Gorillas roll by St. Mary in home opener; freshman Pyle scores team-high 19

Freshman Grace Pyle scores a team-high 19 pts in Pitt State's home opener Thursday.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – (WATCH) Pitt State tops St. Mary 99-57 in their home opener Thursday afternoon.

Ten players score 5+ points for the Gorillas – with freshman Grace Pyle scoring a team-high 19.

“It felt good to just watch the ball go through the net. It gave me a lot of confidence as a shooter,” Pyle says, “My teammates were picking me up. They never counted me out and they kept giving me the ball. I was just so appreciative of all the positivity they’ve given me this week. It felt good to step up and hit shots.”

“We’ve been excited about Grace since they day we recruited her and the day we signed her,” says Pitt State head coach Amanda Davied, “I think it was just a matter of time. Everybody on our team knows that Grace has done a great job in the preseason. She’s done a great job in our early practices. She’s in the gym all the time. She’s in the gym at 6 AM. That’s what you want to see. She’s a great leader.”

Sophomore Jenna Shipley also stepped up big for the Gorillas Thursday

Shipley flirted with a double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 9 rebounds, all on the offensive side.

“She was super aggressive offensively, which I love,” Davied says of Shipley, “She had three assists, so she shared the basketball after some of her offensive boards. Nine is an outstanding number for just offensive rebounds. Talk about having your teammates back. I think that’s outstanding for Jenna, and as you can see from all of her teammates, they’re so happy for her and that just tells you what kind of person she is.”

“Jenna is one of my favorite people in this world. She’s awesome,” says sophomore Jayme Jackson, who scored 15 points Thursday, “She works her butt off. Every practice she’s the hardest person to box out. We were just waiting for her to have a game like that. Nine offensive boards is insane. You don’t see that very often.”

RELEASE FROM PITT STATE ATHLETICS:

Energized by a raucous crowd for Dairy Queen Kid’s Day, the Pittsburg State University women’s basketball team rolled to a 99-57 victory over the University of Saint Mary in the Gorillas’ home opener Thursday (Nov. 18).

Freshman Grace Pyle led five Pitt State players in double figure scoring with 19 points. Sophomore Jayme Jackson added 15 points and four assists and sophomore Jenna Shipley chipped in with 12 points, nine rebounds – all on the offensive glass in front of 2,558 fans at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court. More than 2,100 local and area elementary students participated in the annual Dairy Queen Kid’s Day activities.

Freshman Sydney Holmes added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Gorillas, while senior Tristan Gegg (10) also reached double digits. Senior Sydnee Crain finished with eight points, six rebounds and six assists.

As a team, Pitt State (2-1) shot 47.4 percent (37-78) from the floor. The Gorillas combined to make 13 3-pointers and Pitt State benefited from 19 offensive rebounds in the contest.

Saint Mary got a team-leading eight points from Skyler Kutra and seven points apiece from Demi Aamold and Jalynn Estrada.

The Gorillas will return to action next Wednesday (Nov. 24) when Pitt State entertains former MIAA member Lindenwood University at 5:30 p.m. (CST).