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Gorillas Hold Off Buffs Down Stretch for 85-79 Win - KOAM TV 7

Gorillas Hold Off Buffs Down Stretch for 85-79 Win

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Press Release PSU:

Jake Bullard scored the last of his team-leading 20 points on a driving basket with 33 seconds to play to help Pittsburg State University hold off West Texas A&M University down the stretch in an 85-79 victory Wednesday (Dec. 18).

The Gorillas (4-4) used a 20-6 run midway through the first half to turn a six-point defict into an eight-point lead against the Buffs (6-4).

Pitt State pushed its lead to 12 points in the second half, 49-37, with 18:47 to play in the game. The Gorillas still led 61-51 before the Buffs used a 10-2 run to pull within two, at 63-61, with 9:32 remaining in the contest.

Pitt State continued to hold off WTAMU with the Buffs closing within a point, 72-71, on David Duncan's basket with 5:28 to go.

Devon Branch, who was saddled most of the second half with foul trouble, scored on a tip-in to expand the margin to 74-71 and Denton Hays' two free throws made it a 76-71 game with 4:39 remaining.

Bullard, who finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, added two free throws at the 4:21 mark for a 78-71 lead, but Duncan made two free throws and Antjuan Ball added a dunk to pull WTAMU within three, at 78-75. Duncan then tipped in a shot to make it 78-77 with 2:19 to play.

Branch, who finished with 19 points, hit a 17-footer to stake the Gorillas to an 80-77 lead with 1:49 to play.

Drimir Ferguson's driving layup made it 80-79 with 1:28. He was fouled on the play but missed a potential game-tying free throw.

The Gorillas missed an opportunity to stretch their margin when Terrell Eaddy missed a guarded jumper at the 1:09 mark, but Ferguson turned the ball over with 44 seconds remaining.

Bullard then hit his driving shot to make it an 82-79 game and Branch helped seal the win with a steal off a second Ferguson turnover with 21 seconds to go.

Branch then converted three of four free throw attempts in the game's final 21 seconds to account for the final scoring.

The Gorillas shot 54.4 percent from the field in the game, making 31 of 57 attempts.

Josiah Gustafson also scored in double figures with 10 points for Pitt State.

WT's Keon Pledger led all scorers with 23 points. Duncan and Ferguson added 16 apiece, while Ball posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Gorillas will return to action Saturday (Dec. 21) when Pitt State hosts MIAA rival Southwest Baptist University at 3:30 p.m. (CST) at John Lance Arena.  

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