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Gorillas Keep Postseason Hopes Alive With 84-76 Win - KOAM TV 7

Gorillas Keep Postseason Hopes Alive With 84-76 Win

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With its back against the proverbial postseason wall, the Pittsburg State University men's basketball team responded with a much-needed victory, turning back MIAA rival Emporia State University, 84-76, Wednesday (Feb. 26) at John Lance Arena.

The win, coupled with the University of Central Missouri's 80-57 victory over Missouri Western State University, keeps the Gorillas hopes for post-season play alive heading into Saturday's regular season finale against Washburn University.

Pitt State (8-17, 4-14) snapped a seven-game losing streak with a balanced offensive attack against ESU, which wrapped up its regular season play 17-12 overall and 10-9 in MIAA action.

Jake Bullard poured in a game-high 24 points, including an 11 for 13 night at the free throw line, to lead four Gorillas in double figures.

Devon Branch added 19 points, including 11 in the second half. Sam Pugh added 12 points in his return to the lineup after an eight-game absence to due injury. Connor Kjer also chipped in with 10 points.

The Gorillas trailed by as many as 11 points with 2:04 to play in the first half before making their second-half comeback. Pitt State took the lead, at 50-49, on a Bullard dunk with 13:42 to play in the game.

From there, the Gorillas stretched their margin to seven, at 64-57, with 7:45 to go. The Hornets battled back to within a point, at 67-66, with 4:58 to go on Terrence Moore's driving layup, but Pitt State scored nine of the next 10 points to reclaim control.

Kaleb Wright (23) and Moore (22) combined for 45 points for the Hornets.

The Gorillas need a victory over Washburn in the regular season finale Saturday (Mar. 1) and a Missouri Western loss to Southwest Baptist University that day to finish as the No. 12 seed and qualify for the 2014 MIAA Postseason Tournament.     
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