Gorilla Women Overcome Poor Shooting in Win Over Lindenwood

Press Release PSU:
Despite shooting only 25 percent (9-of-37) from the floor and 8 percent (1-of-12) from long range in the first half, the Gorilla Women’sBasketball team was able to overcome its shooting woes for a 78-66 win over Lindenwood on Saturday (Jan. 3). The Gorillas improve to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in league play, while Lindenwood falls to 7-4 and 1-4 in the MIAA.

Lizzy Jeronimus and Mikaela Burgess shared the team lead with 21 points a piece. Jeronimus scored 16 of her points in the second half, while Burgess scored 15 of hers in the second frame. Cathy Brugman scored 14, while Kylie Gafford added 13. Jeronimus recorded her second double-double of the season as she added 10 rebounds. Burgess went 3-for-4 from three-point range, hitting all three within a three minute span late in the second half. She and Gafford each had two steals in the game. Brugman blocked three shots.

The two teams volleyed in the early minutes of the game. Pitt State built a four point lead with 9:50 to go, but that was eliminated by a 14-0 Lions run that gave the visiting team a 27-17 lead. Pitt State missed 10 shots during the nearly six minute run. A jumper by Burgess and two Gafford free throws stopped the run and cut the Lindenwood lead to single digits.

The Gorillas continued to battle and mustered a 6-0 run, capped by a Brugman jumper, that cut the Lions lead to two with 1:38 to go. Lindenwood’s Vanessa Zailo answered 15 seconds later with a layup and neither team would score in the last 1:20 of the half, sending the Gorillas to the lockerroom down 32-28.

The second half started with Lindenwood controlling the game again. A three by Brugman with 16:13 to go lifted the Gorilla’s energy and cut Lindenwood’s lead to just three. Jeronimus made two free throws to take the Lion lead to one, 44-43.

Lindenwood took the lead back up two three points, but Jeornimus completed an and-one play to tie the game at 44-44. The Gorillas still weren’t able to establish a good tempo and the Lions kept pushing, again stretching their lead to eight.

The visiting team led by six, 55-49 with 8:20 to go. That is when Burgess and Gafford took over. Burgess nailed her first three of the game, then after two Lion free throws, hit another to bring the Gorillas within two. Burgess got a steal at the other end and fed Gafford down low to tie the game at 57-57. Zailo answered for Lindenwood, but Gafford added another layup to tie once again and completed the three-point play with a free throw to give the Gorillas thier first lead of the second half.

A Zailo layup and a Kassidy Gengenbacher free throw put Lindenwood up by two, but Burgess again answered with a big three to give her team the lead. Gengenbacher and Brugman traded threes, allowing the Gorillas to hold on to the lead with four minutes left. Neither team would score again until Jeronimus completed another three-point play with 2:28 to go. Pitt State’s defense would only allow one more Lindenwood point through the end of the game, resulting in the 78-66 win.

Gengenbacher finished with 19 for Lindenwood. Zailo added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Jenny Rocha scored 12 points with seven assists.

The Gorillas shot 50 percent (14-of-28, 5-of-10 from three) in the second half. The team committed only six turnovers in the game.

Pitt State will return to the court on Monday for a 5:30 p.m. tip against Lincoln in John Lance Arena.