Pitt State preps for UNK, #3 Fort Hays State
The Gorillas will face UNK Thursday
PITTSBURG, Kan. — RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:
The Pittsburg State University women’s basketball team wrap up regular season play and a four-game road swing with a pair of games Thursday and Saturday.
The Gorillas will face the University of Nebraska-Kearney Thursday (Feb. 28) at 5:30 p.m. at the Health & Sports Center at Kearney, Neb. Pitt State will then travel to Hays, Kan., to battle Fort Hays State University at 2 p.m. Saturday (Mar. 2) at Gross Memorial Coliseum in the regular season finale.
Both games 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.
Pitt State is 20-6 overall and 12-5 in MIAA play. The Gorillas currently sit in a tie for fifth place in the conference standings with Emporia State.
Pitt State is coming off an 82-76 road win over ESU in its most recent action on Feb. 21.
UNK is 15-11 overall and 8-9 in MIAA play. The Lady Lopers split a pair of games this past weekend including a 93-92 overtime road loss to Central Oklahoma in its last outing on Feb. 23.
FHSU is 25-1 overall and 16-1 in MIAA action heading into a Thursday match-up against Missouri Southern. The Tigers, the No. 3 team in the most recent WBCA/NCAA Division II Top 25 poll, clinched the outright MIAA regular season title with their 90-66 road win over Northeastern State last Saturday (Feb. 23).
Head Coach Amanda Davied
Amanda Davied is in her first year as head coach at Pittsburg State after being hired to the position on May 21, 2018. She has a 20-6 (.769) record in her short tenure leading the Gorillas.
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 past 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 (2004-18), the Gorillas have compiled a 303-166 (.646) overall record, capturing an MIAA regular season title in 2017 and making five trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) including a pair of Elite Eight appearances (2012, 2016).
Davied is off to the best start of any first-year head coach in Pitt State history.
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.
Pitt State and UNK will meet for the 40th time in program history Thursday. The Gorillas are 26-13 against the Lopers, however UNK holds a slim 6-4 advantage against the Gorillas at Kearney.
The Pitt State defeated the Lopers, 68-42, in Pittsburg on Feb. 9. Athena Alvarado and Sydnee Crain paced the Gorillas with 12 points apiece in the game.
Saturday’s action will be the 56th all-time meeting between Pitt State and FHSU. The Lady Tigers hold a slim 29-26 advantage in the series, including a 16-10 edge in games played at Hays.
FHSU defeated Pitt State, 78-53, in Pittsburg on Feb. 7. Maya Williams paced the Gorillas with 18 points in the game.
Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State has three players averaging in double figures on the young season: senior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (11.5 ppg), sophomore guard Maya Williams (11.6 ppg) and junior forward Athena Alvarado (11.1 ppg).
Lopez is averaging 11.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. The Wichita native currently rank in a tie for seventh place in the MIAA in 3-point field goals (1.8 pg). She posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas’ win vs. UAFS, and she scored a season-high 30 points in Pitt State’s victory against LU on Jan. 3.
Lopez averaged 11.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last season. She knocked down 55 of 154 3-point field goal attempts on the season, converting 35.7 percent of her long-range shots.
Lopez scored in double figures 13 times on the season, including a season-high 24 points against Colorado Mines on Nov. 25, 2017.
Lopez contributed 9.2 points per game while earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors as a sophomore in 2016-17. The Wichita native hit 69 3-pointers, shooting a team-leading 38.1 percent from long range (69-181).She ranked third in the MIAA in 3-point field goals.
Lopez has scored 1059 points (8.7 ppg) and made 205 3-point field goals in 122 career games for the Gorillas. She became the 22nd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points in Pitt State’s game vs. WU on Jan. 26. Lopez ranks 16th in Pitt State history in career scoring (1,051) and third all-time in career 3-point field goals (203).
Alvarado is contributing 11.1 points and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 56.2 percent from the field on the season (114-203). She currently ranks in seventh place in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.6 bpg) and 11th in the conference in rebounding.
Alvarado, who was sidelined from the WU game last Saturday, posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds vs. UAFS (Nov. 17) and she posted 19 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against NSU on Dec. 5. She scored a career-high 20 points vs. Embry-Riddle on Dec. 17.
Alvarado scored 6.7 points and grabbed 3.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2017-18. The Wichita native also blocked 32 shots, ranking eighth in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.1 bpg).
She scored in double figures six times including a career-high 20 points against Central Oklahoma on Jan. 25, 2018.
Alvarado shot 57.9 percent from the field in her rookie campaign for the Gorillas, converting 81 of 140 shots and scoring 6.2 points per game. She also blocked a team-leading 29 shots on the year.
For her career, Alvarado has scored 648 points (7.7 ppg), grabbed 314 rebounds (3.7 rpg) and blocked 97 shots (1.2 bpg) in 84 games. She currently ranks fourth all-time in Pitt State history in blocked shots (97).
Williams is averaging a team-leading 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game to date. The Carthage, Mo., native scored a career-high 14 points in the Gorillas’ loss to MSU Moorhead on Nov. 10 and she had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Embery-Riddle on Dec. 17. She currently ranks 15th in the MIAA in rebounding.
Williams scored 3.0 points and grabbed 1.2 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18.
Additionally, the Gorillas have five players scoring between 4.7 points and 9.3 points per game: freshman forward Kaylee DaMitz (9.3 ppg), freshman guard Tristan Gegg (7.7 ppg), freshman forward Megan Scott (6.5 ppg), junior forward Meghan Maher (6.0 ppg) and junior guard Sydney Tracy (4.7 ppg).
DaMitz is contributing 9.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-leading 4.8 assists per game on the season. The Preston, Mo., native is shooting 87.5 percent from the free throw line (77-88).
DaMitz, who scored 15 points and dished out eight assists in the Gorillas win against UAFS on Nov. 17, ranks first in the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio (2.1) and assists (4.8 apg) and fifth in the league in free throw percentage (.875) to date.
She has dished out 125 assists on the season and needs 7 more helpers this year to break into Pitt State’s single-season top 10 list for assists.
DaMitz averaged 21.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in her senior season at Skyline High School in 2017-18, earning Missouri Class 2A All-State honors. She led the Tigers to the Class 2A state title and claimed Class 2A Player of the Year honors her junior season.
Scott is averaging 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds and shooting 52.4 percent from the field (66-126) in 23 games played. The Carl Junction, Mo., native missed Pitt State’s first two games due to illness. She scored a season-high 15 points vs. St. Edward’s on Dec. 18.
Scott averaged 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a senior at Carl Junction High School, earning Missouri Class 4A All-State honors.
Gegg is averaging 7.7 points per game. The Altamont, Kan., native scored a season-best 14 points in Pitt State’s win vs. Bethel on Dec. 31.
Gegg averaged 27 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a senior at Labette County High School. She was a Kansas Class 4A All-State selection for the Grizzlies.
Maher is averaging 6.0 points per game. She is shooting .454 from the field to date, knocking down 54 of 119 shots overall. The Raymore, Mo., native also has converted 38 of 87 3-point field goals (.437).
Maher averaged 4.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season. She shot 43.9 percent from the field, converting 50 of 114 attempts.
Maher scored a career-high 21 points against WU on March 1, 2018. She knocked down seven of 11 3-point field goal attempts in the game. For the season she made 37 of 90 trifectas (.411).
Tracy, who is contributing 4.7 points per game, enjoyed a solid debut for the Gorillas against NSU on Nov. 9. The St. Michael, Minn., native scored 13 points and dished out three assists in the season opener. She scored a season-high 17 points vs. SBU on Jan. 9.
Tracy transferred to Pitt State from South Dakota State University. She saw significant action for the Jackrabbits the past two seasons. Tracy was a first-team All-State prep athlete at St. Michael Albertville High School in 2015-16.
As a team, Pitt State is shooting 45.4 percent from the field (696-1533), 36.8 percent from 3-point range (181-492) and 72.0 percent from the free throw line (339-471). The Gorillas are scoring 73.5 points per game.
The Gorillas rank second in the MIAA in field goal percentage (.454), fifth in the conference in field goal pct defense (.384) and fourth in the league in scoring (73.5 ppg).
Pitt State Probable Starters
F 11 Shelby Lopez, 6-0, Sr., Wichita, Kan.
F 15 Athena Alvarado, 6-0, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
G 1 Maya Williams, 5-9, So., Carthage, Mo.
G 2 Kaylee DaMitz, 5-4, Fr., Preston, Mo.
G 35 Meghan Maher, 6-0, Jr., Raymore, Mo.
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