LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Pittsburg State University men's basketball team opened the 2011-12 season with an 84-55 exhibition loss to the University of Kansas Tuesday (Nov. 1) at Allen Fieldhouse.
Newcomer Marky Nolen and senior Drake Green led the Gorillas with nine points apiece. Junior JaVon McGee flirted with a double-double, scoring eight points and pulling down 12 rebounds.
Connor Teahan paced the Jayhawks with 21 points on an 8-for-11 showing from the field. Fifteen of Teahan's points came on 3-point field goals and he added seven rebounds. Junior seven-footer Jeff Withey recorded a triple-double, with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots for the Jayhawks.
A sloppy first half by both teams kept scoring low. The two teams combined for 27 turnovers in the opening period, with Kansas leading going into the break up 32-27.
The Jayhawks started off the game with a 9-0 run courtesy of three Connor Teahan 3-pointers. However, Pittsburg State closed the gap to four with an Andra Bailey putback layup and Drake Green 3-pointer.
KU then extended its lead to 15-5 at the 11:34 mark of the first half, before PSU fought back to make the score 23-21 with four minutes remaining in the opening period on Sam Pugh's layup.
Back-and-forth basketball continued early in the second half as Pittsburg State's defense kept the Gorillas in the game, but KU's up-tempo game pushed the Jayhawks' lead to 46-35 with less than f14 minutes remaining. Naadir Tharpe's layup capped off a 12-4 run with 13:49 to go.
Withey's length disrupted the Gorillas down the stretch, recording seven of his 10 blocks in the second half as the Jayhawks pulled away.
Plagued by early second half-foul trouble, Pitt State was unable to bring the gap to single digits for the remainder of the game even as the Jayhawks shot 16-for-29 from the free throw line in the second half.
Pitt State will open regular season play by traveling to Stephenville, Texas, to take part in the South Central Regional Challenge Nov. 11-12. The Gorillas will face Eastern New Mexico and the host school, Tarleton State, from the Lone Star Conference in the two-day, classic-format tournament.