Pitt State aims to rebound against Newman

The PSU women fell to Fort Hays State 75-74 last time out.
Pitt State women


The Pittsburg State University women’s basketball team will return to John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court for a pair of MIAA home games this week. The Gorillas will host conference newcomer Newman University Thursday (Jan. 9) at 5:30 p.m. (CST) and then entertain the University of Central Oklahoma Saturday (Jan. 11) at 1:30 p.m.

The Pitt State action can be heard on ESPN 100.7 FM radio, online at espn1007.com/go or through the ESPN 100.7 or KSHQ app for phones or mobile devices.

The Records
Pitt State is 7-5 overall and 3-1 in MIAA action on the season. The Gorillas had won five of their last six games before suffering a hard fought 75-74 loss to No. 16 ranked Fort Hays State University in their last outing Monday (Jan. 6).

Newman is 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the MIAA. The Jets dropped a 62-59 decision to the University of Central Missouri in their last action Monday.

Central Oklahoma is 10-3 overall and 4-1 in MIAA play heading into a Thursday match-up against Missouri Southern State University. The Lady Bronchos have won four of their last five games including an 88-57 win over Lincoln University Monday.

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 28-14 (.667) 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 311-174 overall record (.641), 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
Thursday’s match-up will be the 12th meeting between the Gorillas and the Jets. Pitt State holds a 9-2 advantage in the series. The two squads last met on Nov. 16, 2010, with the Gorillas scoring an 83-71 victory.

On Saturday, Pitt State and UCO will meet for the 33rd time in program history. The Gorillas own a 23-9 record against the Lady Bronchos, including a 9-3 mark in games played at John Lance Arena.

Pitt State’s Last Action
Kaylee DaMitz scored a career high 33 points to lead Pitt State to an 88-74 road win over the Nebraska-Kearney Saturday on Jan. 4 at Kearney, Neb.

The Gorillas built a 39-26 halftime lead against the Lopers and then held off the host team in the final 20 minutes of play.

DaMitz made 10 of 14 shots from the field and she added 12 of 14 free throws in the contest. Maya Williams added 18 points and Athena Alvarado posted a double double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Pitt State shot 52.5 percent from the field making 31 of 59 shots in the game. The Gorillas also converted 22 of 26 free throws in the contest.

Pitt State rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit but came up just short in a 75-74 loss to No. 16 ranked Fort Hays State on Jan. 6 at Hays, Kan.

Alvarado led all scorers with 21 points in the game for the Gorillas. Tristan Gegg (12), Williams (11) and DaMitz (10) also scored in double figures for Pitt State. The Gorillas shot 60.7 percent from the field in the game (34-56) but were victimized by 16 turnovers.

PSU at Home
Pitt State has posted a 109-26 (.807) record at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court the past 10 seasons, including a 4-2 mark this year. The Gorillas are 69-15 (.821) at home since the start of the 2014 campaign.

Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State has four players averaging in double figures on the young season: sophomore guard Tristan Gegg (17.8 ppg), senior forward Athena Alvarado (16.3 ppg), junior guard Maya Williams (13.5 ppg) and and sophomore guard Kaylee DaMitz (12.9 ppg).

Gegg scored a career high 28 points on back-to-back nights against OBU and SWOSU to open the season.  The Altamont, Kan., native is shooting 45.0 percent from the field on the season (68-151) including 38.4 percent from 3-point range (28-73). She also is averaging 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game to date.

Gegg leads the MIAA in scoring and she ranks second in the the conference in free throw percentage (31-35, .886). She ranks fifth in the MIAA in 3-point field goals (2.3 pg).

Gegg averaged 8.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game during her freshman campaign in 2018-19. She knocked down 40 of 107 3-point field goal attempts on the year (.374).

Gegg has scored 454 points in 42 career games for the Gorillas (10.8 ppg).

Alvarado is averaging 16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 shots per game to date. For the season, Alvarado is shooting 59.3 percent from the field (86-145).

She leads in the MIAA in field goal percentage, ranks fourth in the league in scoring and sixth in the conference rebounding and blocked shots.

Alvarado was named the MIAA Player of the Week  on Nov. 12 for her efforts in the Gorillas’ season opening action when she averaged 19.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game in Pitt State’s first two games of the year.

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 Oklahoma 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.

Alvarado contributed 10.6 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game last year, earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors. She 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 887 points (8.8 ppg), grabbed 477 rebounds (4.7 rpg) and posted 113 blocked shots (1.1 bpg) in 101 career games for the Gorillas. Her 113 blocked shots rank fourth in school history.

Williams is averaging 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game to date. The Carthage, Mo., native is shooting 51.4 percent from the field (54-105). She ranks fifth in the MIAA in rebounding.

Williams was named the MIAA Co-Player of the Week  on Dec. 10 after averaging 14.5 points and 15.0 rebounds per game in a pair of wins vs. MSSU and WU. She scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds against the Ichabods.

She also posted back-to-back double doubles against Lindenwood and Central Christian College, including a 20-point, 11-rebound effort vs. CCC.

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 586 points (8.5 ppg) and grabbed 308 rebounds (4.5 rpg) in 69 career games for the Gorillas.

DaMitz is contributing 12.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. The Skyline, Mo., native ranks second in the MIAA in assists and third in the conference in free throw percentage (43-49, .878). She scored a career high 33 points vs. UNK on Jan. 4.

DaMitz earned 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.

Senior forward Meghan Maher is averaging 5.8 points per game. She enjoyed a 20-point outburst vs. Central Christian College on Nov. 16. 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 534 points (5.6 ppg) and grabbed 140 rebounds (1.5 rpg) in 95 career games.

Among Pitt State’s reserves, sophomore guard Sydnee Crain is averaging 5.3 points and 2.7 assists per game, while senior forward Marina Bauza Rubert is scoring 3.8 points per game to date. Sophomore guard Erin Davis is contributing 2.7 points in five games played, while junior center Julia Johnson also is chipping in with 1.8 points and 2.8 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.