a 32-29 halftime lead and the game stayed tight until the end. SBU took its largest lead before the half at 32-27 before PSU came back in the second with a seven-point lead and 10:46 left to play.
Senior Alex Muff helped the Gorillas to within one at the start of the second half and PSU soon went on a 10-0 run.
But with 1:19 on the clock, Lucy Morgan of SBU hit an inside jumper to cut the lead down to two, before senior Alexa Bordewick put up three’s to give the Gorillas a 64-58 lead.
“They made big shots down the stretch,” Lord said. “We had a 5-point lead and we came up empty in our last couple possessions and they just made a huge three to tie the game.”
The MIAA tournament may have been cut short for Pitt State, but the Gorillas have a second chance at bringing home a victory when they enter the NCAA Division II on Friday, March 14. There the team will be rewarded for its record season of ranking fifth in the region.
Pitt State, fifth seed, will face Wayne State (Neb.), fourth seed, in the first round at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Searcy, Ark., at Harding University.
The winner of the game will face the victor of the Emporia State vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 15.
The Gorillas have faced the Hornets of ESU twice this season, losing the first game by two points and winning the second time around in overtime two weeks ago.
Wayne state enters the NCAA tournament with a 27-4 record.

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