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Women's Basketball Closes Out 2013 at Home - KOAM TV 7

Women's Basketball Closes Out 2013 at Home

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Press Release PSU:

Pittsburg State plays its final games of 2013 at home on Wednesday, December 18 and Saturday, December 21. The Gorillas will play a non-conference game against former MIAA member Truman on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The team returns to action in its conference home opener on Saturday against Southwest Baptist at 1:30 p.m.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Game

Remember that Christmas sweater hanging in the back of your closet that your great aunt gave you? The one you just knew you would never wear. Well, now is your chance to wear it, and to possibly win a prize for it, as the Pittsburg State men's and women's basketball teams host their first Ugly Christmas Sweater Game againt Southwest Baptist on Saturday, December 21. The women's game begins at 1:30 p.m. with the men's game following.

All fans are encouraged to wear their festive best. Mystery judges will pick the best ugly Christmas wear and the winner will get a $40 gift certificate to the PSU Bookstore. 

Santa Gus will also be at the game for special Christmas pictures with his biggest fans. Those pictures will be on sale later on the Pitt State Athletics Photo Store.

Scouting Truman

Truman is in its first season under head coach Amy Eagan and its first season out of the MIAA and in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The team is 6-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Its most recent game was a 79-75 loss to Quincy, a team Pittsburg State also suffered a loss to just before Thanksgiving.

Pitt State will be the third MIAA team Truman has faced the season after earning a 91-71 win over Northwest Missouri and a 83-60 win over Lincoln at the Northest Missouri Tournament at the beginning of the season. 

Truman averages 84.1 ppg, while holding their opponents to 61.4 ppg. The team outrebounds its opponents by over 10 rebounds per game, 43.8-32.6 rpg. The Bulldogs shoot .435 overall and .370 from three-point range. The team has forced almost 19 turnovers per game from its opponents.

Truman has used the same starters in each of its eight games, Allie Norton, Amy Briggs, Bianca Szafarowicz, Kasey Gassensmith and Michalina Tomczak. Four players are averaging double figures for the BUlldogs, and all are within 0.9 ppg of each other. Norton leads the team with 11.9 ppg and is the team's leading three-point shooter with 16 threes made. She is also second in assists with 31. Nicole Gloor comes off the bench to score 11.3 ppgs. She is the top percentage shooter for the Bulldogs, hitting .563 from the floor. Briggs also scored 11.3 ppg. She is the second leading three-point shooter with 14 made, but hits at a slightly percentage, making 42 percent of her shots from long range. She leads teh team in assists with 35. Szafarwicz averages 11 ppg and is the team's leading rebounder with 6.0 rebounds per game. She also leads the team in steals with 15. 

Scouting Southwest Baptist

Southwest Baptist is 5-3 overall and 1-1 in MIAA play. The team will play Emporia on Wednesday night before coming to Pittsburg. The Bearcats three losses have come at the hands of Drury, 76-77, West Florida, 76-81, and Washburn, 71-78, an average of only four points per loss.

The Bearcats average 76.6 ppg, while allowing opponents 69.5 ppg. The team also has a slight rebounding advantage, 41.9 rpg to 37.2 rpg for its opponents. The team averages almost 17 turnovers oer game, while opponents get nine steals per game. The team shoots .455 from the floor overall and .368 from long range. 

Three players are averaging double figures. Brooke Duncan leads the team with 18.0 ppg. She is one of only two players to have started every game for SBU. She also leads the team with 7.5 rpg and has 25 threes on the season, as she hits .385 from long range. Dilonna Johnson adds 10.9 ppg. She leads teh team with 43 assists on the year for just over six assists per game. Jacqui Zelenka scores 10.8 ppg and hits .655 of her shots from the floor. She is also a good free throw shooter, having missed only one of her 16 attempts thus far this season. She is the team's second-leading rebounder with 7.0 rpg.

Scouting Pittsburg State

This week the Gorillas will need to be tough on the boards, versatile in scoring and tenacious on defense to earn wins over two quality teams. The Gorillas are 6-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Each  of the team's three losses, No. 9 Concordia, Indianapolis (rv) and Quincy (rv), have been to teams ranked or receiving votes at the time the Gorillas played them.  

Pitt State averages 68.6 ppg, just three points more than its opponents at 65.4 ppg. The team holds a slight rebounding advantage, 37.9 rpg to 35.4 rpg. The G orillas hit .418 from the floor overall and .312 from three-point range. While the team would like both those percentages to be higher, defensively, they hold opponents to a .281 shooting percentage from long range. The team averages 13 assists and seven steals per game.

Pitt State has one player in double figures, Lizzy Jeronimus with 17.4 ppg. Jeronimus also leads the Gorillas with 7.4 rpg and in assists with 22 on the season. Morgan Westhoff is just under double figures with 9.9 ppg. She is the team's top three-point shooter with 23 made threes and a .479 three-point shooting percentage. Alexa Bordewick averages 7.0 ppg and is the only other player to hit 10 or more threes on the year. She is second on the team in assists with 19. Kylie Gafford is the top percentage shooter overall for the Gorillas, hitting over 55 percent from her forward position. She leads the team in blocked shots with 14 and is second in steals with seven. Y'Cedria Devers is the second-leading rebounder with 4.1 rpg and leads the team in steals with nine.

The Gorillas have had nine different players start this season. Only two players have started every game, Jeronimus and Bordewick. Devers have started eight games and Gafford, seven.

PSU vs. Truman

Pitt State leads the all-time series with Truman 28-11. The two teams have met regularly each season since 1990. The two teams started with home-and-home meetings each season in 1999 until last season with the change in the MIAA schedule prior to Truman leaving the conference. Pitt State leads 16-4 in Pittsburg and 13-7 in Kirksville. The two teams have never met at a neutral site. The Gorillas have won each of the last four meetings. 

Pitt State has had two long streaks of wins in the series. The Gorillas opened the series with eight straight wins from Jan. 14, 1990 to Feb. 10, 1996. The other long run for the Gorillas was seven wins from Jan. 18, 2003 to Jan. 14, 2006. The Bulldogs have only won back-to-back games twice in the series. The first time was on Feb. 15 and 23, 1999, with one win in each location. The second time was in 2007-08 as the Bulldogs took the game in Kirksville, 76-64, and in Pittsburg, 79-72.

The biggest win in the series was a 62-point victory (97-35) by the Gorillas in Pittsburg on Feb. 22, 1993. Truman's biggest win was by 15 points in a 78-63 decision in Kirksville on Feb. 26, 2000.

The most points scored in the series was a 104-102 Pitt State win on Jan .28, 1995 in Kirksville.

PSU vs. Southwest Baptist

Pitt State and SBU have met twice a year since the 1987-88 season until last season. Pitt State has a five-game lead in the series, 29-24, after winning each of the last five games. Each team leads in its home arena, the Gorillas lead 18-10 in Pittsburg, while the Bearcats lead 14-11 in Bolivar. The two teams have never met at a neutral site.

Prior to the 2009-10 season SBU had won four straight over the Gorillas, the longest streak of wins by either tem in the series. The series began with each team winning only on its own court. SBU gave up the first Gorilla victory in Bolivar on Feb. 4, 1992. Pitt State won 10 straight at home before falling, 86-75 on Valentine's Day of 1996.

The largest margin of victory in the series was a 37-point Pitt State win on Jan. 6, 1981, the very first meeting between the two teams. SBU's biggest win was a 82-52 win in Bolivar on Dec. 1, 1987, only the third meeting between the teams. Since then things have been more evenly matched, for the most part. The most points scored in the series was a 101-95 Bearcat win on Jan. 8, 2005 in Bolivar.

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