Gorillas Prep for #4 UCM - KOAM TV 7

Gorillas Prep for #4 UCM



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University women's basketball team will travel to Warrensburg, Mo., Wednesday (Feb. 7) for a key MIAA match-up against No. 4 ranked University of Central Missouri before returning home this weekend for a Saturday (Feb. 10) battle against Southwest Baptist University.

The Gorillas and Jennies will meet at 5:30 p.m. (CST) Wednesday at UCM's Multi-Purpose Building. Pitt State and SBU will take the court at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court.

The Records
The Gorillas enter Wednesday's action with a 17-5 overall record and a 10-3 mark in MIAA play.  Pitt State has won four straight games to climb into second place in the conference standings.

The Gorillas defeated Missouri Southern, 86-66, in their only only action of the week last Saturday (Feb. 3).

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 won eight of its last nine games dating back to a 79-56 home win over Missouri Western on Jan. 3.

UCM is 19-1 overall, 13-0 in the MIAA play and ranked No. 4 in the most recent WBCA/Division II Top 25 poll. The Jennies have won 16 straight games to sit in first place in the MIAA standings. UCM posted a 69-53 victory over Northeastern State in its last contest Feb. 3.

SBU is 14-8 overall, 6-7 in MIAA play and tied for eighth place in the conference standings. The Bearcats have won two straight contests heading into a Wednesday (Feb. 7) road game against MSSU.

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 225-100 (.692) 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 20th meeting vs. UCM. He has an 11-8 record agaisnt the Jennies.

Saturday's action will be Lord's 18th meeting vs. SBU. He has a 13-4 record against the Lady Bearcats.

Series History
Wednesday's action will be the 55th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Jennies. UCM holds a 30-24 advantage in the series, including a  69-63 decision in the most recent match-up on Feb. 25, 2017, at Warrensburg,Mo.

The Gorillas and Lady Bearcats will meet for the 59th time Saturday. Pitt State holds a 34-24 advantage in the series, including four straight wins over the course of the past three seasons.

PSU at Home
The Gorillas are 54-8 (.870) at home since the start of the 2013-14 season, including a 7-1 mark at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court this year.

Pitt State has compiled a 111-29 (.792) home mark during the past 11 seasons under head coach Lane Lord.

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter Saturday's action averaging 74.4 points per game and shooting 43.4 percent from the field.

Pitt State has three players scoring in double figures on the season: senior guard Mikaela Burgess (15.7 ppg), junior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (11.2 ppg) and senior guard Paige Imhoff (10.2 ppg).

Burgess is averaging a team-leading 15.7 points per game. She also is contributing 3.6 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 1,734 career points and 305 career 3-point field goals.Burgess has averaged 14.4 points in 120 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.

Lopez is averaging 11.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She has knocked down 43 of 113 3-point field goal attempts on the season, converting 38.1 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.

Lopez has scored 674 points (7.7 ppg) and made 146 3-point field goals in 88 career games for the Gorillas.

Imhoff has contributed 10.2 points and an MIAA-leading 6.0 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 101 career games, averaging 3.5 points per game.

Additionally, Pitt State has three players averaging between 7.1 and 9.8 points per game:  junior guard Brenlee McPherson (9.8 ppg), junior forward Madison Northcutt (8.8 ppg) and sophomore forward Athena Alvarado (7.1 ppg).

McPherson is averaging 9.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field (74-161). She also leads the team in free throw percentage (.864, 38-44).

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 5.9 points in 80 career games for the Gorillas.

Northcutt is contributing 8.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, ranking third in the MIAA in rebounding. She is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and she leads the squad with 54 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 7.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in 87 career games for the Gorillas.

Alvarado is scoring 7.1 points and grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game on the season. She also has blocked 25 shots, ranking seventh in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.1 bpg). She scored a career-high 20 points against Central Oklahoma (Jan. 25).

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 (4.0 ppg), redshirt freshman guard Maya Williams (3.5 ppg) and junior forward Elena Flott (3.0 ppg) all are averaging at least 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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