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Pitt State Preps for #6 Northwest - KOAM TV 7

Pitt State Preps for #6 Northwest

Updated:

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men's basketball team will start a three-game road swing Thursday (Feb. 15) when the Gorillas travel to Maryville, Mo., to face MIAA leader Northwest Missouri State University. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. (CST) at Bearcat Arena. Pitt State will close out the week's action with a road match-up against Missouri Western State University Saturday (Feb. 17) at 4 p.m.

The Records
The Gorillas enter Thursday's action with a 14-10 overall record and a 7-8 mark in MIAA play. Pitt State currently sits in a four-way tie for sixth place in the MIAA standings (with Fort Hays State, Lincoln and Nebraska-Kearney).

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 posted a 5-2 record before opening their conference slate with a pair of tightly-contested road losses to Nebraska-Kearney (101-89 in OT) on Nov. 30 and 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 have posted a 7-6 record in 13 games since returning to MIAA play on Jan. 3. Pitt State downed Southwest Baptist, 84-78, in its last outing Feb. 10.

NWMSU is 21-2 overall, 13-2 in MIAA play and alone atop the conference standings. The Bearcats, winners of six straight games, gained sole possession of first place in the MIAA standings with a 58-50 road win over Washburn last Saturday (Feb. 10).

MWSU is 5-17 overall, 3-12 in MIAA play and ranked 14th in conference standings.  The Griffons will seek consecutive wins for the first time this season with they entertain MSSU Wednesday (Feb. 14).

Head Coach Kim Anderson
Pittsburg State's Kim Anderson is in his first season leading the Gorillas. He has a 14-10 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 315-172 (.647) 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 NWMSU will meet for the 130th time Thursday. The Gorillas hold a 68-61 advantage in the series, but the Bearcats have won 10 of the last 13 battles including an 84-58 win in Pittsburg on Jan 6. NWMSU is 41-19 against the Gorillas in games played at Maryville, Mo.

Pitt State and MWSU will meet for the 76th time Saturday. The Griffons hold a slight 38-37 advantage in the series, but the Gorillas have won four straight match-ups in the series. Pitt State downed MWSU, 82-77, in Pittsburg on Jan. 3.

All-Time Victories
Pitt State has compiled a 1421-1174 (.547) all-time record in 109 seasons of intercollegiate play. The Gorillas rank 15th on the NCAA Division II wins list (1420).

Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State enters Thursday's match-up averaging 86.2 points per game and shooting 49.7 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 (17.8 ppg), junior guard Donovan Franklin (15.8 ppg), junior guard Grant Lozoya (13.9 ppg), junior guard Jabari Antwine (10.4 ppg) and junior forward Demetrius Levarity (10.3 ppg).

Adams is averaging 17.8 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game. He also is shooting 53.4 percent from the floor (143-268). Adams (6-6, 215) ranks fourth in the MIAA in scoring, eighth in the league in rebounding and fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.536).

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 48.7 percent from the field (94-193) and 87.0 percent from the free throw line (100-115). Franklin ranks 10th in the MIAA in scoring and seventh in the conference in free throw percentage (.868). He scored a game-high 28 points in the Gorillas road win against NSU on Jan. 27.

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 24 points against Central Oklahoma on Jan. 25 and he has dished out 70 assists (3.1 apg). He ranks 14th in the MIAA in assists and 13th in the conference in steals (1.3 spg).

Lozoya averaged 22.5 points per game in the Gorillas two games last week. He scored 12 of his game-high 23 points against SBU last Saturday (Feb. 10) in the game's final 2:05 as Pitt State held off the Bearcats late.

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 from 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 10.4 points, 3.0  rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5  steals in 20 games played. He ranks ninth in the MIAA in assists and seventh in the conference in steals (1.5 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 10.3 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 scored a season-high 19 points in a road game against FHSU on Dec. 2. He has made 27 of 60 3-point field goals on the season (.451).

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 4.8 and 7.8 points a game:  senior guard Jaxon Holden (7.8 ppg), junior center Deitrich Cole, Jr. (6.0 ppg), junior guard Dakota Jones (5.5 ppg) and sophomore guard Brandon Clifford (4.8 ppg).  

Holden is contributing 7.8 points per game and shooting 55.0  percent from the field (44-80). He has knocked down 26 of 58 3-point field goal attempts (.448) in 17 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. He missed 14 games due to injury. The Flower Mound, Texas, native has started 37 of 53 career games for the Gorillas, after transferring to Pitt State following his freshman season from Stephen F. Austin University.

Cole is shooting 65.4 percent from the floor (51-78) and averaging 3.9 rebounds in 20 games played. He scored a season-high 15 points vs. ESU (Jan. 17) and he contributed eight points and eight rebounds vs. WU (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.

Jones, a Warrensburg, Mo., native, is contributing 5.5 points per game on the year. He has started the last 12 games, averaging 8.2 points per game in those contests. Jones has scored 789 points in 93 career games for the Gorillas (8.5 ppg).

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.

Pitt State Probable Starters
    F    5    Demetrius Levarity, 6-7, 210, Jr., New Orleans, La.
    F    21    Xavier Adams, 6-6, 215, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas
    G    2    Grant Lozoya, 6-3, 180, Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif.
    G    3    Donovan Franklin, 6-5, 205, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.
    G    32    Dakota Jones, 5-11, 175, Sr., Warrensburg, Mo.

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