PITTSBURG -- The Pittsburg State women's basketball team ended their weekend strong with an 80-60 win over University of Mary on Saturday (November 10) afternoon in the final game of the Pitt State Tipoff Classic.
Pitt State scored the first points of the game on a three by Kylie Gafford and never looked back. The team earned its first double digit lead of the game on a Hailey Roderique layup with 10:01 remaining in the first half.
The Gorillas went on an 8-0 lasting just under three minutes to go ahead 24-7 with 6:08 remaining in the opening half. By the 4:50 mark PSU earned its first 20-point lead, 29-9, on a layup by Y'Cedria Devers.
The Mustangs worked hard to mount a comback and were able to cut Pitt State's lead to eight points, 35-27, at the half.
Pitt State opened the second half on a 9-0 run that included five points from Roderique. Mary was not able to score until 15:21 remaining in the game and were never able to cut the Gorillas' lead to less than 13 for the rest of the game. Pitt State saw its largest led of the game come with 4:51 remaining as Lizzy Jeronimus hit a layup and was fould and hit the ensuing free throw to put the team up 73-49.
Pitt State hit 43 percent from the field, while holding Mary to 32 percent. The Gorillas struggled from three-point range, hitting only 4-of-20 from beyond the arc. Pitt State did not have to be exceptionally strong long range however, as the team showed a huge inside prescence with 42 points in the paint. The Mustangs won the rebounding battle, pulling down 46 rebounds, including 18 off the offensive glass, while PItt State had 34 rebounds on the night.
Both teams were plagued by foul trouble as there were 53 fouls called in the game, 29 against the Gorillas and 24 against the Mustangs. Mary had two players foul out of the game and one more with four fouls. Only Lauren Brown fouled out for the Gorillas, but three additional players had four fouls a piece.
A bright spot for the Gorillas was that they only committed nine turnovers as a team, and had 11 steals. The team was able to score 39 points off Mary's 25 turnovers.
Lizzy Jeronimus led Pitt State with 23 points. She also added five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Lauren Brown added 10 points, five rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Hailey Roderique also contributed 10 points and led the Gorillas with six rebounds. She also had an assist and two steals.Y'Cedria Devers came off the bench to score eight points. Drew Roberts, Brigit Hesser and Morgan Westhoff each had six.
Mary was led by Brittney Dietz and Ali Collins who each scored 16 points.
Both wins on the weekend were over teams from the Northern Sun Conference, which is now in the same region as Pittsburg State due the regional realignment that takes effect this year. In-region wins are important in determining teams for the post-season.
Pitt State will not play again until after Thanksgiving when team travels to Joplin for the Missouri Southern Thanksgiving Classic. Pitt State will face Evangel at 5:30 p.m. on November 23 and Avila at 1:30 p.m. on November 24.