PSU Women Host Oklahoma Wesleyan During Xmas Break - KOAM TV 7

PSU Women Host Oklahoma Wesleyan During Xmas Break



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University women's basketball team will return to the friendly confines of John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court for a non-conference match-up against Oklahoma Wesleyan University Wednesday (Dec. 27). Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. (CST).

The Records
The Gorillas enter Wednesday's action with an 8-3 overall record.

Pitt State opened its 2017-18 season with a pair of emphatic NCAA Division II Central Region wins over Concordia-St. Paul (80-61) and Minnesota State (84-60) at the Central Region Challenge at Municipal Auditorium at Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 10-11.

The Gorillas followed that up with two more wins at the UCM Classic at Warrensburg, Mo., against Arkansas Fort Smith (78-63) and William Jewell (62-42) on Nov. 18-19.

Pitt State extended its winning streak with a pair of road wins in Colorado over Regis (73-61) and Colorado Mines (60-50) last weekend.

Pitt State, the defending MIAA regular-season champion, dropped a hard fought 97-95 overtime decision to the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Nov. 30 as well a 75-70 decision to Fort Hays State University on Dec. 2.

The Gorillas bounced back with a pair of home victories – 87-75 over Lindenwood University on Dec. 7 and 69-47 over Lincoln University on Dec. 9. Pitt State dropped a 58-49 road decision to Arkansas Fort Smith in its most recent action Dec. 18.

OWU has a 12-2 overall record. The Eagles have posted six straight wins including a 92-23 victory over Kansas Christian College in their most recent action on Dec. 15.

Head Coach Lane Lord
Lane Lord is in his 11th year as head women's basketball coach at Pittsburg State University.

Lord has compiled a 216-98 (.688) record in his tenure at Pitt State, including five trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and the program's first two Elite Eight appearances. He has led the Gorillas to four straight NCAA Tournament berths (2014-17) and his Pitt State program has averaged 24.7 wins during the past six seasons (2012-17), compiling a 148-43 record.

Lord has been honored as the MIAA Coach of the Year five times (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017) and he has been selected the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year three times (2009, 2012, 2017).
Wednesday's action will be Lord's first meeting vs. OWU.

Series History
This will be the first all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Eagles.

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter Wednesday's action averaging 73.4 points per game and shooting 41.6 percent from the field.

Pitt State has four players scoring in double figures on the season: senior guard Mikaela Burgess (15.6 ppg), senior guard Paige Imhoff (11.0 ppg), junior guard Brenlee McPherson (10.6 ppg) and junior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (10.5 ppg).

Burgess is averaging a team-leading 15.6 points per game. She also is contributing 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Burgess, who ranks sixth in the MIAA in scoring, scored a team-high 21 points in Pitt State's season opening win over Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 10 and she posted 31 points in the Gorillas' OT loss to Nebraska-Kearney Nov. 30.

Burgess averaged 16.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game as a junior in 2016-17, earning first-team All-MIAA and first-team All-America honors. The Webb City, Mo., native hit 86 3-pointers, leading the MIAA in 3-point field goals and ranking fourth in the conference in scoring.

She has compiled 1,560 career points and 270 career 3-point field goals.Burgess has averaged 14.3 points in 109 career games for the Gorillas. She climbed into sixth place on Pitt State's career scoring list with her 13-point effort against Lincoln on Dec. 9. She needs 25 points to pass Kelly Krumsick (1980-83, 1584 pts.) for fifth place on the list.

Imhoff has contributed 11.0 points and an MIAA-leading 5.9 assists per game from the point guard position. She also has averaged 2.5 steals per game, ranking third in the MIAA in that category. Imhoff dished out 11 assists against Minnesota State (Nov. 11) and she scored a career-high 19 points against Regis (Nov. 24).

Imhoff averaged 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game and dished out 38 assists last season. The Smithville, Mo., native has played in 92 career games, averaging 3.0 points per game.

McPherson is averaging 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field (32-75). She is fourth in the MIAA in free throw percentage to date (.893, 25-28).

McPherson, a Carl Junction, Mo., native, shot 45.7 percent from the field last season, averaging 6.4 points per game. She averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds  while making her first two starts of the season Dec. 7-9.

She has averaged 5.3 points in 67 career games for the Gorillas.

Lopez is averaging 10.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. She has knocked down 20 of 54 3-point field goal attempts early in the season, converting 37.0 percent of her long-range shots.

Lopez contributed 9.2 points per game while earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors in 2016-17. The Wichita native hit 69 3-pointers, shooting a team-leading 38.1 percent from long range (69-181). She ranked third in the MIAA in 3-point field goals.

Additionally, Pitt State has two players averaging between 6.3 and 8.3 points per game: junior forward Madison Northcutt (8.3 ppg) and sophomore forward Athena Alvarado (6.3 ppg).

Northcutt is contributing 8.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game thus far, ranking third in the MIAA in rebounding. She is shooting 46.5 percent from the field and she leads the squad with 31 offensive rebounds (3.1 pg).

Northcutt averaged 11.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game a year ago. The Wichita, Kan., native shot a team-best 54.9 percent from the field, making 129 of 235 shots from the floor.

Northcutt ranked fifth in the MIAA in rebounding while earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors. She has averaged 7.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 72 career games for the Gorillas.

Alvarado is scoring 6.3 points and grabbing 3.7 rebounds per game on the season. She also has blocked 17 shots, ranking fifth in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.5 bpg).

Alvarado, a Wichita, Kan., native, shot 57.9 percent from the field in her rookie campaign for the Gorillas, converting 81 of 140 shots and scoring 6.2 points per game. She also blocked a team-leading 29 shots on the year.

Redshirt freshman guard Maya Williams (4.3 ppg), sophomore guard Meghan Maher (3.9 ppg) and junior forward Elena Flott (3.6 ppg) all are averaging more than three points a game.

Recent Action: Pitt State 69, LU 47
Brenlee McPherson scored a game-high 18 points to lead Pitt State to a 69-47 win over Lincoln Saturday (Dec. 9) at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court.

The Gorillas outscored the Blue Tigers 18-5 in the first quarter and never looked back despite shooting just 35 percent from the field in the game (21-60).

Pitt State outscored LU, 22-10, at the free throw line as the Gorillas converted 22 of 27 charity shots in the contest.

McPherson made five of eight shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and added seven rebounds and four assists. Mikaela Burgess added 13 points and Paige Imhoff chipped in with 10 points and five assists. Athena Alvarado added nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Recent Action: Ark. Fort Smith 58, Pitt State 49
Pitt State shot just 27 percent from the field Monday (Dec. 18) in a 52-47 loss to  Arkansas Fort Smith.

The Lions capitalized on 15 offensive rebounds in the contest to score 16 second-chance points to help pull away in the fourth quarter from the Gorillas.

The two teams battled to a 41-41 tie after three quarters. UAFS led 48-45 with 3:40 to play, and the Lions outscored the Gorillas 20-7 down the stretch.

Shelby Lopez led all scorers with 16 points, while Brenlee McPherson also scored in double figures with 11 points for Pitt State. The Gorillas made just 17 of 62 shots in the contest, but Pitt State knocked down 10 3-point field goals  to stay in the contest.

The Lions got 14 points from Tayla Taylor and 12 points from Mariah Green.

Pitt State Probable Starters
   F    23    Brenlee McPherson, 5-11, Jr., Carl Junction, Mo.
    F    32    Madison Nortcutt, 5-11, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
    G    11    Shelby Lopez, 6-0, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
    G    14    Paige Imhoff, 5-10, Sr., Smithville, Mo.  
    G    15    Mikaela Burgess, 5-7, Sr., Webb City, Mo.

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