Pitt State basketball dropped their first home game of the season on Saturday, Jan. 26 by a score of 92-82. The loss moved the Gorillas to 7-3 in league play and into a tie for third place in the MIAA.
Coming into the game, Washburn had fallen in its last game at Missouri Southern by one on Wednesday night. Pitt State was hot off a home win against Emporia State.
“I thought this game started off differently than the one before…” Head men’s basketball coach Kim Anderson said. “Washburn did a great job controlling… and we didn’t shoot the ball well, but we hung around and made some runs.”
It was a back and forth contest for most of the first half until the Ichabods went on a run to build a lead late in the period.
“We got behind 10 points late in the first half,” Anderson said. “I think we were able to cut that down to six at the half and you’re in that situation you feel like you’re still in the game, especially at home.”
Being at home wasn’t enough to save Pitt on this day however as Washburn was able to survive multiple runs by the Gorillas in the second half. The lead did change hands briefly midway through the second half but Washburn would regain control quickly and would not look back.
“Probably one of the biggest statistics to this game is there was a lot of 50-50 balls and we didn’t get them,” Anderson said. “I think there was about 19… we didn’t get so when you go back and look at that, it’s tough to win when you don’t get some of those…”
That stat would highlight the extreme differences between the two squads on the floor. Washburn plays a very team oriented form of basketball with balance on offense and balance between the front and back court. Pitt State on the other hand plays a lot of isolation “one-on-one” basketball with the dynamic scoring and shooting of seniors Donovan Franklin and Grant Lozoya. The easiest way to show this is assists where the Ichabods took a 20-10 edge. Rebounding was also a big difference in the game with Washburn leading the category 46-34 especially the offensive glass where it was a 16-7 edge.
“They did a really good job of guarding Grant,” Anderson said. “Our big guys played really well in this game offensively between the two of them they had… 21 points and eight rebounds which you would take that every night.”
That is a great night for the Gorilla men, but they were put down by the Ichabods for 30 points and 11 rebounds.
Franklin led the Gorilla offense with 28 points and Lozoya came in with 26 points and 10 boards for his fifth double of the season. Senior Trenton Clayton also reached double figures with 10 points in the game.
Pitt State now looks ahead to a daunting game on the road at undefeated and second-ranked Northwest Missouri State on Thursday.