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PSU Aims for 4th Straight Win - KOAM TV 7

PSU Aims for 4th Straight Win

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RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men's basketball team will hit the road for a pair of games this week against MIAA rivals University of Central Oklahoma Thursday (Jan. 25) and Northeastern State University Saturday (Jan. 27).

The Gorillas and Bronchos will meet at 7:30 p.m. (CST) Thursday, while Pitt State and Northeastern State will battle in matinee action Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

The Records
The Gorillas enter Thursday's action with a 12-7 overall record and a 5-5 mark in MIAA play. Pitt State is tied for seventh place in the MIAA standings.

Pitt State has won three straight games, including a pair of home victories last week over Emporia State University (87-67) on Jan. 17 and against Washburn University (76-74) last Saturday (Jan. 20).

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 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 Tampa, 86-78, on Nov. 24 before falling to Eckerd, 114-105, the next night.

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

The Gorillas started a 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, 82-77, before dropping an 84-58 decision to Northwest Missouri on Jan. 6. Pitt State also dropped a 75-70 decision to Lincoln on Jan. 11 before starting its current three-game win streak with an 85-65 road win over Lindenwood on Jan. 13.

UCO is 13-5 overall, 6-3 in MIAA play and tied for fourth in the conference standings. The Bronchos claimed an 87-60 home decison to Northeastern State in their most recent game last Saturday (Jan. 20).

NSU is 8-8 overall and 4-5 in the MIAA and heading into a Wednesday (Jan. 24) home game against Missouri Southern. The Riverhawks dropped an 87-60 road decision to UCO in their last outing Jan. 20.

Head Coach Kim Anderson
Pittsburg State's Kim Anderson is in his first season leading the Gorillas. He has a 12-7 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 313-169 (.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 UCO will meet for the 33rd time Thursday. The Bronchos hold a 18-14 advantage in the series.  UCO is 11-1 against the Gorillas in games played at Edmond, Okla.

Saturday's action will be the 73rd all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the RiverHawks. Pitt State holds a 50-22  advantage in the series including a 16-13 edge in games played at Tahlequah, Okla.

All-Time Victories
Pitt State has compiled a 1417-1172 (.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 86.4 points per game and shooting 49.2 percent from the field. The Gorillas lead the MIAA in scoring.

Pitt State has five players averaging in double figures on the season: senior guard/forward Xavier Adams (18.1 ppg), junior guard Donovan Franklin (15.7 ppg), junior guard Grant Lozoya (13.2 ppg), junior guard Jabari Antwine (10.6 ppg) and junior forward Demetrius Levarity (10.0 ppg).

Adams is averaging 18.1 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game. He also is shooting 53.2 percent from the floor (115-216). Adams (6-6, 215) ranks fourth in the MIAA in scoring, seventh in the league in rebounding and fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.532).

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 six double doubles on the season, most recently with 24 points and 13 rebounds against Lincoln on Jan. 11.

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 10th in the MIAA in scoring, has missed the last four games with an ankle injury.

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 52 assists (3.1 apg). He ranks 14th in the MIAA in assists and 13th in the conference in steals (1.2 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.

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. He also scored 18 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left against Washburn on Jan. 20.

For the season, the Chicago native is averaging 10.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7  steals in 15 games played. He ranks eighth in the MIAA in assists and fifth in the conference in steals (1.8 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.

Levarity is contributing 10.0 points and 5.6 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 scored a season-high 19 points in a road game against FHSU on Dec. 2. He has made 21 of 43 3-point field goals on the season (.488).
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.

The Gorillas have four additional players scoring between 4.7 and 8.8 points a game:  senior guard Jaxon Holden (8.8 ppg), junior center Deitrich Cole, Jr. (6.5 ppg), sophomore guard Brandon Clifford (4.8 ppg)  and junior guard Dakota Jones (4.7 ppg).

Holden is contributing 8.8 points per game and shooting 55.4 percent from the field (41-74). He has knocked down 24 of 53 3-point field goal attempts (.453) in 14 games played.

Holden (6-1, 180) scored a season-high 18 points against UAFS on Nov. 18. He missed five games due to illness, but returned to the lineup on Jan. 17 vs. ESU.

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.

Cole is shooting 65.6 percent from the floor (42-64) and averaging 4.1 rebounds in 15 games played. He scored a season-high 15 points vs. ESU (Jan. 17) and he contributed eight points and eight rebounds vs. WU last Saturday (Jan. 20).

Cole (6-10, 240), 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.

Clifford has averaged 4.8 points in 11 games played. The Paragould, Ark., native scored a season-high 18 points against CCCB on Dec. 30.  He has converted 13 of 26 (.500) 3-pointers on the year.

Jones, a Warrensburg, Mo., native, is contributing 4.7 points per game on the year. He has started the last seven games, averaging 8.3 points per game in those contests.

Jones has scored 746 points in 88 career games for the Gorillas (8.5 ppg).

Pitt State Probable Starters
    F    21    Xavier Adams, 6-6, 215, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas
    C    4    Deitrich Cole, Jr., 6-10, 240, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
    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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