Gorillas Hit the Road to Face #16 UCO - KOAM TV 7

Gorillas Hit the Road to Face #16 UCO



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University women's basketball team will hit the road for  a pair of MIAA road games this week. The Gorillas will travel to Edmond, Okla.  Thursday (Jan. 25) to battle University of Central Oklahoma at 5:30 p.m. (CST) and Pitt State will meet Northeastern State University Saturday (Jan. 27) at 12:30 p.m. at Tahlequah, Okla.

The Records
The Gorillas enter Thursday's action with a 14-5 overall record and a 7-3 mark in MIAA play.  Pitt State currently sits in a tie for fourth place in the MIAA standings (with MSSU).

The Gorillas split a pair of home games last week, falling 78-66 to Emporia State University on Jan. 17 before bouncing back with a 77-59 victory over Washburn University last Saturday (Jan. 20).

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.

UCO is 16-2 overall, 7-2 in MIAA play and ranked No. 16 in the most recent WBCA/NCAA Division II Top 25 poll. The Bronchos have won two straight contests, including an 81-55 home win over Northeastern State the last time out (Jan. 20).

NSU is 8-8 overall and 4-5 in the MIAA entering a Wednesday (Jan. 24) home contest against Missouri Southern. The RiverHawks dropped an 81-55 road decision to UCO in their most recent action on Jan. 20.

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 222-100 (.689) 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).

Thursday's action will be Lord's 16th meeting vs. UCO. He has an 11-4 record against the Broncos. Lord has a 9-2 all-time record against the RiverHawks.

Series History
Thursday's action will be the 30th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Lady Bronchos. Pitt State holds a 20-9 advantage in the series. The Gorillas knocked off the Bronchos, 75-51, in Searcy, Ark., on Mar. 10, 2017, in the first round of the NCAA-II National Tournament.

The Gorillas and RiverHawks will meet for the 29th time Saturday with Pitt State holding a 17-11 advantage in the series, including seven straight wins over the course of the past five seasons.

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter Thursday's action averaging 74.5 points per game and shooting 43.1 percent from the field.

Pitt State has four players scoring in double figures on the season: senior guard Mikaela Burgess (16.1 ppg), senior guard Paige Imhoff (10.6 ppg), junior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (10.5 ppg) and junior guard Brenlee McPherson (10.1 ppg).

Burgess is averaging a team-leading 16.1 points per game. She also is contributing 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Burgess, who ranks eighth 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 1,694 career points and 299 career 3-point field goals.Burgess has averaged 14.4 points in 117 career games for the Gorillas. She climbed into fourth place on Pitt State's career scoring list with her 28-point effort against Washburn on Jan. 20.

Imhoff has contributed 10.6 points and an MIAA-leading 5.7  assists per game from the point guard position. She also has averaged 2.3 steals per game, ranking second in the MIAA in that category.

Imhoff posted her first career double double with 15 points and 11 assists against Lindenwood on 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 98 career games, averaging 3.3 points per game.

Lopez is averaging 10.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. She has knocked down 35 of 94 3-point field goal attempts on the season, converting 37.2 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.

McPherson is averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field (64-139). She also leads the team in free throw percentage (.875, 35-40).

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 5.7 points in 73 career games for the Gorillas.

Additionally, Pitt State has two players averaging between 6.5 and 8.6 points per game:  junior forward Madison Northcutt (8.6 ppg) and sophomore forward Athena Alvarado (6.5 ppg).

Northcutt is contributing 8.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, ranking third in the MIAA in rebounding. She is shooting 52.2 percent from the field and she leads the squad with 47 offensive rebounds (2.6 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 6.9 rebounds in 84 career games for the Gorillas.

Alvarado is scoring 6.5 points and grabbing 3.4  rebounds per game on the season. She also has blocked 21 shots, ranking tenth in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.1 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 (3.5 ppg) and junior forward Elena Flott (3.3 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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