PITTSBURG -- Rico Pierrevilus scored 18 of his game-high 20 points in the first half while A.J. Adams and Kaleb Porter combined for 25 second-half points to lead Pitt State to an 88-67 season-opening victory over Baker Tuesday (Nov. 13) at John Lance Arena.
The Gorillas (1-0) led by as many as 19 points at 56-37 with 11:59 to play in the game but the Wildcats (3-2) used a 17-5 run over the next 4:36 to trim the margin to seven at 61-54 on Corey Anderson's three-point play.
Adams and Porter combined to score the game's next seven ponts and Marky Nolen completed a 9-0 Pitt State run to push the Gorillas back in front 70-54 with 5:24 remaining in the contest.
The Wildcats never got any closer than 11 points of the Gorillas down the stretch.
Pierrevilus made his first seven shots from the field while scoring 18 first-half points as Pitt State built a 40-26 halftime advantage. He added nine rebounds to narrowly miss posting a double-double for the Gorillas. Adams did log a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 10 boards as Pitt State owned a 48-32 rebounding edge against Baker.
Porter also finished the game with 16 points on the strength of nine for 11 shooting from the free throw line. Pitt State made 25 of 36 charity shots in the contest as the Wildcats were whistled for 23 personal fouls.
JaVon McGee added nine points while Jake Bullard contributed eight points and six rebounds.
Baker got 12 points apiece from Anderson and E.J. Carter, while Brandon Moore chipped in with 10 points. The Gorillas limited the Wildcats to 36.7 percent shooting (22 of 60) in the game.
Pitt State will return to action Friday (Nov. 16) when the Gorillas take part in the Chris Tucker Memorial Classic. The Gorillas will face MIAA rival Lincoln at 12 Noon and then round out the classic format tournament with a game against Avila (Mo.) at 5 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 17).