Pitt State tops Missouri Southern in move on to MIAA tournament semifinals

Pitt State will face Washburn Saturday
Pitt State tops Missouri Southern in move on to MIAA tournament semifinals

The Pittsburg State men are moving on to the MIAA tournament semifinals. The Gorillas topped the Lions 89-80 in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon.

Pitt State will face Washburn in the semifinals Saturday.

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team withstood a second-half comeback bid by Missouri Southern University to post an 89-80 upset victory over the Lions in the first round of the 2019 MIAA Tournament Friday (Mar. 8) at Municipal Auditorium.

The Gorillas (17-12), the tournament’s No. 6 seed, advance to the semifinals Saturday (Mar. 9) at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., where they will face No. 2 Washburn University at 2:15 p.m. (CST).

Grant Lozoya scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead four Pitt State players in double figures. Donovan Franklin added 22 points for Pitt State, while A.J. Walker (21) and Demetrius Levarity (10) each posted in double figures as well.

The Gorillas shot 51.5 percent from the field in the first half (17-33) to overcome 12 for 34 shooting in the game’s final 20 minutes. Pitt State, which limited Missouri Southern (23-7) to 32.4 percent shooting in the contest (23-71), held a 40-28 advantage at the break.

The Gorillas still maintained a 10-point second-half cushion with 12:09 to play in the game, before the Lions chipped away and eventually got the margin to one, 54-53, with 9:50 to go. Pitt State snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series against the Lions.

Cam Martin paced MSSU with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Kinzer Lambert also added 17 points and a team-leading 15 rebounds.