Emporia State University used an 18-5 second-half to turn a one-point deficit into a 12-point lead and the Hornets held off the Gorillas down the stretch for an 83-75 victory Wednesday (Jan. 15).
The Gorillas (6-7, 2-4 MIAA) led 39-38 with 18:49 to play in the game, before the Hornets (12-6, 5-3 MIAA) made their 13-point surge that pushed them in front, 56-44, with 11:17 remaining.
Pitt State never got any closer than eight points of ESU down the stretch.
Kaleb Wright led all scorers with 21 points for the Hornets. He paced four ESU players in double figures. Terrence Moore added 19 points, while Jay Temaat added 12 and Gavin Brown finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Devon Branch scored a team-leading 15 points for the Gorillas, before fouling out of the game with 3:56 to play in the game. Josiah Gustafson and Sam Pugh added 13 and 12 points for Pitt State, respectively.
The Hornets and Gorillas traded the lead 15 times in the first half of the contest, before ESU took a 36-34 lead to the intermission by outscoring Pitt State, 8-0, in the final 1:34 of the opening period.
Pitt State shot just 34.7 percent from the field in the contest, making 25 of 72 attempts. ESU shot 53.3 percent on 24 of 45 shooting. The Hornets also converted 32 of 46 free throws in the contest as the Gorillas were whistled for 32 fouls.
The Gorillas will return to action Saturday (Jan. 18) when they travel to Topeka to face Washburn University. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CST) at Lee Arena.
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