Gustafson, Sparks Lead Gorillas Back Into First Place - KOAM TV 7

Gustafson, Sparks Lead Gorillas Back Into First Place

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Press Release PSU:

Guards Josiah Gustafson and Trey Sparks combined for 43 points and the Pittsburg State University men's basketball team climbed into a three-way tie atop the MIAA standings with an 87-73 victory over Northeastern State University Wednesday (Feb. 18).

The Gorillas improved to 16-8 overall and 12-4 in the MIAA with the win, moving into a tie with the University of Central Missouri (21-4, 12-4) and Northwest Missouri State University (19-5, 12-4) with three games remaining in the regular season. The Bearcats defeated Lindenwood University, 69-65, Wednesday, while UCM was idle.

Gustafson scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as Pitt State pulled away in the game's final 10 minutes.

Pitt State led by just a point, 52-51, after the RiverHawks' Montre' Williams made two free throws with 10:26 remaining, but the Gorillas erupted for an 18-2 run over the next four minutes to take control.

Gustafson made eight of 12 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers as the Gorillas shot 57.8 percent from the floor in the contest (26 of 45). Starks, playing in his fourth game for Pitt State, added a season-best 18 points off the bench. He made five of eight shots and converted seven of eight free throws.

Dakota Jones (11), Devon Branch (10) and Trevor Gregory (10) also finished in double figures for the Gorillas. Connor Kjer added four points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Javis Flynn  dished out seven of the Gorillas' 21 assists in the contest.

Demone Harrison, Trey Mohair and Keon Little all scored 12 points to pace NSU (6-17, 4-12 MIAA), while Amir Gilliam added 11.

The two teams combined to shoot 66 free throws in a game slowed by 53 personal fouls. Pitt State converted 28 of 37 charity shots, while NSU made 23 of 29.

The Gorillas will wrap up a four-game homestand Saturday (Feb. 21) by hosting MIAA rival Missouri Southern State University (15-10, 9-7 MIAA) on senior day. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. The Lions dropped a 74-61 home decision to Southwest Baptist University Wednesday.
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