PITTSBURG -- Pitt State's pulled off a win in a low scoring 51-48 win over Fort Hays State on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 19). Despite trailing most of the second half, the Gorilla bench was crucial to never letting the Tiger lead get to be more than six in the game.
Fort Hays State first took the lead with 2:44 left in the opening half and held it for all but a minute in the second half before a three by Alexa Bordewick, her first points of the game, tied the game at 45-45. A jumper by Kate Lehman on the other end gave the Tigers the lead back. Lizzy Jeronimus scored a layup to tie the game again.
The Gorillas and Tigers traded free throws to keep the game tied, but a huge layup by Jeronimus with just 20 seconds on the clock gave Pitt State a lead, 50-48. Lehman missed a shot on the other end and Jeronimus grabbed a defensive rebound. She was fouled and hit the first of two free throws with just four seconds left to give Pitt State the 51-48 win.
Fifty-one is the lowest point total by the Gorillas in any game this season.
Pitt State's bench outscored its starters by one, 26-25, led by Morgan Westhoff who led all players with 14 points. Kylie Gafford was the team's third leading scorer, coming off the bench to contribute eight points and three blocked shots. Lizzy Jeronimus was the second leading scorer, recording her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Lauren Brown shared the lead in blocked shots with three. Brigit Hesser came off the bench to contribute a career-high six assists on the game.
The Pitt State defense was able to hold Fort Hays to a 22 percent shooting percentage for the game, and hold its leading scorer, Lehman, to just four points for the game. Lehman did grab 13 rebounds. Melissa Nelson led the Tigers with 10 points and Kaiameka Brown added nine.
Pitt State had the largest lead of the game, leading by 10, 13-3, with 13:10 in the first half. From there, the Tigers went on a 10-2 run that left the game tied 15-15 with 4:36 remaining in the half. The Gorillas hung on to the lead a little longer until a Nelson three with 2:44 left in the half gave the Tigers their first lead.
The Gorillas will play their next three games on the road, with the next game against the Northeastern State Riverhawks in Tahlequah, Okla. on Wednesday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m.