Women’s Basketball Begins Post Season Friday

Press Release PSU:

Pitt State opens the MIAA Tournament with the final quarterfinal game against Central Oklahoma. The Gorillas enter the tournament at the No. 3 seed and received a bye to the quarterfinal round. Sixth seeded Central Oklahoma reached Kansas City after earning a 90-70 win over Nebraksa-Kearney on Tuesday night in Edmond.

Pitt State at the MIAA Tournament
Pitt State is 8-23 in its MIAA Tournament appearances. The Gorillas have only missed the tournament two times since joining the conference, the first season (1989-90) and in 2008. PSU was one and done in its last nine tournament appearances prior to the 2009 season. The Gorillas had lost 10 games straight before earning the 81-79 win over Nebraska-Omaha in the 2009 opening round. The only time Pitt State won back-to-back games in the tournament was in 1992, when the Gorillas finished as the tournament runners up.
Pitt State has lost each of its last four games in the MIAA Tournament. The team’s last win was a 61-57 overtime win over Missouri Western in the 2010-11 season. Each of the team’s last four losses were by single digits.
In their last MIAA Tournament outing, the Gorillas lost to Southwest Baptist, 65-67, in Kansas City. Pitt State’s largest win in the MIAA Tournament was a 26-point, 79-53, win over Missouri St-Louis in 1992, the year the team finished as the runner-up. The team’s largest losses were back-to-back 20-point losses to Missouri Western and Emporia State in 2006 and 2007.

Scouting Central Oklahoma
Central Oklahoma is 16-12 overall and finished 9-10 in MIAA play. The Bronchos earned the No. 7 seed in the tournament and won their first round game over Nebraska-Kearney on Tuesday night in Edmond.
As a team, the Bronchos average 66.1 points per game, while holding opponents to 61.2 ppg. The 85 points by the Gorillas in the team’s first meeting are the most scored on the Bronchos this season. The team makes .403 of its shots on the season, including .306 from three-point range. Opponents have a slight rebounding advantage, 37.8 to 36.8. UCO averages 14.4 turnovers a game and has a 0.9 assist/turnover ratio.
Two Broncho players score just over 10 points per game. Haley Weathers averages 11.3 ppg, but has only played in 11 games. Julia Mason follows with 10.6 ppg. She leads the team in blocks with 23. Kylie Mayes and Olivia Mason are just under double figures with 9.7 and 9.5 ppg, respectively. Olivia Mason leads the team with 5.2 rebounds per game and is also the team’s leading three-point shooter, having made 44 threes on the season. Chelsea Robinson is the team’s assist leader with 83, and also leads in steals with 35.

Scouting Pittsburg State
The Gorillas lost two of their last three games to finish third in the MIAA standings. The last game was an accomplishment for the program though, as the Gorillas won their first game in Topeka, Kan. for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The team is 25-5 on the season and 15-4 in MIAA games. The four conferences losses were to Emporia State (two times), Missouri Southern and Fort Hays State, with two of those being home losses. The Gorillas have an 16-3 record on the road or at neutral sites. The team is ranked No. 13 in the nation.
The Gorillas scored 74.2 ppg to their opponents 58.3 ppg. The team outrebounds opponents by almost five 39.0 to 34.6 rpg. Pitt State hits .433 from the floor overall and .339 from long range. The team dishes out 12.8 assists per game, while committing only 11.7 turnovers per game.
Lizzy Jeronimus is the team’s leading scorer with 19.0 ppg. Kylie Gafford adds 10.6 ppg. Cathy Brugman is just under double figures with 9.2 ppg. Jeronimus also leads the team with 6.8 rebounds per game, and 69 assists. Gafford leads the team in steals with 35 and blocks with 50. Morgan Westhoff is the team’s top three-point shooter, having made 53 threes on the season. Mikaela Burgess is just behind her with 46 threes made and was crucial to the team’s win at Washburn last weekend.
Nett Reed provides a spark to the Gorilla offense 7.2 points per game and is also a presence on the boards with 5.0 rebounds. Hailey Roderique and Paige Lungwitz have been crucial the the Gorilla’s defensive efforts. Roderique is typically assigned the opponents best players and has held many of them to at least 50 percent less of their scoring average. Lungwitz comes in to continue Roderique’s efforts off the bench.
Brigit Hesser and Hadyn Herlocker are a remendous point guard tandem for the Gorillas. Together they have a 1.7 assists to turnover ratio and average 3.8 assists per game

PSU vs. Central Oklahoma
The Gorillas and Bronchos have met 21 times with PSU holding a 13-8 series advantage, though since meeting at least once each year since 2007, the two teams have regularly traded wins. The first meeting between the two teams on November 20, 1982 resulted in the Gorillas’ falling by a score of 58-77.
In the last seven meetings the two sides have alternated victories with the Gorillass winning the last time the two sides met, a 79-68 decision in Edmond last season.
The longest winning streak in the series is PSU’s six game streak from 1992-1998. During that time the five of the six Pitt State victories were by 12 or more points. The largest margin of victory in the series was a 83-53 Gorilla win on Nov. 26, 1994 in Joplin, Mo. The Bronchos biggest win was a 90-67 winon Nov. 25, 1989 in Pittsburg.

Up Next
With a win on Friday night, the Gorillas will advance to the MIAA Semifinals to face either No. 2 Emporia State or No. 7 Missouri Western on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. A loss would force the Gorillas to wait until Sunday to find out where they are headed for the NCAA Central Regional.