TOPEKA, Kan. - Devon Branch led all scorers with 31 points and the Gorillas played a close game with Washburn (12-3, 5-3 MIAA), but fell just short, 83-80, at Lee Arena on Saturday, January 18 evening.
Branch was 12-of-21 overall and 7-of-10 from the free throw for the Gorillas for 31 points in the game. ethan Cordray added 14 points and Josiah Gustafson, 10. Terrell Eaddy led the team with seven rebounds, while Branch pulled down six and Connor Kjer, five. Branch also led the team with three assists.
Washburn had five players in double figures, led by Alex North with 18.
Washburn led by as many as 12 mid-first half, 27-15 after a quick 7-0 run and again at 29-17 with 9:01 to go. The Gorillas cut the lead to 10, then used an 11-0 run lasting nearly four minutes to go up 33-32. Pitt State was able to hang on to the lead until a three by the Ichabods Jeff Reid with 43 seconds left tied the game at 39-39. Neither team scored after that, leaving a tie score at the half.
The Gorillas kept battling and worked its wasy up to a nine-point lead, 56-47, with 14:02 to go. Washburn came back and tied the game twice at 60-60 and 62-62, before earning its first lead of the second half on a three by Alex North. From there the game was back and forth until the last minute of the game, when a layup by Korey Fisher gave the Ichabods the final lead of the game, 81-80. Fisher added to his team's lead with two free throws with 16 seconds to go.
Pitt State returns home for the three-game stretch beginning with a Wednesday (Jan. 22) matchup with Nebraska-Kearney. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.