PITTSBURG — Southwest Baptist scored 26 of the first 28 second-half points to break open a tightly-contested game and cruise to an 84-68 victory over Pittsburg State Saturday (Dec. 11).
The Gorillas (6-2, 2-2 MIAA) shot 68 percent from the field in the first half leading by as many as 11 points, at 34-23, against the MIAA co-leading Bearcats (7-3, 4-0 MIAA).
SBU closed the first half on a 15-5 run to close within a point, at 39-38, at the break.
The Bearcats forced the Gorillas into 20 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes of play and SBU finished the game by forcing 30 Pitt State turnovers. The takeaways led to 38 points off turnovers.
Jacob French and Ryan Dougherty scored 16 apiece to lead four SBU players in double figures. Kurt Koenig added 14 and Tremaine Hill chipped in with 13. SBU hit 11 3-pointers in the game and shot 59 percent (16 of 27) in the second half.
The Gorillas made just 12 of 33 (.364) shots in the second half after their blistering pace in the opening period.
Drake Green had a team-leading 13 points for Pitt State, while JaVon McGee, Courtney Ingram and Chris Ware all added 10 points.
SBU notched its seventh straight victory in the series and the Bearcats won for the 12th time in the last 13 encounters.
Pitt State will return to action next Saturday (Dec. 18) by traveling to Warrensburg, Mo., to face Central Missouri.