Routed out

Gorillas share MIAA title | Michael Bauer sports editor | With the conference championship and a spot in the playoffs on the line, the Pittsburg State Gorillas needed a win against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos Saturday, Nov. 15, to close out the regular season in Edmond, Okla. That need was met. The Pitt State football team (10-1) claimed a share of the MIAA conference title by blowing out Central Oklahoma (8-3), 41-14 on Saturday, allowing the team to advance to the NCAA Division II national playoffs. With the win, Pitt State will share the conference title with Northwest Missouri State. Both teams finished with the same record. “We want them to enjoy it,” said Tim…

Men get first win of the season, 76-56

| Michael Bauer sports editor | The Pittsburg State men’s basketball team got its first win of the season, 76-56, over the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys on Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Russellville, Ark. Senior Devon Branch put up 18 points and eight rebounds while freshman Dakota Jones and sophomore Josiah Gustafson both finished with 12 points. PSU improved to 1-2 for the season after dropping its opening games over the weekend while the Wonder Boys fell to 1-2. “I thought it was a great win,” head coach Kevin Muff said to Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “Going on an opponent’s court and get a win was important. We’re a little shallow on the bench but it’ll…

Senior survival

| Michael Bauer Sports Editor | Just when it appeared that Pitt State would suffer another Senior Day heartbreak, the Gorilla football team pasted together a comeback victory, 38-31, against the Central Missouri Mules at Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 8. Junior running back Jamal Tyler’s 23-yard touchdown run with 2:04 left in the game broke the late deadlock and the PSU defense held UCM’s high-powered offense to keep Pitt State’s playoff hopes alive, heading into the final week of the regular season. There were four ties and five lead changes total in the Gorillas’ final home game of the season. “For our guys to step up and overcome those deflating plays, it just…

Frazell named special player of the week

| Michael Bauer Sports Editor | Senior kicker Connor Frazell was named the MIAA Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday, Nov. 3. The Iola native booted two field goals and finished with 11 points for the Pittsburg State Gorillas’ 41-10 victory over the Missouri Southern State Lions in the Miners Bowl rivalry game. Frazell converted kicks of 35 and 29 yards in the first half and helped the Gorillas build a 20-3 halftime lead. Frazell improved his MIAA leading field goal count to 15 on the season. He ranks second in the league in scoring at nine points per game. This is the second week this season that Frazell has been named…

Senior day victory

Women top Griffons 3-2 | Michael Bauer Sports Editor | Senior team members got what every senior athlete hopes to achieve on senior night: a victory. The Pitt State women’s volleyball team swept the Missouri Western State Griffons 3-0 during the Gorillas’ final home game on Saturday, Nov. 1. Playing at John Lance Arena, the Gorillas faced a tough game, going up against a team tied for second in the conference as well as receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Top 25. The Griffons kept it close, but Pitt State escaped with a 25-21 win in the first set, 26-24 in the second and 25-23 in the third to improve the Gorillas’ record to 10-16…

Miners Bowl win

| Michael Bauer Sports Editor | The Pittsburg State Gorilla football team showed the Missouri Southern State Lions just how much last year’s loss felt by blowing out the Lions, 41-10 at Fred G. Hughes Stadium in Joplin, Mo., on Saturday, Nov. 1. The seventh-ranked Gorillas (8-1) scored 41 unanswered points after an early 3-0 deficit to avenge last year’s 35-21 loss to the Lions (4-5) in the Miners Bowl Series. MSSU entered the game with the leading rushing unit in the MIAA and was seventh in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 306 yards per game. But the PSU defense held MSSU to only 81 yards on the ground. “Their fullbacks are great runners,”…

Hall named player of the week

| Michael Bauer sports editor | Junior linebacker Colby Hall has been named as the MIAA Defensive Player of the Week. The announcement was made on Monday, Oct. 20. Hall made his second career start on Saturday, Oct. 18, in the Gorillas’ 35-17 win over the No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri State Bearcats. Filling in for injured linebacker senior Tyler Disney, the native of Lamar, Mo., made a career-high 18 tackles (two solo) in the game and the Gorillas limited the defending national champions to only 17 points and 328 total yards. The Bearcats entered the game averaging an MIAA best 40.7 points and 458.7 total yards. Hall forced a fumble in the third quarter…

Football faces UNK, first time in nine years

| Michael Bauer sports editor | It’s been nine years since the Pittsburg State Gorillas have faced the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers. The last time the two teams faced, the Gorillas sent the Lopers packing with a 49-20 win in the first-round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Fast forward to 2014 and things have changed a little bit. Nebraska-Kearney has since joined the MIAA conference, switching allegiance in 2012 and has since found life difficult. The Lopers have compiled an 8-21 record since 2012. The Lopers will enter the jungle for this Saturday’s 2 p.m. kickoff with a 2-5 record this year, coming in with a two-game winning streak, striking Northeastern State, 34-7 and Lindenwood 31-13….

Volleyball falls to UCM

| Michael Bauer sports editor | Though the Pittsburg State volleyball team bounced back from two heavy loses, it wasn’t enough to overcome the 21st-ranked Central Missouri Jennies as the Gorillas lost 3-2 on Saturday, Oct. 18, at John Lance Arena. Losing the first set 25-13 and then the second, 25-12, the Gorillas recovered with a 25-21 win in the third to avoid a sweep and survived the fourth set, 25-23 before losing the fifth, 16-14. The Gorillas out-blocked the Jennies 15 to 4. Sophomore Madi Mosier was the PSU leader in blocks with seven total, (three solo, four assisted). Senior Paula Okrutna had six blocks (four solo, two assited) and freshman Ary Crittleton added…

Streak broken

Gorillas snap NWMSU’s 21-game winning stretch | Michael Bauer sports editor | By the time Pittsburg State scored its fourth touchdown in the first half, the Gorillas were well on their way to erasing two years of frustration against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Maryville, Mo. Two consecutive on-side kick-offs recovered by the Gorillas helped PSU (6-1) to a 28-0 second quarter lead and a final score of 35-17, ending NWMSU’s 21-game winning streak and creating a two-way tie for first place in the MIAA standings. “We are absolutely thrilled,” said Tim Beck, head coach, in his post-game interview with Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “They’re a great football team. There…