PITTSBURG -- Thirteen Gorillas scored, including three in double figures, as the Pittsburg State women's basketball team earned a 82-57 win over Missouri Western in the conference opener for both teams.
Junior Drew Roberts led the team with 14 points, including a 4-of-7 effort from three-point range. Senior Larrissa Richards added 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. She also continued her strong defensive play down low and added four blocks t o her already record total. Freshman Lizzy Jeronimus added 10 points and led the team with 13 rebounds for her first double-double as a Gorilla. She had eight points and nine rebounds in the first half alone. Senior Brooke Conley added nine points and Alexa Bordewick added seven to finish out the scoring for the Pitt State starters. Freshman Morgan Westhoff came off the bench to add eight points, including hitting 2-of-3 threes. Senior Courtney Tate added seven points and led the Gorillas with seven assists.
Pitt State shot 42.6 percent from the floor, including 37 percent from three-point range, while holding the Griffons to 31 percent from the floor overall and 29 percent from beyond the arc. THe Gorillas also outrebounded the Griffons by nine, 49-40.
Missouri Western's Jessica Koch led all players with 24 points. Brittany Griswold added 11.
The Griffons hit the first shot of the game, a three by Griswold, but then the Gorillas went on a 15-0 run in which six players scored. The run was capped by a Westhoff three with 14:29 in the half. Western cut the lead to six, but the Gorillas surged again to take their back to 23-9 on a Jeronimus three with 10:02 in the first. Pitt State's largest lead of the half, 15 points, 31-16, came at the 5:00 mark on a Jeronimus layup.
Missouri Western cut the lead to single digits one last time on a Koch jumper with 2:44 left in the opening half. Two Hailey Roderique free throws brought the lead back to 10 points and the Gorillas didn't fall to less than a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
Pitt State opened the second half on a 7-0 run, with five of those points coming from Richards. The Gorillas had another 10-0 run in the half, lasting three minutes and a 9-0 run form 7:50 to 3:38 that gave PSU a 30-point lead, 76-46. Sebior Britnee Foster drove in the layup to give the Gorillas the largest lead of the game.
Pitt State is now 7-0 on the season and 1-0 in MIAA play. The last time a Gorilla team started the season 7-0 was the 1994-95 season. That squad opened the season with 10 consecutive wins and did not lose a game until January 4.
Pitt State will travel to Kirksville, Mo. on Saturday, December 3 to take on Truman. The Gorillas will have their work cut out for them, as the Bulldogs are also undefeated on the season (6-0) after beating Missouri Southern in Joplin in their first MIAA contest.