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PSU Preps for Rivalry Game vs. Emporia - KOAM TV 7

PSU Preps for Rivalry Game vs. Emporia

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RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University women's basketball team will return to the friendly confines of John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court to host a pair of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association games this week. The Gorillas will entertain Emporia State University Wednesday (Jan. 17) at 5:30 p.m. (CST) and Pitt State will play host to Washburn University Saturday (Jan. 20) at 1:30 p.m.

The Records
The Gorillas enter Wednesday's action with a 13-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in MIAA play.  Pitt State currently sits in a three-way tie for third place in the MIAA standings (with UCO and MSSU).

The Gorillas have won four straight games, including a pair of road wins last week against Lincoln (69-61) Thursday (Jan. 11) and Lindenwood (80-68) last Saturday (Jan. 13).

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 opened the season with six straight wins before the defending MIAA regular season champions dropped a hard fought 97-97 overtime decision to Nebraska-Kearney in the MIAA opener on Nov. 30.

Pitt State has posted six straight conference victories after opening MIAA play with back-to-back losses to UNK and Fort Hays State.

The Gorillas last loss was an 82-75 non-conference overtime decision at Emporia State on Dec. 30.

ESU is 11-3 overall, 6-1 in MIAA play and second in the conference standings to date. The Lady Hornets have won four straight contests, including an 88-66 home win over Northeastern State the last time out on Jan. 13.

Washburn is 12-4 overall and 4-3 in the MIAA entering a Wednesday (Jan. 17) road contest against Missouri Southern. The Ichabods dropped a hard-fought 62-60 decision to Central Oklahoma in their most recent action on Jan. 13.

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 221-99 (.691) 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 28th meeting vs. Emporia State. He has an 10-17 record against the Lady Hornets. Lord has an 8-11 all-time record against the Ichabods.

PSU at Home
The Gorillas are 52-7 (.881) at home since the start of the 2013-14 season, including a 5-0 mark at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court this year. Pitt State has compiled a 109-28 (.796) home mark during the past 11 seasons under head coach Lane Lord.

Series History
Wednesday's action will be the 89th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Lady Hornets. ESU holds a 59-29 advantage in the series including four straight wins over the course of the past two seasons. The Gorillas and Ichabods will meet for the 85th time Saturday with Washburn holding a 52-32 advantage in the series. The Gorillas knocked off the Ichabods, 81-54, at Topeka on Jan. 21, 2017.

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter Wednesday's action averaging 74.8 points per game and shooting 43.3 percent from the field.

Pitt State has four players scoring in double figures on the season: senior guard Mikaela Burgess (15.4 ppg) and junior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (10.7 ppg), senior guard Paige Imhoff (10.2 ppg) and junior guard Brenlee McPherson (10.1 ppg).

Burgess is averaging a team-leading 15.4 points per game. She also is contributing 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Burgess, who ranks seventh 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 1,649 career points and 288 career 3-point field goals.Burgess has averaged 14.3 points in 115 career games for the Gorillas. She climbed into fifth place on Pitt State's career scoring list with her 16-point effort against ESU on Dec. 30.

Lopez is averaging 10.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. She has knocked down 32 of 81 3-point field goal attempts on the season, converting 39.5 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.

Imhoff has contributed 10.2 points and an MIAA-leading 5.9  assists per game from the point guard position. She also has averaged 2.4 steals per game, ranking third in the MIAA in that category.

Imhoff posted her first career double double with 15 points and 11 assists against Lindenwood last Saturday (Jan. 13). She also 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 96 career games, averaging 3.1 points per game.

McPherson is averaging 10.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field (55-119). She also leads the team in free throw percentage (.868, 33-38).

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 5.6 points in 71 career games for the Gorillas.

Additionally, Pitt State has two players averaging between 6.9 and 8.7 points per game:  junior forward Madison Northcutt (8.9 ppg) and sophomore forward Athena Alvarado (6.6 ppg).

Northcutt is contributing 8.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game thus far, ranking third in the MIAA in rebounding. She is shooting 50.9 percent from the field and she leads the squad with 45 offensive rebounds (2.8 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 82 career games for the Gorillas.

Alvarado is scoring 6.9 points and grabbing 3.6  rebounds per game on the season. She also has blocked 20 shots, ranking eighth in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.2 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.

Sophomore guard Meghan Maher (4.3 ppg), redshirt freshman guard Maya Williams (3.9 ppg) and junior forward Elena Flott (3.5 ppg) all are averaging more than three points a game.

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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