JOPLIN -- Pitt State built a seven-point lead late in the game and then staved off a late push by No. 19 Missouri Southern to claim a 77-75 victory Sunday (Jan. 2) at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
The Gorillas (7-3, 3-3 MIAA) went up 76-74 on a free throw by Eric Ray with 16.9 seconds remaining. Ray missed his second free throw attempt but Andra Bailey grabbed a key offensive rebound. Bailey also converted one of two free throws with 15.1 seconds left, but his miss left the door open for the Lions (9-1, 5-1 MIAA)
Southern's Skyler Bowlin was fouled by Pitt State's Logan Jones with 1.8 seconds on a 3-point field goal attempt. Bowlin, who had made 10 of 12 charity shots in the contest, made his first attempt, but his second attempt rimmed out. He intentionally missed his third attempt and the loose ball went out of bounds as time expired.
Following an official's conference, Southern received the ball under the Pitt State basket with 0.3 seconds remaining. Bowlin got the ball inbounded to Jason Adams but he was short on a tip attempt at the rim.
Eric Marshall led the Gorillas with 17 points, while JaVon McGee chipped in with 11 points. Bailey added seven points and 10 rebounds for Pitt State, which pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, in the contest to offset a 44.4 percent shooting night.
Adams led all scorers with 19 points for Southern, while Bowlin added 15 points and 10 assists for the Lions.
Pitt State will return to action Wednesday (Jan. 5) by hosting Lincoln at 6 p.m. (CST) at John Lance Arena.