The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team continued its season with a match against Emporia State on Jan. 13 and Washburn University on Jan. 15. The Gorillas were ultimately defeated in both matchups.
PSU first faced Emporia State University Hornets in their first home game of the new year. The Gorillas entered the game with a record of 4-9 with a notable win against Missouri Western. The Hornets entered the game with a record of 12-3 with notable wins against Rogers State University and Nebraska-Kearney.
The Gorillas starting the game hot with two layups by Tyler Hawkins, junior guard. The Hornets answered with a 3-point shot by Tray Buchanan, Guard, to start the half for Emporia State.
Pitt State extended the lead for the first eight minutes of the half before Emporia rallied and took the lead back with a dunk by Brenden Van Dyke.
The team continued to fight hard but were unsuccessful in maintaining a lead until the Hornets gained the lead with three minutes left in the half.
With one minute left in the half Emporia’s Tray Buchanan and Jumah’ri Turner, senior guard, both scored 3-point buckets to send the team into the locker room with a 13-point lead with a halftime score of 36-23.
The second half saw the Hornets extend their lead as the Gorillas attempted to regain momentum. Cameron Huefner, freshman forward and psychology major, and Iziah James for Pitt State worked to keep the Hornets lead from growing.
The Gorillas were unsuccessful in bringing the Hornets lead under ten points and fell to Emporia State with a final score of 74-59.
After a two day break the Gorillas continued the season with a home game against Washburn University. The Icabods entered the game with a record of 9-6 with notable wins against Missouri Southern University and Missouri Western.
Both Pittsburg State and Washburn competed well in the first half with eight lead changes happening in the first 20 minutes. The period ended with Washburn on top 40-39.
Forward Bobby Arthur-Williams Jr. lead PSU in scoring during the first half with 16 points. Washburn player Tyler Geiman, senior guard, lead his team in points with 13 in the first half.
The Icabods rallied in the early minutes of the second half and extended their lead to six points. Connor Deffebaugh, sophomore guard, scored nine points in under 3 minutes to extend Washburn’s led to 11.
The Icabods continued to hold a lead against the Gorillas during the second half. Pitt State narrowed the lead to one point with seven seconds on the clock but were unable to convert a 3-point shot at the buzzer. The final score was 80-79.
PSU Gorilla Ryan Pippins, graduate student and guard, lead the team in 3-points made and total points of offense, scoring 22 points.
While Pittsburg State was unsuccessful in beating the Washburn Icabods, the teams competitive play will help them as they continue to work towards the MIAA Tournament in March.
The Gorillas will be in action again on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29 against Northeastern State and Rogers State at John Lance Arena.