PSU women prep for Las Vegas Hoopla

The Gorillas (6-1) have won 5 straight games
PSU women prep for Las Vegas Hoopla

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

The Pittsburg State University women’s basketball team will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete in the Las Vegas Hoopla Dec. 17-18. The Gorillas, who are riding a five-game winning streak, will face Embry-Riddle University at 4 p.m. (CST) on Dec. 17 and St. Edward’s University at 8 p.m. (CST) Dec. 18.

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.

The Records
Pitt State will take a 6-1 record to the Las Vegas Hoopla. The Gorillas have posted five consecutive wins, including a pair of MIAA match-ups against Northeastern State University (75-65) and No. 23-ranked University of Central Oklahoma (84-71) last week.

The Gorillas posted a 94-81 victory over Northern State University in their season debut on Nov. 9, before Pitt State dropped a 66-55 decision to Minnesota State University Moorhead the next day.

The Gorillas claimed a pair of home wins No. 16-17, defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 71-56, and besting the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 79-57. Pitt State also knocked off Bethany College, 81-48, on Nov. 23.

Embry-Riddle is 6-2 on the season. The Eagles dropped a 75-59 road decision to Florida Southern College in their last action on Dec. 5.

St. Edward’s is 8-1 on the season heading into a Dec. 17 match-up against Washburn University at the Las Vegas Hoopla. The Hilltoppers have won five straight games, including an 82-54 decision against Jarvis Christian College the last time out on Dec. 4.

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 6-1 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 283-160 overall record (.639), 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 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
Monday’s action will be the first all-time meeting between Pitt State and Embry-Riddle.

The Gorillas and Hilltoppers will meet for the third time in program history Tuesday. The series is tied, 1-1, with Pitt State taking a 66-50 decision in the most recent match-up on Nov. 17, 2001, in Pittsburg.

Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State has three players averaging in double figures on the young season: senior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (12.9 ppg), junior forward Athena Alvarado (11.4 ppg) and freshman guard Kaylee DaMitz (10.6 ppg).

Lopez is averaging 12.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The Wichita native posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas’ win vs. UAFS on Nov. 17. She scored a season-high 18 points in Pitt State’s victory against No. 23 UCO on Dec. 8.

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 849 points (8.2 ppg) and made 176 3-point field goals in 103 career games for the Gorillas. She now ranks fourth in Pitt State history in career 3-point field goals (176) and needs 10 more triples to pass Drew Roberts (2010-13, 185) for third place on the list.

Alvarado is contributing 11.4 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 62.1 percent from the field on the young season (36-58). She currently ranks second in the MIAA in field goal percentage and ninth in the conference in rebounding.

Alvarado 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.

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.

DaMitz is contributing 10.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game on the young season. The Preston, Mo., native has converted seven of 133-point field goals (.538) to date and she’s shooting 86.4 percent from the free throw line (19-22).

DaMitz, who scored 15 points and dished out eight assists in the Gorillas win against UAFS on Nov. 17, leads the MIAA in assists (5.4 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (3.2) to date.

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.

Additionally, the Gorillas have five players scoring between 5.0 points and 8.4 points per game: sophomore guard Maya Williams (8.4 ppg), freshman guard Tristan Gegg (7.8 ppg), junior forward Meghan Maher (8.3 ppg), freshman forward Megan Scott (6.4 ppg) and junior guard Sydney Tracy (5.0 ppg).

Williams is averaging 8.4 points and 5.7 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 team-leading nine rebounds in the season opener vs. NSU.

Williams scored 3.0 points and grabbed 1.2 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18.

Gegg is averaging 8.3 points per game. The Altamont, Kan., native scored 12 points in Pitt State’s win vs. NSU on Nov. 9.

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 8.3 points per game. She is shooting .588 from the field to date, knocking down 20 of 34 shots overall. The Raymore, Mo., native also has converted 15 of 25 3-point field goals (.600).

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 Washburn 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).

Scott is averaging 6.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in five games played. The Carl Junction, Mo., native missed Pitt State’s first two games due to illness.

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.

Tracy, who is contributing 5.0 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.

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.

Pitt State Probable Starters
F 15 Athena Alvarado, 6-0, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
F 35 Meghan Maher, 6-0, Jr., Raymore, Mo.
G 1 Maya Williams, 5-9, So., Carthage, Mo.
G 2 Kaylee DaMitz, 5-4, Fr., Preston, Mo.
G 11 Shelby Lopez, 6-0, Sr., Wichita, Kan.