Curtis Meyer, Reporter
The Pitt State women’s basketball team split the weekend at home for the last two home games of the season. Hitting the twenty win mark against Fort Hayes State and losing a close contest to Nebraska Kearney. Pitt State is now 20-6, as they look to wrap up the final two games of the season next week.
Pitt State started with a home game, hosting Fort Hayes in their second meeting of the season with the Tigers.
The Tigers opened up scoring, almost a minute into the first quarter. Despite this, the Gorillas held onto a early three point lead, making it 9-6 with 5:54 left in the first. The Gorillas continued to build their advantage, taking a 16-10 lead with 2:45. They kept building the lead, making it 23-12 on a last second two pointer.
Pitt State scored first in the second, extending their lead quickly. Leading 30-16 with 6:58 left in the second half, Fort Hayes began to climb back into the game. Bringing it to within seven points at 32-25, with 3:09 remaining, Pitt State held them off to end the quarter, making it 38 to 28 as both teams headed to half time.
Carrying a ten point lead to start the third quarter, the Gorillas scored first, but the Tigers kept themselves in arms reach. Keeping it at 42-34 with 6:30, the Tigers continued to keep on the pressure, but the Gorillas held onto the lead to finish out the third at 53-57, with the Gorillas having been outscored 19 to 15.
The Gorillas responded strong in the fourth quarter, racing out to a ten point lead in the first three minutes. The Tigers threatened again at 4:54, coming within three points at 58-61, but the Gorillas held them at bay to come away with the win, 76-66.
Pitt State followed up Thursday’s performance with a close loss to Nebraska Kearney the following Saturday, in a game that was very back and forth throughout.
Kearney started off the scoring, taking an early lead in the first. Pitt State wrestled the lead back at 6:46, making it 5 to 4 in what was an early defensive battle. It was tied at 14 apiece with 2:48 remaining, then tied at 16 with 1:37, and at 18 with just 34 second left. Pitt State scored next, taking a 20-18 lead into the second quarter.
The Gorillas scored first to start the second quarter, but neither team seemed to be able to hold onto the momentum, as it was tied at 24 with 7:09 left. The Gorillas then fell behind, but were able to tie it up again at 29 points with 4:56 remaining.
Building a four point lead, the Gorillas seemed to have broken the stalemate at halftime, carrying a 5 point 36-31 lead into the locker room. It wouldn’t last, however, as the Lopers came back into the game after half.
Pitt State started, scoring first and creating a 45-35 lead with 6:38 left. Nebraska Kearney worked their way back into it, as Pitt State went cold on offense over the final 5 minutes, not notching a single point from 5:29 to 0:47. The basket with 47 seconds left tied the game, which carried over into the fourth.
Now tied at 49, the pressure amplified for both teams heading into the fourth. Neither team found itself able to break the stalemate for long, with both teams still tied at 51 with 7:31 left.
It was tied again at 53 points with 5:26 remaining, and again at 58 with 3:06 left.
Tying it yet again at 62 with just 1:41 left, this game looked like it might head into overtime, but a last minute run by the Lopers put them in front 66-63 with just 14 seconds left. The Gorillas scored next to make it 65-66 with 10 seconds left, but the Lopers continued to add more points as the Gorillas were forced to foul.
With just one second left and down by three, Pitt State had a chance to tie it thanks to a trio of free throws, but were unable to make all three. Another foul on Pitt State in the last second allowed Nebraska Kearney to put it away, with the final score being 70-67.
The Gorillas will head on the road for their final two games of the season, facing Emporia State and Missouri Western to close out the regular season.