The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team faced tough competition at home against MIAA teams. On Thursday, Feb. 10, the Gorillas matched up against the number one team in the conference, the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats, at home. On Feb. 12 Pittsburg State fell to the Griffons of Missouri Western University at John Lance Arena.
The Gorillas kept pace during the first ten minutes of the game, but were outplayed by the Bearcats during the remainder of the game. Pitt State lost the game with a final score of 80-68.
Cameron Huefner, forward and a freshman in psychology, produced points early in the game to keep Pitt State competitive. He was assisted by Bobby Arthur-Williams Junior, forward and graduate student in human resource development, who led the team in points during the first half.
Northwest Missouri State’s Trevor Hudgins, junior guard, and Wes Dreamer, sophomore forward, both produced 11 points in the first half. Their performance aided their team against the Gorillas
With a halftime score of 44-23, head coach Kim Anderson needed to get his team back on track in the second half. Pitt State scored eight points in the first three minutes of the period. However, the Bearcats responded and continued to grow their lead against the Gorillas.
During the last 10 minutes of play, Pittsburg State held the Bearcats to a 15-point lead. The final score of the game was 80-68.
Two days later, the Gorillas returned to John Lance Area to face the Missouri Western Griffons. Missouri Western came into the game with a record of 12-13. Pittsburg State University looked to get a win against a conference team as they look towards the MIAA Tournament.
The Griffons quickly scored in the first half and lead 11-2 after five minutes. Missouri Western continued to extend their lead against the Gorillas during the first period.
Pittsburg State remained on their heels against the Griffons. Tyler Hawkins, junior guard, led the team in the first half. He produced seven points for the Gorillas and one turnover.
Pitt State entered the locker with a 16-point deficit and a score of 37-21 in favor of the Griffons. Missouri Western’s Will Eames, sophomore forward, scored 17 points and created two blocks in the first half.
During the second half, the Griffons continued to grow their lead against the Gorillas. Their lead expanded to 30 points after 10 minutes in the period. Many of Pitt State’s points in the second half were created by Magic Reliford, sophomore guard.
Reliford scored 12 points in the half and helped the team bring the score deficit to 22. The final score of the game was 75-53 in favor of the Griffons.
Pittsburg State continues to search for a spot in the MIAA Tournament bracket. With a record of 6-18, the Gorillas will need to win the majority of their remaining games for a chance to make the playoffs.
The Gorillas will face Missouri Southern in their last home game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 19. After the matchup, Pitt State will finish the regular season against Emporia State University on Feb. 23 and Newman University on Feb. 26.