Curtis Meyer, reporter
Pitt State Women’s Basketball wrapped up the season last week, falling to Missouri Southern in the second round of the NCAA regionals. Going 23-8 on the season, and 17-5 in conference play, the Gorillas had a productive season after being ranked eighth in the MIAA conference in preseason polls.
“They really pulled it together, worked hard. We never met a point in the season where we felt like we were done,” said head coach Amanda David.
The Gorillas opened the season with non-conference play, beating University of Missouri-Kansas City, a Division I school. Playing five more non-conference teams, the Gorillas only suffered one loss.
Following this strong start, Pitt State went right into conference play, and continued their success. After defeating Lincoln University in the home opener, Pitt State won 4 of their first six games, losing only to ranked teams Central Missouri and Missouri Western.
“It was great, definitely my favorite season out of the five I’ve played. The girls were great, our competition was great, it went very well,” said senior Tristan Gegg.
Pitt State lost to Nebraska Kearney after winning one against another non-conference team and posting a 100-point game on Central Oklahoma. This would be their last loss for a month.
Going on a seven-game winning streak, the Gorillas cemented themselves as one of the better teams in the MIAA, defeating a couple of ranked teams during this span.
“I think our season was completely different than our last four seasons I’ve played. I think our culture has been what it seems to be from the beginning. I think the girls are great and everybody came to play their part, came to be a team and I felt everybody showed that with how our season went,” said senior Erin Davis.
Following this impressive win streak, the Gorillas lost a second time to Central Missouri, but racked up four more wins before losing again to Kearney. The Gorillas ended the regular season on a high note, with two away wins.
Despite this, Pitt State was ousted in the first round of the MIAA tournament at the hands of Missouri Southern. Unable to do anything but sit and wait, Pitt State was still named to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Once in, the Gorillas went to work, defeating Nebraska Kearney in the first round by 20 points. This came after being swept by the Lopers during the regular season, a fitting revenge for the Gorillas.
The season came to a close, however, when they faced the Missouri Southern Lions again. Despite holding the lead for most of the game, the Lions roared back in the final ten minutes to win.
“They played their butts off, they played the full forty minutes, and we didn’t play our best game obviously, the ball wasn’t going through the hole for us,” said Sophomore Karenna Gerber.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, it was an impressive run by the Gorillas. Going from eighth in the MIAA to a second-round loss in the NCAA tournament is more than enough to justify this season as a success. The team will look to carry this momentum into next season, behind a strong young group.
“Every year is different. We really wanted this team to really relish this moment and to be present, because you just never know. I think for next year we definitely have the pieces, they’ll take the same approach, from day one of practice to day 200 or whenever,” said coach David.