LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Pittsburg State women's basketball team improved to 7-3 on the season with a 23-point win over host Dixie State in the final game of the Las Vegas Challenge.
The Gorillas were stellar down low, outscoring Dixie State 30-8 in the paint. Two Pitt State post-players, Lizzy Jeronimus, and Kylie Gafford combined for 37 total points. Jeronimus led the team with 20 points for her third consecutive 20-point game. Gafford added 17 points, a career-high and her first career double digit scoring game. Hailey Roderique also scored in double figures with 13 points, her third consecutive double figure scoring game.
Pitt State also had the advantage rebounding, pulling down 47 rebounds on the night. Jeronimus led the team with nine rebounds, while Gafford and Lauren Brown each grabbed eight. Jeronimus also recorded three steals and six assists on the night.
The game was close through the first 11 minutes, then the Pitt State defense held Dixie State scoreless for over four minutes from 9:04 to 5:55 in the first half. During that time Pitt State scored six points to take a nine-point lead, 32-23.
The Gorillas took their first double digit lead on free throws by Lauren Brown with 3:29 remaining in the first half, and Pitt State would take a 42-32 lead into the lockerroom at the half.
Pitt State opened the second half with an 8-0 run and never looked back. Morgan Westhoff hit a three with 13:47 remaining to give her team its first 20-point lead of the game, 60-40. The largest lead of the game came on a Kristina Willis layup with 3:48 left as she gave Pitt State a 30-point lead, 80-50.
The Gorillas will not play again until after the New Year when they return to conference play against Nebraska-Kearney at 5:30 p.m. on January 3. The Gorillas will host Northwest Missouri in a nationally televised Gold Rush game on January 5 at 11:30 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear gold to the game and are invited to a pre-game pancake feed and the dedication of Whetzel Court. The first 2,000 fans will receive free Gold Rush T-shirts.