PSU Men Square Off With Undefeated UAFS

PSU Men Square Off With Undefeated UAFS
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PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team will travel to Fort Smith, Ark., Saturday (Nov. 18) for a non-conference match-up against the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CST) at UAFS’s Stubblefield Center.

The Records
Pitt State is 3-0 on the young season. The Gorillas opened the 2017-18 campaign with a pair of wins over Minnesota State (90-80) and St. Cloud State (72-62) in the MIAA/NSIC Conference Challenge Nov. 10-11. Pitt State added a 90-50 home victory over NAIA member Haskell on Nov. 15.

UAFS also is off to a 3-0 start to the season. The Lions rolled to a 110-69 home win over Randall Wednesday (Nov. 15), after opening the season at Pueblo, Colo., with a neutral site win over Midwestern State (88-74) and a road win over Colorado State-Pueblo (86-83) on Nov. 10-11.

UAFS posted a 23-11 overall record a year ago, falling in the first round of the NCAA Division II National Tournament after claiming the Heartland Conference Postseason Tournament title.

Head Coach Kim Anderson
Pittsburg State’s Kim Anderson is in his first season leading the Gorillas. He has a 3-0 record. Anderson (Missouri, ’79) became the Gorillas’ 15th all-time head coach on Apr. 10, 2017, after coaching the past three seasons at his alma mater – the University of Missouri.

He has a 304-162 (.652) record in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship as head coach at the University of Central Missouri as well as two more Division II Final Four appearances (2007, 2009) while compiling a 274-95 (.743) record at the school.

Anderson led UCM to seven trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and seven 20-win seasons. In his final season with the Mules he guided the squad to a 30-5 overall record and the D2 national title.
His Mules teams captured six MIAA regular season titles (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and four MIAA Tournament titles (2005, 2007, 2009, 2013).

He was selected the MIAA Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2010, and the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2014.

Series History
This will be the second all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Lions. Pitt State posted an 84-76 win over UAFS in the only previous match-up on Dec. 18, 2012, at Las Vegas, Nev.

All-Time Victories
Pitt State has compiled a 1409-1168 (.547) all-time record in 109 seasons of intercollegiate play. The Gorillas rank 15th on the NCAA Division II wins list (1409).

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter Saturday’s action averaging 84.0 points per game and shooting 49.5 percent from the field.

Pitt State has five players averaging in double figures on the young season: junior guard Donovan Franklin (17.0 ppg), senior guard/forward Xavier Adams (13.0 ppg), junior forward Demetrius Levarity (12.5 ppg), sophomore guard Brandon Clifford (11.0 ppg) and junior guard Jabari Antwine (10.0 ppg).

Franklin scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in his Pitt State debut against MSU Nov. 10. The St. Louis, Mo., native is shooting 51.5 percent from the field (17-33), 78.6 percent from the free throw line (11-14) and averaging 4.3 rebounds per game. He has converted six of 13 attempts from 3-point range (.462).

Franklin (6-5, 205) joined the Gorillas from Indiana State University. He averaged 4.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 26 games for the Sycamores in 2016-17. The St. Louis, Mo., native averaged 14.9 points a game as a freshman at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla.

Adams is averaging 13.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He also is shooting 66.7 percent from the floor (14-21). He posted a double-double with team highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas victory against SCSU Nov. 11.

Adams (6-6, 215) joined the Gorillas from the University of New Mexico. He started 14 of 77 career games in three seasons for the Lobos. The Flower Mound, Texas, native averaged 4.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2015-16. He contributed 3.9 points per game as a junior in 2016-17 before suffering a season-ending injury in early January.

Levarity is contributing 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He did not play in Pitt State’s opener against MSU. The New Orleans, La., native is shooting 66.7 percent from the field (10-15), including 71.4 percent from 3-point range (5-7).

Levarity scored 13 points on five of seven shooting in 20 minutes of action against SCSU. He made all three of his 3-point attempts against the Huskies.

Levarity (6-7, 210) transferred to Pitt State from Sam Houston State University, where he redshirted in 2016-17. He contributed 15.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Southeastern Illinois College.
Clifford scored 11 points in his season debut against Haskell Wednesday (Nov. 15). The Paragould, Ark., native made three of four 3-point field goal attempts against the Indians.

Clifford (6-3, 190) made three starts as a freshman last year, contributing 6.9 points per game on the year.

Antwine scored a game-high 15 points in the Gorillas lopsided win against Haskell. For the season, he is averaging 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

Antwine (6-1, 155) averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.9 steals as a sophomore at Moberly Area Community College in 2016-17, earning second-team All-Region and All-Conference honors. The Chicago native also made 35 3-point field goals, converting 44.9 percent of his long range-shots (35-78).

The Gorillas have four additional players scoring five or more points a game: junior guard Grant Lozoya (8.3 ppg), senior guard Jaxon Holden (6.3 ppg), junior center Deitrich Cole, Jr. (5.7 ppg) and junior guard Mar’Qywell Jackson (5.0 ppg).

Lozoya scored 15 points in the season opener against MSU. He has dished out a team-leading eight assists (2.7 apg) and snared a team-best six steals (2.0 spg).

Lozoya (6-3, 180) came to Pitt State after three years at Stetson University. The Agoura Hills, Calif., native averaged 9.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a freshman for the Hatters in 2014-15, earning All-Freshman honors form the Atlantic Sun Conference. He contributed 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds as a sophomore in 2015-16, before exercising a medical redshirt in 2016-17.

Holden (6-1, 180) is contributing 6.3 points per game and shooting 50.0 percent from the field (6-12). He started 13 games for the Gorillas a year ago, averaging 10.5 points per game. Holden missed 14 games due to injury.
The Flower Mound, Texas, native has started 27 of 37 career games for the Gorillas, after transferring to Pitt State following his freshman season from Stephen F. Austin University.

Holden has averaged 8.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for his career and he has converted 51 career 3-point field goals.

Cole is shooting 58.3 percent from the floor (7-12) and averaging 4.7 rebounds per game.

Cole (6-10, 240), a Detroit native, averaged 2.5 points and shot 55 percent from the field at Moberly Area Community College last season. He also averaged 2.4 rebounds and recorded 11 blocked shots on the year.

Jackson, also from Detroit, is averaging 5.0 points, a team-leading 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Jackson (6-5, 195) contributed 11.5 points per game at Moberly Area Community College, helping the Greyhounds to a 27-5 overall record a year ago. He knocked down 42 3-pointers on the season during his sophomore campaign.

The Gorillas are +11.3 in the rebounding department – +3.3 on the offensive glass. Pitt State has outscored its first three opponents by an average of 3.0 points per game from the free throw line (15-12).

Pitt State Probable Starters
F 21 Xavier Adams, 6-6, 215, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas
C 4 Deitrich Cole, Jr., 6-10, 240, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
G 2 Grant Lozoya, 6-3, 180, Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif.
G 3 Donovan Franklin, 6-5, 205, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.
G 25 Jaxon Holden, 6-1, 180, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas