Gorillas prep for first road game

Pitt State will face Lindenwood Wednesday
Gorillas prep for first road game

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

The Pittsburg State University women’s basketball team will travel to St. Charles, Mo., for its first road game of the season Wednesday (Nov. 13) against former MIAA rival Lindenwood University, before returning to the friendly confines of John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court for a match-up against Central Christian College Saturday (Nov. 16).

The Gorillas and Lions will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. (CST) at Robert F. Hyland Arena Wednesday. Pitt State will entertain the Tigers at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Records
Pitt State is 1-1 on the young season. The Gorillas split a pair of games in the MIAA/GAC Conference Challenge in Pittsburg last weekend. Pitt State pulled away for a 96-78 season-opening win over Oklahoma Baptist University last Friday (Nov. 8). The Gorillas droped a hard fought 84-83 decision to No. 20 ranked Southwestern Oklahoma State University the next night.

Wednesday’s action will be the regular season debut for Lindenwood. The Lions dropped a pair of exhibition game decisions to NCAA Division I foes in the preseason, losing 89-61 to Illinois State University on Oct. 30 and 88-66 to Eastern Illinois University on Oct. 30.

Central Christian is 1-3 on the season. The Tigers dropped a 76-65 road decision to McPherson College in their most recent action on Nov. 6.

Head Coach Amanda Davied
Amanda Davied
is in her second year as head coach at Pittsburg State after being hired to the position on May 21, 2018.

She has a 22-10 (.688) record leading her alma mater.

Davied guided her alma mater to a berth in the 2018-19 NCAA Division II National Tournament in her debut season, becoming the first Pitt State head coach in program history to enjoy a 20-win season in year one of their tenure.

Davied, who served the previous 14 seasons as the assistant coach for her alma mater, replaced her former mentor, Lane Lord, who accepted the head coach position at NCAA Division I member University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

As the Gorillas top assistant the previous 14 years, Davied served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and was highly involved in all aspects of the administration of the women’s basketball program.

During her tenure on the Pitt State staff (2004-present), the Gorillas have compiled a 305-170 overall record (.642), capturing an MIAA regular season title in 2017 and making six trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019) including a pair of Elite Eight appearances (2012, 2016).

Davied began her coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Gorilla women’s basketball program in the 2003-04 season, after completing a decorated playing career for Pitt State the previous season. She was hired as a full-time assistant in July 2004 by former head coach Steve High and remained to serve as the top assistant on Lord’s staff when he took over the program in April 2007.

Series History
Wednesday’s action will be13th all-time meeting between Pitt State and LWU. The Gorillas hold a 9-3 advantage in the series, but the Lions won the last meeting, 54-50, on Mar. 8, 2019, in the MIAA Postseason Tournament last year.

On Saturday, Pitt State and Central Christian College will meet for the first time in program history.

Last Week’s Action
Athena Alavarado and Tristan Gegg combined for 59 points as Pitt State posted a 96-78 season opening victory over Oklahoma Baptist on Nov. 8.

Alvarado posted career highs with 31 points and 20 rebounds, while Gegg added a career-high 28 points to spark the Gorillas in front of a energetic crowd of 2,818 “Kids Day” fans.

Pitt State trailed by as many as eight points, 23-15, with 2:40 to play in the first quarter, but the Gorillas ended the period on an 8-0 run to knot the score, 23-23. Pitt State again trailed by 10, 57-47, with 6:56 remaining in the third quarter, but the Gorillas stormed back by outscoring OBU 23-10 to take a 70-67 advantage to the fourth period. The Bison never got any closer than three points the rest of the way.

Alvarado made 14 of 22 shots from the floor and grabbed nine offensive rebounds among her 20 total boards. She also blocked four shots in the contest. Gegg was equally efficient, converting 10 of 13 shots from the field including four of five 3-pointers. Kaylee DaMitz added 12 points for the Gorillas, while Maya Williams added 10 points and six rebounds.

Pitt State dropped an 84-83 decision to No. 20 Southwestern Oklahoma in a wild final game of the MIAA/GAC Conference Challenge Saturday (Nov. 9).

Pitt State grabbed an 83-82 lead on Athena Alvarado’s inside basket with 4.4 seconds to play in the game. Alvarado scored after Tristan Gegg attacked the basket, drew two SWOSU defenders and dished the ball to the Gorillas power forward.

The Lady Bulldogs quickly inbounded the ball and Pitt State’s Meghan Maher was whistled for a foul against SWOSU’s Makyra Tremble as she attempted to drive the ball up the floor with 3.1 seconds remaining. Tremble made both foul shots for the game’s final margin. Following a timeout, Pitt State’s Kaylee DaMitz got off a guarded jumper that rimmed off just ahead of the final buzzer.

Gegg scored a game-high 28 points for the Gorillas, while Maya Williams added 19 points and seven rebounds. Alvarado chipped in with eight points and a team-leading 11 rebounds after battling foul trouble throughout the game.

Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State has four players averaging in double figures on the young season: sophomore guard Tristan Gegg (28.0 ppg), senior forward Athena Alvarado (19.5 ppg), junior guard Maya Williams (14.5 ppg) and sophomore guard Kaylee DaMitz (11.0 ppg).

Gegg scored a career high 28 points on back-to-back nights against OBU and SWOSU last week. The Altamont, Kan., native is shooting 58.8 percent from the field on the season (20-34) including 50.0 percent from 3-point range (8-16). She also is averaging 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game to date.

Gegg, an Altamont, Kan., native, averaged 8.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. She knocked down 40 of 107 3-point field goal attempts on the year (.374).

Alvarado was named the MIAA Player of the Week Tuesday (Nov. 12) for her efforts in the Gorillas’ season opening action.

She averaged 19.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game in Pitt State’s season-opening action Nov. 8-9.

The Wichita, Kan., native enjoyed a monster season debut with career highs of 31 points and 20 rebounds in the Gorillas’ 96-78 win over Okla. Baptist.

She battled foul trouble in the Gorillas’ last second loss to No. 20 SWOSU. Alvarado scored the go-ahead basket with 4.4 seconds remaining in the contest only to see the Lady Bulldogs win the game on a pair of free throws two seconds later. She finished the game with eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.

For the week, Alvarado shot 63.0 percent from the field (17-27) and 80.0 percent from the free throw line (8-10).

She contributed 10.6 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game last year, earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors. Alvarado shot a team-leading 56.3 percent from the field a year ago, making 129 of 229 attempts. Alvarado also paced the team with 60 offensive rebounds and she blocked 40 shots on the season.

Alvarado has scored 730 points (8.0 ppg), grabbed 409 rebounds (4.5 rpg) and posted 108 blocked shots (1.2 bpg) in 91 career games for the Gorillas. Her 108 blocked shots rank fourth in school history.

Williams is averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game to date. The Carthage, Mo., native is shooting 63.2 percent from the field (12-19).

Williams averaged a team-leading 11.9 points as well as 6.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2018-19. She earned third-team All-MIAA honors last year.

Williams shot 43.0 percent from the field (119-277) and made 21 3-point field goals on the year. She also shot 76.0 percent from the free throw line, making 98 of 129 charity shots.

Williams has scored 467 points (7.9 ppg) and grabbed 229 rebounds (3.9 rpg) in 59 career games for the Gorillas.

DaMitz is contributing 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. The Skyline, Mo., native is shooting 75.0 percent (3-4) from 3-point range.

DaMitz arnered MIAA Freshman of the Year honors in her rookie campaign for the Gorillas last year. The Skyline, Mo., native averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while also earning honorable mention All-MIAA recognition. She ranked second in the MIAA in assists last year.

Maher is averaging 4.0 points per game. The Raymore, Mo., native averaged 5.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Gorillas last year. She converted 42 of 101 3-point field goals (.416) on the season.

Maher has scored 472 points (5.6 ppg) and grabbed 112 rebounds (1.3 rpg) in 85 career games.

Among Pitt State’s reserves, sophomore guard Sydnee Crain is averaging 4.5 points per game to date, while senior forward Marina Bauza Rubert is scoring 4.0 points per game. Junior center Julia Johnson also is chipping in with 1.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Crain, from Girard, Kan., contributed 3.4 points and 1.4 assists per game in 12.9 minutes of action in 2018-19.

Pitt State Probable Starters

F 15 Athena Alvarado, 6-0, Sr., Wichita, Kan.
F 35 Meghan Maher, 6-0, Sr., Raymore, Mo.
G 1 Maya Williams, 5-9, Jr., Carthage, Mo.
G 2 Kaylee DaMitz, 5-4, So., Preston, Mo.
G 10 Tristan Gegg, 5-7, So., Altamont, Kan.

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