The Pitt State women’s basketball team played the Missouri Southern State University Lions in two games on Feb. 16 and Feb. 19. The Lions are currently second in the MIAA conference. The team entered the games against the Gorillas with a record of 18-5 and a conference record of 15-3.
Pittsburg State was unsuccessful in knocking off Missouri Southern. On Feb. 16 the Gorillas lost 65-80 and on Feb 19 the team lost 74-77. With upcoming matchups against Emporia State University and Newman University, Pittsburg State will need to rally in order to gain momentum going into the MIAA tournament.
Pitt State first competed against Missouri Southern on Feb. 16 inside of Leggett and Platt Athletic Center in Joplin, Missouri. The Pittsburg State Gorillas fell behind the Missouri Southern Lions in the first five minutes of play.
Two free throws by Tristan Gegg, senior guard, and a jumper by Jayme Jackson, sophomore guard, kept the team competitive. The team took the lead from Missouri Southern with three minutes remaining in the quarter. This would be the only time that the Gorillas held the lead.
Missouri Southern retook the lead and extended the score to 18-13 at the end of the quarter. Madi Stokes, sophomore center for the Lions, hit a jumper and a three-pointer to extend the Missouri Southern lead to eight.
The Gorillas continued to stay competitive and kept the lead to under 10 during the second quarter. The team entered the locker room with an eight-point deficit and a score of 36-28.
Stokes led the Lions in scoring with 11 points from five free throws and three field goals. Jackson and Gegg lead the team with 13 and five points respectively.
The Lions continued their success in the third quarter. Madi Stokes created eight points in the third quarter for the Lions with assists from Kaitlin Hunnicutt, freshman guard. Missouri Southern kept their lead alive and ended the third quarter up 56-49.
During the fourth quarter, Missouri Southern extended their lead past 10 points. The Gorillas were unable to respond to the Lions momentum as they grew the lead to 18 points with five minutes left in the game. The final score of the game was 80-65 in favor of the Missouri Southern Lions.
Pittsburg State faced the Missouri Southern three days later at John Lance Arena for the team’s last home game. The senior night festivities drew a large crowd to the gymnasium and created a strong atmosphere for the Gorillas.
Both teams started strong, with the Lions taking an early lead in the first quarter. As the quarter continued Missouri Southern extended the lead to 11 before Erin Davis, senior guard, sunk a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Gorillas energy going into the second quarter.
Pitt State kept pace with Missouri Southern during the second quarter but was unable to stop Lacy Stokes, freshman guard, from scoring multiple free throws.
The Gorillas entered the locker room down 14 points with a score of 38-52. Gegg led the team during the half with 12 points and three assists.
During the third quarter, Pittsburg State chipped the lead down to two points after a layup by Julia Johnson, senior forward, but did not retake the lead. Lacy Stokes rallied the Lions and brought the lead up to seven points at the end of the quarter.
PSU continued to struggle to produce offensively in the final quarter. Jackson scored the final points for the Gorillas and the match ended in a 77-74 victory for the Lions of Missouri Southern.
The Gorillas will finish their season with two away matchups. On Feb. 23 they will face Emporia State and on Feb. 26 they will face Newman University.