- Super Bowl XLIX
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
Super Bowl XLIX will be a matchup where the past meets the future.
The NFC Conference champions Seattle Seahawks has a potential dynasty in the making, winning last year’s grand prize.
Their opponent, the AFC champions New England Patriots has a spot already in the history books, winning three Super Bowls in a four-year span last decade.
One team looks to solidify its dynasty, the other hopes to add to its storied past.
That’s the storyline for this year’s Super Bowl, not to mention the deflated-ball scandal surrounding the Patriots and the never-ending NFL fines for Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch. But when it’s all said and done, there will be only one victor on Sunday, Feb. 1.
The Seahawks enter Sundays’ game with a 12-4 record after dismantling the Denver Broncos, 43-8, to earn them the right to challenge the Patriots, who kick off with an evenly matched season record.
The Seahawks’ season wasn’t easy with a 3-3 record in week six after a loss to the St. Louis Rams and a 24-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs back in November put them at 6-4. Doubts were high at the possibility of making it, but after Arrowhead, the Seahawks didn’t lose a game.
Quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown 2,475 yards and rushing 849. Lynch has chalked up 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns, finishing the regular season fourth in rushing yards, while the team ranks first in the NFL in rushing yards with 2,762.
Then there’s Seattle’s defense, AKA the “Legion of Boom,” which is the best in the league. Through the regular season, it allowed only 4,274 yards, averaging about 267.1 per game. Seattle allowed only 254 points during the regular season.
This unit is commanded by cornerback Richard Sherman, who ranked second in the league in the regular season in tackles, compiling 45 total tackles, 12 of them assists and 57 combined tackles in addition. He’s had six interceptions including two from the past two post-season games.
They have become the first team to win consecutive conference championships in 10 years. The last team to do that was, coincidently, the New England Patriots, winning Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX.
The Patriots also looked like a team that wouldn’t make it with an early season record of 2-2, which included a loss to the Chiefs. Since New England’s visit to Kansas City, the Patriots have lost only twice.
Since the last time New England lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the team has lost in the Super Bowl twice, to the New York Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII and again to the Giants four years later, 21-17.
Quarterback Tom Brady empowered his offense, throwing 4,109 yards and 33 touchdowns, while wide receiver Rob Gronkowski compiled 1,124 receiving yards from 82 receptions and 12 touchdowns.
New England’s defense ranks ninth in the NFL, allowing 1,669 yards.
Seattle’s Pete Carroll (who coached the Patriots from 1997-99) is one of three NFL coaches to have won both a college football national championship and a Super Bowl, while New England’s Bill Belichick has three Super Bowl rings in his collection.
Super Bowl XLIX will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Two teams. One trophy. It is one more game for both teams to achieve their destiny.
Getting ready for the Super Bowl
| Charles A. Ault reporter |
It’s obvious that Gorillas love good football and the Super Bowl is no different.
Students are largely split on whom they will be cheering on this year.
Some, like Ridge Bdell, sophomore in graphic design, will be in the Seahawks corner, but not necessarily as a first choice.
“I started being a fan after Richard Sherman kinda got big,” said Bdell, “I hope this year isn’t boring like last year. I hope both teams put up a fight and one doesn’t just completely run over the other.”
Others, like freshman in wood technology Max Burson are just cheering against the Patriots.
“I don’t really want either team to win but I hate Tom Brady more,” he said.
However, the Patriots, especially Tom Brady, are not without fans here at PSU.
“I’ve gotta go with my boy Tom Brady, I want to see him get a fourth ring before he’s done. I really don’t have a preference this year but I like Tom Brady and I think he’s the best leader in the league, so that’s who I’m going for,” V.J. Piccini sophomore in accounting and finance said.
Some students, like Elena Flott, freshman in plastics engineering technology, aren’t really that interested in the game.
“I usually just watch it for the commercials and see what’s on there. I just cheer for the underdog,” said Flott
Most students say they have the same basic plans for watch parties.
“I’m going to get together with friends, have some pizza, wings, snacks and stuff and enjoy the game,” said Bdell.
Some campus organizations are also putting on Super Bowl parties.
“I’m probably going to go to the Newman Center for part of (the game) and might go to a friend’s house for part of it,” said Piccini.
Some people have little things they like to do to try to give their team the upper hand.
“Sometimes I try not to shower. That’s kinda been something I’ve done and it’s seemed to have worked,” said Mitchell.
No matter why they watch it, it seems that many students are looking forward to the big game.
- Coaches weigh in on one-sided games
| Michael Bauer Sports Editor |
It’s not every day that a head coach gets reprimanded after a win but earlier this month, California high school girl’s basketball coach Michael Anderson was suspended by his school district.
The reason? His team dismantled Bloomington High by a score of 161-2.
It set the second-most points scored in a girls’ basketball game in history.
The final score quickly made its way in headlines across the country, appearing on websites like Bleacher Report and The Sporting News but the backlash from the score was enough to result in a two-game suspension for Anderson.
Anderson, who has been under heavy criticism for “showing a lack of sportsmanship,” was quoted as saying, “I didn’t expect them to be that bad,” in the Daily Bulletin newspaper.
Bloomington’s coach Dale Chung was quoted from the same newspaper, saying, “People shouldn’t feel sorry for my team. They should feel sorry for his team, which isn’t learning the game the right way.”
The coach wasn’t suspended but it represents a situation that isn’t new to some schools: keeping from running up the score.
Games (regardless of what sport) can sometimes be a mismatch, and mercy rules such as a running clock fourth quarter or a 5-inning rule come into effect to help keep the score from getting out of hand. But even then, trying to keep from embarrassing a team can be tough.
PSU head basketball coach Kevin Muff says that it’s a matter of stability.
“It’s a balance. Because there are some kids at the end of the bench who don’t get to play a lot and you get an opportunity to put them in,” Muff said.
Muff stressed that the challenge comes from wanting the kids to play hard and to do what they’ve been coached to do on a daily basis.
“It becomes difficult when you have a lead that’s insurmountable because it can be hard to get your backups to not score the ball and it takes away from the hard work they’ve done,” Muff said.
For Muff and a few other basketball coaches in the area, sports isn’t about dominating.
“You respect your opponent and it’s about learning life lessons,” Muff said. “I don’t think anytime you make an emphasis by running up the score but I think it’s unsportsmanlike. I know I would never do it and I wouldn’t want it to be done against me.”
PSU women’s basketball head coach Lane Lord remarked how some coaches like Anderson tend to let their egos get in the way when schools win by over a hundred points.
“I think sometimes, some of those coaches lose sight of what they’re there for,” Lord said. “It’s to educate the players, help them become better men and women and when you’re running up the score to 162-2, I think you’ve really lost focus on what you’re there for. I would say that my reaction is that it’s very disrespectful and it’s losing focus of what you’re a coach for at the high school level.”
Some people have been divided over whether Anderson’s suspension was valid. Lord agrees that he deserved it.
“I think it’s validated,” Lord said. “I think it’s total disrespect to the other team and the parents and the kids. It’s something I don’t like to see.”
It’s not just about the respect for the kids but also for the other coaches as Frontenac High School girl’s basketball coach Jeremy Rakes said.
“Coaches are what we call a tight-knit fraternity and it just comes down to respect for the other coach and none more than the kids,” Rakes said.
Muff was also in agreement but added that such a situation is up to the administration.
“You have standards with your programs as an administrator and if they don’t meet those standards or they don’t do what you want your program to do then a suspension might be necessary,” Muff said.
Lord, Muff and Rakes have all learned from experience how to keep from running up the score from both the winning side and the losing side.
“When I was at Wichita Heights, we were beating Wichita South once, and we were up 90 to 40 in the fourth quarter and we sat on the ball because we didn’t want to get to a hundred and embarrass them,” Lord said. “But it’s not right. The kids always want to keep scoring but as an educator, you got to teach the kids the appropriate thing to do.”
There’s also a bit of a karma side to it as well for some coaches.
“It’s not fun to be on the losing end of it and we’ve had teams press us and continue to put it on us late in the game when the game’s already over,” Muff said. “I’m a believer that what comes around goes around. The team that beat you may someday not be up to standards and you don’t want to take away their will to get better and be successful. It goes both ways. I’ve been on the other end where we’re winning and we’ll hold the ball in situations and run a minute off the clock and make it a challenge where you’re not going to score on every possession.”
But how do you still keep from embarrassing an opponent? When is it a good time to pull your best players from the starting lineup without fear of the opposing team making a comeback?
“There’s a time where you can pull a press off, run your offense and slow things down and keep it within a respect factor,” Rakes said. “I think the first two quarters, anything goes. But after that, you can control how things are run after that.”
Lord and Muff agree.
“If you’re beating someone that bad, you obviously need to get your younger kids into the game and I think the stats are a horrible representation of what you’re out there for,” Lord said.
“I wouldn’t press and probably sit back in a zone instead of getting out in man-to-man pressure,” Muff said. “You can still get things out of a game if you have a lead and not be detrimental to the team and not show them up.”
But whereas high school sports have the mercy rule, colleges do not, which can add to the challenge.
“At the college level it’s different because you have a shot clock and the game’s never over,” Lord said. “Now if it’s 30 or 40 points and it’s late in the game, you want to make sure your players are in the game. In the high school level, you don’t have to shoot the ball. So when you’re up 25 points in the second quarter, you need to slow down and take the press off. If you’re doing the right thing as an educator, you have a responsibility to do what’s important.”
But regardless of the final score, it all boils back to respect.
“It comes down to a respect thing and you want to be able to say that you were respectful to your opponent without being mean and running up the score,” Rakes said.
- Gorillas clip Riverhawks
| Cameron Molina reporter |
After the Tigers of Fort Hays state took a bite at them last Saturday, the Pitt State women’s basketball team continued on its road trip to take on the Riverhawks of Northeastern State on Tuesday, Jan. 27. The game turned out to be a perfect bounce-back.
PSU started the game cold, making only seven of 29 from the floor. In the first quarter scoring was lead by senior guard Lizzy Jeronimus, who was shy of 2,000 points before the start of the game. There have only been a handful of basketball players in DII and even DI who have reached a career of 2,000 points in MIAA history and only one Gorilla (excluding Jeronimus) has achieved it.
For the most part, the first half was a game of missed shots. Open threes, twos, elbow jumpers, fade-aways, you name it, it rarely greeted the bottom of the net.
In the second half senior guard Morgan Westhoff found her stride and finished the game with 14 points. Her buckets prompted an offensive spark for the Gorillas and kept the team afloat.
Sophomore Paige Lungwitz and freshman Kylie Gafford each added six points to the scoreboard for Pitt State.
The scoring rampage finally proved victorious for the Gorillas as they walked off the court with a 57-48 win.
“With a plus 7 from the line and plus 9 rebounding margin, it made up for the turnovers…along with tough defense, only allowing 48 points is pretty good,” said Eddie Lomsheck of KKOW 860 AM.
The PSU women advance to a record of 18-3 this season (8-2 MIAA). The next game will be Thursday, Jan. 29, against the University of Central Oklahoma.
- Win moves PSU into first place
| Michael Bauer Sports Editor |
The Pittsburg State men’s basketball team moved back into a two-way tie for first place in the MIAA conference standings with a 76-66 win over the Northeastern State Riverhawks in Tahlequah, Okla., on Wednesday, Jan. 28.
With the win, the Gorillas (12-7, 8-3) received some help from the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, who at the same time defeated the first-place Lindenwood Lions 74-61 to send PSU back to the top of the table.
But despite all that, head coach Kevin Muff and his players won’t get too caught up in the standings. For them, Wednesday night’s game was more about avenging a loss to Northeastern State that came from a last-second 3-pointer as well as looking toward their next opponent against Central Oklahoma.
“I want them to embrace what they’ve accomplished but I could care less about first place right now,” Muff said in his post-game interview with Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “I’m about us getting ready for Central Oklahoma.”
Junior Javis Flynn finished with 17 points and was 57.1 percent on field-goal shooting to lead the Gorillas while sophomore Josiah Gustafson had 16 points from 44 percent shooting.
Senior Connor Kjer had 14 points and was 55 percent from the floor.
For the Riverhawks, Demone Harrison had 22 points after shooting 55.6 percent. Keone Littleton had 18 points from shooting 42.9 percent and Trey Mohair scored 11 points from a 37.5 percentage.
Playing against Northeastern State’s zone defense, the Gorillas hit five 3-pointers in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
There were four lead changes in the first eight minutes before senior Devon Branch’s field goal tied it at 10 and Kjer scored from outside the arc to put the Gorillas back on top.
After leading 15-12, the Gorillas gave up five points, including a 3-pointer by the Riverhawks after Kjer’s second outside shot hit the iron. Freshman Dakota Jones scored his first 3-pointer to put PSU back in front. Gustafson then scored from the outside to make it 21-15, PSU with 9:41 in the first half.
Switching to a man-to-man defense, the Riverhawks managed to close the gap after an Amir Gilliam steal led to a Harrison layup to make it 24-20 with halftime.
The Gorillas were stuck at 24 for up to three minutes.
Northeastern State completed a 5-0 run courtesy of a Gilliam layup. A Branch layup was canceled after being called for a charge, which was his second personal foul of the game with 4:02.
But after a steal by Gustafson from Mohair, Branch ended Pitt State’s scoring drought with a drive to the basket and picked up a foul. He completed the 3-point play to make it 27-22, PSU.
Flynn scored his first basket of the night with 54 seconds but on the ensuing Riverhawk possession, was called for a foul. Mohair hit both shots to pull NSU to within a 3-pointer of the Gorillas to end the first half, 29-26.
“We were able to get some separation down the stretch and held on through the end,” Muff said. “I thought we shot free throws really well. I don’t think our mentality was as good as it should’ve been, but this is a tough place to play
Kjer kicked off the second half with a triple and Gustafson followed with an outside shot to give the Gorillas an ideal start with a 35-26 lead.
The game didn’t go without some smack talk and Branch and Gilliam were both given technical fouls when the two got into each other’s faces with 17:04 on the clock. It was Branch’s third personal foul of the night.
PSU committed 11 turnovers in the first half alone, but turned the ball over only once through the first four minutes of the second half.
Pittsburg State went cold on shooting for another stretch, going three minutes without a basket while the Riverhawks reduced a 10-point deficit to five.
The drought ended with a Kjer jumper from the inside at 13:54.
Kjer hit his fourth triple of the night to give the Gorillas another double digit lead at 11:01 and Jones followed it up with a jumper to make it 49-37.
Flynn’s layup gave the Gorillas their largest lead of the game at 9:05 to make it 54-39.
Mohair fouled out of the game after a Branch jumper with 3:18 to play. Branch made both free throws to give the Gorillas a 69-58 lead with 3:17 left in the game.
“I’ll give Northeastern State all the credit. We finally got some offense going at the 15 minute mark,” Muff said. “But when they went man to man in the first half, I thought they got us good, but we did a good job of getting our offense going, getting a rhythm and we were able to turn a corner and get better looking shots in the second half than in the first.”
- Piepenbrink named MIAA Field Athlete of the Week
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
Pittsburg State’s senior Jeff Piepenbrink was named the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Field Athlete of the Week for indoor track and field.
The native of Jasper, Mo, was given the honor on Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Piepenbrink took first place in the pole vault at the Missouri Southern State Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17, in Joplin, Mo., posting a clearance of 15 feet, 11.25 inches. His performance this past weekend was the fifth-best mark in the NCAA Division II to date with the height clearance.
Piepenbrink is the defending national champion in the pole vault from outdoor track and field after clearing 17 feet, 4.5 inches to improve his school record in the discipline.
He was an All-American from the 2013 season and broke the school record at 17-0.75 at the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships. His accomplishments include placing fourth at the MIAA Outdoor Championships in 2013 and helped the Pittsburg State men’s team win the conference title in 2013 and 2014.
In 2012, Pipenbrink placed fourth in the heptathlon at the MIAA Indoor Championships and was fourth in the decathlon at the conference title that same year as well. He qualified to nationals in 2012 with a clearance of 16-9.25 at the Emporia State meet.
The other field athletes in the conference that were nominated included Colby Jurgens of Nebraska-Kearney, Samuel Saidi of Emporia State and Orneldo Thomas of Lincoln.
Jurgens was second for UNK at the Scott Nisely Memorial with a throw of 17.91 meters.
Saidi was first in the high jump with a jump of 2.09 meters at the Wichita State Invitational.
Thomas claimed fourth overall in the long jump with a distance of 7.51 meters, a provisional mark that ranks second in the MIAA.
The MIAA Track Athlete of the Week was Andrew Etheridge of Emporia State who went undefeated in the 60-meter hurdles and helped the Hornets to a third-place finish among 12 schools.
The Pittsburg State track and field teams will be in action on Friday, Jan. 23, at the Central Missouri Invitational in Warrensburg, Mo.
For the women, Morgan Gilliland of Emporia State was named the conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week while Lincoln’s Willomena Williams was named the MIAA Track Athlete of the Week.
Gilliland had two provisional marks in the shot put this past weekend. She finished with the top mark in the MIAA of 46-06 to win the college division. She was third overall at the Bill Easton Classic.
Gilliland is currently ranked eighth in the nation with her mark. She also had a provisional qualifier of 43-07 at the Shocker Prelude with a mark of 52-06 in the weight throw. She is currently ranked third in the conference as well as 22nd in the nation in the weight throw.
Junior Cassie Caswell of Pittsburg State was among those who were nominated for Field Athlete of the Week.
The native of Nickerson took first place in the shot put with a toss of 44-7.5, which was the 10th best mark in Division II to date.
Caswell was named the MIAA Women’s Field Athlete of the Week last month after picking up a pair of victories in the shot put and the weight throw in the season opener at Missouri Southern State. Her performance that day set new PSU indoor school record in the weight throw with her winning toss of 58 feet, 3.75 inches. She also won the shot put with a throw of 45-7.75.
Others nominated included Nickeisha Beaumont of Lincoln and Brooke Frederick of Nebraska-Kearney.
Williams became the first MIAA athlete to set a provisional qualifying mark in the 400 meters this season after finishing runner-up in that event at the Missouri Invitational on Friday, Jan. 15. Williams was the runner-up with adjusted time of 56.91 which currently stands as the fastest in the MIAA and the 10th fastest in the country. Williams also took part in Lincoln’s 4X400 meter relay team, helping them to a victory in 3:57.89. The time would have stood as the fastest in the league had Lincoln not already bested that time earlier this season.
Others nominated were Ceckia Pierce of Southwest Baptist and Amber White of Missouri Southern.
- Victories at home
42-point win puts PSU in first place
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
The Pittsburg State men’s basketball team won its third game in a row, beating the Washburn Ichabods 82-40 at John Lance Arena on Saturday, Jan. 17.
With the victory the Gorillas (10-6, 6-2 in conference) now find themselves tied for first in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) with the Lindenwood Lions.
During Saturday’s game, a 30-6 run in the second half by Pitt State helped seal the win and Washburn fell to 9-10, 4-4 for the season.
Sophomore Josiah Gustafson scored a game-high 23 points and was 3-4 from long range and 4-4 from the free-throw line while sophomore Trevor Gregory put up 12 points and seven rebounds. Junior Javis Flynn scored 11 points and had a game-high seven assists. Senior Devon Branch had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds and four assists.
“I thought we did a great job tonight, especially at the start of the second half,” said Kevin Muff, head coach. “I was a little worried about how we might come out. We did a nice job of coming out and just re-establishing what we created in the first half. We didn’t really lose a lot and you have to give credit to our guys.”
The Gorillas’ second-half surge included Flynn scoring four points and adding four assists.
“Javis is a catalyst with the ball in his hands. He can break out of our motion offense and go create a basket for himself or someone else,” Muff said.
In the first half of the game a basket by junior Denton Hays at 13:42 started a 10-2 run in favor of PSU and after a layup by Gregory and a jumper by Gustafson, the Gorillas had a 22-13 lead.
The Ichabods managed to cut the lead to seven, but Pitt State responded with three consecutive buckets, pushing its advantage back into the double digits.
The Gorillas shot 58 percent on field goals while the Ichabods were only 33 percent. At the charity stripe, the Gorillas were 75 percent, over the Ichabods’ 52.
Washburn was led in scoring by Kyle Wiggins, who finished with 11, going 4-8 on field goals and 2-5 from the line. He had only one shot from 3-point land.
Turon Parker had seven points from 2-6 on field goals and a perfect 2-2 on free throws.
Washburn was outscored by the end of the first half, 38-23, and could muster only 17 second-half points.
For Pitt State, it was the largest margin of victory over Washburn in school history, breaking the previous record of 41 points from the Gorillas’ 72-31 win against the Ichabods in 1943.
Pitt State’s ascension to the top of the conference table was helped by Central Missouri’s 66-61 win over Northwest Missouri State. Central Missouri is currently in third place, with a 15-3 overall record and a 6-3 conference showing.
The Gorillas’ next game will be against the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers on the road on Thursday, Jan. 22, for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. The Lopers (10-5, 6-3) are coming off back-to-back wins over Northwest Missouri State (83-59) and Central Oklahoma (83-80). Nebraska-Kearney sits in fifth place in the MIAA with identical conference records to UCM and NWMSU.
Defense helps PSU women to 20-point win
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
The second-ranked Pittsburg State women’s basketball team returned to victory lane with the team’s 60-40 win over the Washburn Ichabods on Saturday, Jan. 17, at John Lance Arena.
The Gorillas are now 16-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play while the Ichabods fell to 12-4 and 4-4 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).
Senior Lizzy Jeronimus’ double-double helped PSU in its 20-point win while the Gorillas’ defense limited the Ichabods to only 24.5 percent on shooting. Not a single Washburn player scored in double figures.
“That was probably one of the best defensive performances I think we’ve had in our eight years that I’ve been here,” said Lane Lord, head coach.
Jeronimus had 19 points and 11 rebounds. She was 7-13 from the floor and 5-6 from the free-throw line.
“Lizzy was awesome,” Lord said. “Washburn is very good defensively. They are one of the top teams in the country on defense. Always. Every. Single. Year. We always struggle to score against them. We did again tonight, but Lizzy put us on her back in the first half and got us that lead. That was huge.”
Jeronimus scored 14 of Pitt State’s 25 first-half points.
“That’s what great players do,” Lord said. “She continues to impress and did a great job passing the basketball, too, tonight, finding the open man.”
Junior Kylie Gafford scored seven points as well as freshman Mikaela Burgess while senior Antqunita Reed had six.
Both teams shot under 35 percent in the first half and PSU went only 1-11 on outside shooting while Washburn went 0-10.
Leading 25-20 at the half, the Gorillas used an 11-0 run early in the second half after ending the first half on an 8-point scoring rout by Jeronimus.
Gafford started the second half by scoring on the opening inbound pass on a layup. She used a 3-point play to start the Gorillas on their 11-0 run after a basket by Honor Duvall brought the Ichabods to within four. It wasn’t long before the Gorillas’ lead was 37-25 after a basket by freshman Elena Flott. Duvall led the Ichabods in scoring with seven as well as Jayna Smith. Duval was 1-2 on field goals but 5-6 from the line while Smith finished 3-9 on shooting and 1-2 from the free throw line.
A field goal by junior Cathy Brugman made the score 45-30 in favor of PSU with under 10 minutes remaining.
Senior Hailey Roderique made a pair from the charity stripe to give the Gorillas a 21-lead, the biggest of the game.
With the win, the Gorillas are now third in the MIAA table, behind Fort Hays State and Emporia State, albeit with fewer games played than the FHSU and ESU. The Gorillas are 6-1 in the conference while ESU is 7-1 and FHSU has yet to lose their first MIAA match up, going 9-0 so far.
Pittsburg State’s next game will be on the road against the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers on Thursday, Jan. 22.
The Lopers enter with a 10-7 overall record and 5-4 in conference play and is on a four game winning streak with victories over Missouri Western State (86-81), Northwest Missouri State (71-54), Northeastern State (61-49) and Central Oklahoma (65-62).
- Women blow past HSU
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
The 10th-ranked Pittsburg State women’s basketball team recovered from its first loss of the season by blowing out Henderson State 77-50 in Arkadelphia, Ark., on Monday, Dec. 1.
Pitt State (8-1) outscored the Reddies 35-12 in the first half and spent the entire game in front.
Senior Lizzy Jeronimus led the Gorillas in scoring with 23 points (10 in the first half) while junior Kylie Gafford had 14 and senior Morgan Westhoff and freshman Elena Flott each scored nine a piece.
The Reddies fell to 2-5 for the season.
Aungelique Sledge put up 24 points for Henderson State while Annie Thomas had eight.
Pitt State, still hurting after its first loss of the season to Rockhurst (72-62) just two days earlier at the Thanksgiving Classic in Springfield, Mo., started the game putting up eight points before Henderson State was able to get its first basket.
Gafford scored a layup and the Gorillas were then ahead by 10 points with 14:04 left in the first half.
The Reddies managed to cut the lead to 20-9 after a three-point play by Makyndra Simmons.
A steal by Jeronimus resulted in a 3-pointer by Westhoff to make it 25-9.
Sophomore Paige Lungwitz’s third steal of the night soon resulted in her going 2-0 from the line with 6:00 to go in the half and another lay up by Gafford ended the first half.
The Gorillas went 28-60 from the field (46.7 percent) while the Reddies shot just 17-60 for a 28.3 percentage.
Pittsburg State shot 18 of 24 from the free throw line. Henderson State went 12 of 14.
Jeronimus was perfect from the stripe, going 4-4. Gafford was also perfect from the line, shooting 2-2 and senior Hailey Roderique was 3-4. Freshman Mikaela Burgess and Lungwitz were also perfect from the line, going 2-2.
PSU out-rebounded Henderson State 34-22 on defensive boards and 12-10 on offense.
Flott had four offensive rebounds and three on defense while Burgess had three on offense and four on defense. Gafford had six total rebounds, all of them on defense and Lungwitz had all four of her rebounds on defense as well.
The Gorillas led by as much as 61-24 in the second half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Gorillas raced to a 5-0 run within the first minute of the second half after lay-ups by Jeronimus and Gafford and a free throw.
Then, Henderson State did likewise, making the score 40-17 early in the second half.
Henderson State had a much better second half showing, being only outscored 42-38.
Prior to the Gorillas’ game against HSU and Rockhurst, PSU defeated seventh-ranked Drury University 78-73 in the Thanksgiving Classic. Before that, Pitt State enjoyed consecutive wins over Minnesota-Duluth (81-50), William Jewell (89-51) and Truman State (102-45).
The Gorillas are joined by the Emporia State Hornets as the only MIAA schools ranked in the top 10 national polls. ESU is currently ranked second in the country.
Pitt State will next play its home opener against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats on Saturday, Dec. 6 at John Lance Arena.
- Bogina qualifies for National Championships
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
This week junior Austin Bogina will be competing in the 2014 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships in Louisville, Ky.
Bogina, from Arma, is the lone PSU cross country runner to qualify as an individual for the national championships after placing 13th at the Central Regional on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Wayne, Neb. He finished the 10-kilometer race in 31:55.40.
As a team, the Gorilla men finished sixth while the women were eighth.
This will mark the first time Bogina has run at the national championships.
Bogina, who won the 2010 Kansas cross country state championship for Arma-Northeast, will be the second consecutive PSU runner to compete at nationals. Last year, Adam Volkert finished seventh at the national championships.
- PSU decimates Newman
| Cameron Molina reporter |
Playing in its first home game of the season at John Lance Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 2, against Newman University, the Pittsburg State Gorilla men’s basketball team got its first win over the Jets, 82-66.
After winning the tipoff, Newman enforced its presence by pushing the pace. Reggie Baker of Newman found an opening on PSU’s baseline and started the Jets off with a back-door bucket. Junior guard Javis Flynn slowed down PSU’s offense and passed the ball to sophomore guard and Pittsburg’s leading scorer Josiah Gustafson. After a few intricate cuts and movements, Flynn found junior Lamine Dieng on right block, then Dieng muscled his way in for the team’s first score.
After some stingy defensive possessions by PSU, a staggered screen was set at the top of the key for Gustafson on offense, who scored with a layup with 18:50 left in the first half. PSU continued its dominance on defense by forcing Newman’s James Pegues (three points, two steals) into his second foul, both within the first three minutes of the game. PSU drove down court and immediately started a flurry of passes. The ball ended up in Flynn’s hands again, who was able to make a play. This time, sophomore forward Trevor Gregory (nine points, five rebounds) contributed with a strong finish off the glass and added to Flynn’s collection of assists.
The dynamics of the game shifted in the Gorillas’ favor after a vicious baseline jam by senior Devon Branch. Dieng accepted a pass from Flynn during PSU’s next possession and hammered down a two-handed jam that helped PSU on a 10-2 run.
PSU continued its methodical offensive approach by feeding the ball down low to Dieng and taking what the defense gave them. Along with the offense, PSU’s defensive pressure increased and forced Newman into its first shot-clock violation with 14:15 remaining.
Not only was the Gorillas’ starting lineup effective, but their bench was as well, as Pittsburg recorded 21 points from its reserves. Freshman guard Dakota Jones led PSU’s bench players with 12 points and hit a 3-pointer with 13:13 remaining in the first half to extend Pittsburg’s lead to 11. PSU continued its onslaught of defense by forcing Newman to shoot 21 percent from the field in the first half, including 15 percent from outside the arc (2-13). PSU would go into halftime with a 15-point lead, 35-20. Dieng had scored 12 of his 18 total points in the first half.
Newman attempted to find an answer later in the second half by chucking up outside shots, but it was to no avail as the Jets finished 7-25 from behind the arc. Gustafson, after a slow start, increased his scoring total, leading PSU in second-half scoring with 12 and finished with 14. PSU advances to 3-4 on the season, after facing two top-25 teams so far.
“Josiah is a prototypical college athlete, as he has dedicated himself year-round,” head coach Kevin Muff said. “Not only getting into the gym or in the weight room, but studying film and finding ways he can help this team. He has taken a lot more of a scorer’s role this year. He is probably one of the more enjoyable guys I have had the ability to coach.”
Pittsburg State’s next game is against Northwest Missouri University (5-1) on Dec. 6 at home. The Bearcats ‘ lone loss of the season was to Minnesota State Moorhead (75-66) at the start of the season.
- Finishing ‘Like true Gorillas’
| Charles A. Ault reporter |
The Pitt State Gorillas men’s and women’s cross country teams made the journey to Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., on Saturday, Nov. 22, to compete in the DII Central Championships.
First to score in the men’s race for Pitt State was junior Austin Bogina with a time of 31:55.40, placing him 13th overall. It was enough to advance him to the DII National Championship as an individual.
“Austin did a great job, he actually led the race for a couple miles and then fell back a ways and had to recover a bit because he started very fast He did well to fight back and secure an individual qualifying spot,” said Russ Jewett, head coach.
Next to finish was PSU’s consistent second runner, junior Connor Stark in 34th place with a time of 32:49.60. Not far behind Stark, filling a void left by usual No. 3 runner freshman Alex Conn, was sophomore Andrew Rodgers in 38th with a time of 33:03.80.
“(Conn) had a problem and had to drop out of the race,” Jewett said. “It was disappointing, obviously, but all of the other guys raced really, really well and picked up the slack for that occurrence.”
Ren Bean finished fourth for the Gorillas and 44th overall with a time of 33:17.10 and shortly behind Bean was senior Talon Thompson in 59th place. Thompson was the last, but not the least, Gorilla to cross the finish line with a time of 33:37.50.
“I was really proud of Talon. It might have been his best race ever in a Pitt cross country uniform,” Jewett said. “It was a 10,000 meter race and he’s not done very well at all in the 10k so I was really proud of him particularly and all the guys really.”
The men scored 186 points and finished in sixth place out of 22 teams. Pitt State placed above conference rivals Fort Hays State and Northwest Missouri State University.
“We were not all that far out of qualifying for nationals,” Jewett said. “We were sixth and the top four teams qualified. I was proud of our guys.”
In the women’s division junior Hannah DeVries did not let the flu get the better of her as she was the first Gorilla to finish the race in 15th place overall with a time of 22:20.42.
“She’s not going to make excuses, she wasn’t feeling the greatest but she fought through it,” Jewett said. “Sometimes you don’t control everything about your destiny unfortunately. Sometimes you’re dealt the hand of cards and just have to play them the best you can I think Hannah did that, she’s a strong individual.”
DeVries was followed in by senior Alex Moase in 43rd place with a time of 23:11.57. Freshman Katren Rienbolt finished in 47th place with a time of 23:26.98 and the final Gorillas to complete the race were freshman Paige Denton in 55th with a time of 23:35.88 and sophomore Paige White in 70th with a time of 23:56.36.
The PSU women took eighth place out of 29 teams.
“We fought really hard there were very good teams from the north end of the region. It was not a year that we had a realistic shot at qualifying for nationals but our ladies really gave it everything they had, as if we did have a chance, I’m proud of them,” Jewett said.
With the exception of Austin Bogina, who will compete in the DII National Championship on Dec. 6, in Louisville, Kentucky, this was the last meet for the Gorillas of the season.
“This year both teams worked their tails off and were all really connected to one another, had great team chemistry and really were true Gorillas in the way they conducted themselves, prepared and competed,” said Jewett.