Gorillas Streak to 101-73 Victory Over Lopers

Press Release PSU:
The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team capitalized on an 11-0 run midway through the second half to break open a four-point game and roll to a 101-73 victory over the University of Nebraska-Kearney Thursday (Feb. 12) at John Lance Arena.

The Gorillas (14-8, 10-4 MIAA) led 64-60 with 11:34 to play after the Lopers’ Ethan Brozek made two free throws, but Pitt State’s Javin Flynn started the run with a driving layup. After an UNK turnover, Josiah Gustafson hit a jumper and Connor Kjer added a 3-pointer to make it 71-60 with 9:39 remaining. Gustafson added consecutive transition layups to make it a 75-60 game with 8:42 to go.

The Lopers (14-8, 9-6 MIAA) trimmed the margin to 11, at 79-68, on Kevin Dineen’s free throws with 6:30 to play, but the Gorillas countered by scoring the next six points for an 85-68 margin. After UNK’s Isaiah McKay hit a 3-pointer in the left corner to make it an 85-71 game with 4:37 to go, Pitt State rattled off the next 16 points to turn the game into a 101-71 runaway.

Devon Branch poured in a game-high 27 points on 10 of 15 shooting, while Gustafson added 23 points and a team-leading six rebounds. The Gorillas, who shared the ball with 23 assists in the contest, shot 60.7 percent from the field, making 37 of 61 attempts overall.

Trey Starks chipped in with 12 points in his home debut for the Gorillas, while Kjer finished with 11 points after making three of five 3-point attempts. Trevor Gregory and Lamine Dieng added eight points apiece, while Javis Flynn finished with six points and a game-high 10 assists and four steals.

The Gorillas eclipsed 100 points for the first time on the year and the first time since scoring 108 in a 31-point win over Bethany College on Nov. 22, 2013.

Brozek led the Lopers with 26 points, while Trey Lansman added 18 points. McKay also reached double figures with 10 points. Connor Beranek, who entered the game averaging an MIAA-best 19.6 points per game, managed just seven points before fouling out with 10:40 to play in the game.

The Gorillas will return to action Saturday (Feb. 14) when they play host to MIAA rival Fort Hays State University a 3:30 p.m.