PITTSBURG — Andra Bailey scored 17 of his game high 27 points in the first half as Pitt State rushed out to a big lead then held on down the stretch for a 93-84 victory over Mid-America Nazarene in day one action of the Pitt State Invitational Friday (Nov. 18).
In the early game, No. 4 Missouri Southern also pulled away in the second half from a pesky Avila (Mo.) squad to claim an 88-47 victory.
Pitt State (2-1) led by as many as 27 points in the first half, at 50-23, shooting 56.1 percent (23-for-41) from the field and forcing 18 MNU (4-2) turnovers.
The Pioneers rallied in the second half to get within six points, at 90-84, with 33 seconds to play in the contest, but Pitt State's Drake Green made three of four free throws in the game's final half-minute to help preserve the win.
Bailey logged a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds. He also came away with six of the Gorillas 16 steals in the contest.
Eric Ray also fired in 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting, while Green and Eric Marshall scored in double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Conner Langrehr led four MNU players in double figures with 23 points. David Clark (16), Rustin Dowd (11) and Jacob French (10) also reached double digits.
Southern (4-0) closed out the first half on a 13-0 run to turn a 26-22 game into a 39-22 advantage against AU (3-3). The Eagles never got any closer than 16 points of the Lions in the second half.
Keane Thomann scored a game-high 23 points for Southern, while Jason Adams (14), Patrick Hester (13) and Christian Salecich (11) also scored in double figures. Southern, which came into the contest averaging 100.0 points per game, shot 58.9 percent (33-for-56) from the floor.
Zach Smith was the lone Avila player in double figures with 11 points. The Eagles shot just 30.8 percent (16-for-52) from the field in the game and committed 30 turnovers.
Southern will face MidAmerica Nazarene at 1 p.m. (CST) Saturday in game three of the Pitt State Invitational, while Pitt State will meet Avila at 3 p.m. in the final contest of the two-day, classic-format tournament.