Curtis Meyer reporter
The Gorillas played one of their better games this year, but ultimately came up short at home against the Lions on Feb. 12. It was a close game, featuring 11 ties and nine lead changes before the final buzzer sounded. Pitt State is now 6-18 on the season, and is currently on a three game losing streak, as they head into their final four regular season games.
Pitt State scored first and seemed to gain the early momentum. Outscoring Missouri Southern 19-4 in the first seven minutes of play, Pitt State seemed to be heading for another early halftime lead.
Missouri Southern would not be denied though, as they started to battle back into the game. Scoring fast, Pitt State’s lead was cut to 9 points at 10:07. The pressure did not subside, with Missouri Southern making it 25-28 with 7:48 remaining.
The Gorillas would not surrender the lead, however, keeping the Lions at bay with 5:29 remaining and the score at 32-34 in favor of the Gorillas. The Lions brought it within one at 4:22, making it 34 to 35.
Pitt State held them off for the next three minutes, but Missouri Southern was able to take their first lead 38 to 37 with just 1:37 remaining. Pitt State scored a quick three pointer to reclaim the lead, but Missouri Southern scored the final points of the first half to tie it at 1:02, as neither team found a path to the basket in the final minute.
Heading into the locker room, it was safe to wonder if the Gorillas could match their first half production, as they have struggled in the second half for most of this season.
With the score tied at 40, both teams came out to play. The Lions got the first points of the second half, scoring on a three pointer to take the early lead. The Gorillas managed to keep within four points for next few minutes, as both teams found their footing offensively. A bit of a shootout started, as both teams scored on three back to back possessions, with the Gorillas trailing 51-48 with 16:32 left on the clock.
Pitt State was able to briefly retake the lead at 14:32, making it 57 -56. Then came the multiple lead changes, as each team traded the lead before being tied at 60 apiece with 13:33 left.
Pitt State broke the stalemate, taking a 5 point lead with a little over ten minutes left in the half. Missouri Southern retook the lead shortly after, making it 73-71 with 8:57 left. Both teams grappled back and forth, with Missouri Southern taking an 84 to 77 lead with a little over four minutes left.
The Gorillas clawed back in it, tying it at 1:23 and again at 48 seconds. With 25 seconds left, the Gorillas were down two as senior Calvin Poulina lined up to take a couple of free throw shots. Sinking both, the game proceeded to overtime.
In overtime, the Lions raced off to a quick 4 point lead in the first couple of minutes, and the Gorillas could not muster any late game magic as they were outscored in overtime 15-5, eventually losing 103 to 93.
Pitt State will continue their season at home on Feb. 16, where they will play the Fort Hays Tigers at home.