PITTSBURG -- Pitt State jumped out to a 23-point halftime advantage then had to withstand a second-half charge by Central Oklahoma to claim an 81-70 victory in the MIAA opener for both schools Thursday (Dec. 6).
The Gorillas (6-1, 1-0 MIAA) rushed out to a 45-22 lead thanks to 17 first-half points by Kaleb Porter. Pitt State, which shot 51.7 percent in the first half (15 of 29), made just one field goal in the first 13 minutes of the second half, but the Gorillas went 24-for-35 at the foul line in the final 20 minutes of play.
The Bronchos (1-6, 0-1 MIAA) outscored the Gorillas 17-5 to open the second half to draw as close as 11 points, at 50-39, on June Carter's dunk, but Pitt State countered with a dunk by A.J. Adams and three combined free throws from Marky Nolen and Sam Pugh to extend the lead to 16, at 55-39.
UCO twice trimmed the margin to 10 points, but the Bronchos could get no closer down the stretch.
Porter scored a game-high 22 points, while Adams added a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Courtney Ingram also chipped in with 16 points for the Gorillas.
Carter and Spencer Smith scored 10 points apiece for the Bronchos.
Pitt State will return to action Saturday (Dec. 8) when the Gorillas travel to St. Charles, Mo., to face MIAA newcomer Lindenwood at 3 p.m. (CST).