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PSU Looks to Bounce Back @ Lincoln - KOAM TV 7

PSU Looks to Bounce Back @ Lincoln

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RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men's basketball team wrapped up a six-game homestand and the Gorillas will face a pair of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association road challenges this week.

The Gorillas will travel to Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday (Jan. 11) for a match-up against Lincoln University at 7:30 p.m. (CST) and then journey on to St. Charles, Mo., for a Saturday (Jan. 13) battle against Lindenwood University at 3:30 p.m.

The Records
The Gorillas enter Thursday's action with a 9-6 overall record and a 2-4 mark in MIAA play.

Pitt State had a season-best four-game winning streak snapped in an 84-58 home loss to Northwest Missouri State University last Saturday (Jan. 6).
The Gorillas started their four-game streak with a 77-66 home win over Lincoln on Dec. 9. Pitt State added a record-breaking 120-31 victory over Baptist Bible College prior to Christmas Break on Dec. 16 as well as a 112-53 win over Central Christian College of the Bible on Dec. 30. The Gorillas returned to MIAA play Jan. 3, knocking off Missouri Western State University, 82-77.

Pitt State opened the 2017-18 campaign with a pair of wins over Minnesota State (90-80) and St. Cloud State (72-62) in the MIAA/NSIC Conference Challenge Nov. 10-11 in Pittsburg.

The Gorillas added a 90-50 home victory over NAIA member Haskell on Nov. 15, before dropping a 104-95 road decision to Arkansas Fort Smith on Nov. 18. Pitt State rebounded with a decisive 88-69 win over Newman University on Nov. 21 in the MIAA Challenge at Kansas City, Mo.

The Gorillas split a pair of games at the Eckerd College Thanksgiving Classic at St. Petersburg, Fla., Nov. 24-25, defeating the University of Tampa, 86-78, on Nov. 24 before falling to Eckerd College, 114-105, the next night.

Pitt State opened their conference slate with a pair of tightly-contested road losses, falling in overtime to the University of Nebraska-Kearney (101-89) on Nov. 30 and by three points to Fort Hays State University (77-74) on Dec. 2. The Gorillas also dropped a 90-85 home decision to Lindenwood on Dec. 7.

Lincoln is 7-8 overall and 1-5 in MIAA play. The Blue Tigers claimed a 77-66 win over Northeastern State Univesity in their most recent action Jan. 6.

Lindenwood is 11-4 overall and 3-3 in the MIAA heading into a Thursday (Jan. 11) home game against Missouri Southern State University. The Lions dropped  a  98-87 decision to the University of Central Oklahoma in their last outing Jan. 6.

Head Coach Kim Anderson
Pittsburg State's Kim Anderson is in his first season leading the Gorillas. He has a 9-6 record. Anderson (Missouri, '79) became the Gorillas' 15th all-time head coach on Apr. 10, 2017, after coaching the past three seasons at his alma mater – the University of Missouri.

He has a 310-168 (.649) record in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship as head coach at the University of Central Missouri as well as two more Division II Final Four appearances (2007, 2009) while compiling a 274-95 (.743) record at the school.

Anderson led UCM to seven trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and seven 20-win seasons.  In his final season with the Mules he guided the squad to a 30-5 overall record and the D2 national title.

His Mules teams captured six MIAA regular season titles (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and four MIAA Tournament titles (2005, 2007, 2009, 2013).

He was selected the MIAA Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2010, and the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2014.

Series History
Pitt State and Lincoln will meet for the 38th time Thursday. The Gorillas hold a 31-6 advantage in the series. Pitt State had won 28 straight contests against LU before the Blue Tigers swept a pair of match-ups a year ago.

The Gorillas claimed a 77-66 home win over LU on Dec. 9, 2017. Donovan Franklin led four Pitt State players in double figures with 22 points in the contest, while Xavier Adams posted a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Saturday's action will be the 11th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Lions. Lindenwood holds a slight 6-4 advantage in the series, including a 90-85 decision in the first meeting of the season on Dec. 7 in Pittsburg.

Franklin scored a team-leading 24 points for the Gorillas, while Adams posted a double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

All-Time Victories
Pitt State has compiled a 1414-1171 (.547) all-time record in 109 seasons of intercollegiate play. The Gorillas rank 15th on the NCAA Division II wins list (1412).

Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State enters Thursday's match-up averaging 88.2 points per game and shooting 48.5 percent from the field. The Gorillas lead the MIAA in scoring.
Pitt State has three players averaging in double figures on the season: senior guard/forward Xavier Adams (17.9 ppg), junior guard Donovan Franklin (15.7 ppg) and junior guard Grant Lozoya (13.1 ppg).

Adams is averaging 17.9 points and a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game. He also is shooting 51.4 percent from the floor (89-173). Adams (6-6, 215) ranks fourth in the MIAA in scoring, sixth in the league in rebounding and eighth in the conference in field goal percentage (.514).

He posted a double-double with team highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas victory against SCSU on Nov. 11; and he scored a season-high 30 points vs. Eckerd on Nov. 25. Adams has posted five double doubles on the season, most recently with 26 points and 10 rebounds against Missouri Western on Jan. 3.

Adams joined the Gorillas from the University of New Mexico. He started 14 of 77 career games in three seasons for the Lobos. The Flower Mound, Texas, native averaged 4.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2015-16. He contributed 3.9 points per game as a junior in 2016-17 before suffering a season-ending injury in early January.

Franklin (6-5, 205) scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in his Pitt State debut against MSU on Nov. 10. The St. Louis, Mo., native is shooting 47.9 percent from the field (70-146) and 87.4 percent from the free throw line (76-87). Franklin, who ranks 11th in the MIAA in scoring, also averages 4.7 rebounds per game.

Franklin joined the Gorillas from Indiana State University. He averaged 4.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 26 games for the Sycamores in 2016-17. He averaged 14.9 points a game as a freshman at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla.

Lozoya scored a season-high 22 points against Tampa on Nov. 24 and he has dished out a team-leading 46 assists (3.1 apg). He ranks 14th in the MIAA in assists and 13th in the conference in steals. (1.3 spg).

Lozoya (6-3, 180) came to Pitt State after three years at Stetson University. The Agoura Hills, Calif., native averaged 9.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a freshman for the Hatters in 2014-15, earning All-Freshman honors form the Atlantic Sun Conference. He contributed 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds as a sophomore in 2015-16, before exercising a medical redshirt in 2016-17.

The Gorillas have six additional players scoring between 3.9 and 9.5 points a game: junior forward Demetrius Levarity (9.5 ppg), junior guard Jabari Antwine (9.1 ppg), senior guard Jaxon Holden (8.8 ppg), sophomore guard Brandon Clifford (5.6 ppg), junior center Deitrich Cole, Jr. (5.3 ppg) and junior guard Dakota Jones (3.9 ppg).

Levarity is contributing 9.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He did not play in Pitt State's opener against MSU and he missed games on Dec. 30 and Jan. 3 due to illness. The New Orleans, La., native has blocked a team-leading nine shots (0.8 bpg).

Levarity (6-7, 210) transferred to Pitt State from Sam Houston State University, where he redshirted in 2016-17. He contributed 15.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Southeastern Illinois College.

Antwine posted the first triple double in Pitt State program history on Dec. 30 when he scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists against CCCB. For the season, the Chicago native is averaging 9.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9  steals. He ranks 13th in the MIAA in assists and third in the conference in steals (1.9 spg).

Antwine (6-1, 155) averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.9 steals as a sophomore at Moberly Area Community College in 2016-17, earning second-team All-Region and All-Conference honors.

Holden is contributing 8.8 points per game and shooting 57.1 percent from the field (36-63). He has knocked down 20 of 45 3-point field goal attempts (.444).

Holden (6-1, 180) scored a season-high 18 points against UAFS on Nov. 18. He has missed the last two games due to illness.

Holden started 13 games for the Gorillas a year ago, averaging 10.5 points per game. Holden missed 14 games due to injury. The Flower Mound, Texas, native has started 37 of 48 career games for the Gorillas, after transferring to Pitt State following his freshman season from Stephen F. Austin University.

Clifford has averaged 5.6 points in eight games played. The Paragould, Ark., native scored a season-high 18 points against CCCB on Dec. 30.  He has converted 11 of 21 (.524) 3-pointers on the year.

Cole is shooting 62.5 percent from the floor (25-40) and averaging 3.7 rebounds in eleven games played.

Cole (6-10, 240), also a Detroit native, averaged 2.5 points and shot 55 percent from the field at Moberly Area Community College last season. He also averaged 2.4 rebounds and recorded 11 blocked shots on the year.

Jones, a Warrensburg, Mo., native, is contributing 3.9 points per game on the year. He has started the last three games, averaging 9.0 points per game in those contests.

Jones has scored 715 points in 84 career games for the Gorillas (8.5 ppg).

Pitt State Probable Starters
    F    3    Donovan Franklin, 6-5, 205, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.
    F    21    Xavier Adams, 6-6, 215, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas
    G    0    Jabari Antwine, 6-1, 155, Jr., Chicago, Ill.
    G    2    Grant Lozoya, 6-3, 180, Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif.
    G    32    Dakota Jones, 5-11, 175, Jr., Warrensburg, Mo.

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