Women’s Basketball Opens 2014-15 in Frozen North

Press Release PSU:

Pitt State travels to the frozen north to open the 2014-15 season and will face three regional opponents from the Northern Sun Conference. The first two games will feature the Gorillas against host school, No. 10 Concordia-St. Paul on Friday and Bemidji State on Saturday. The team will then travel to Marshall, Minn. to take on Southwest Minnesota State.

About the Tournament
The Radisson Hotel Roseville Classic is an exempt conference challenge tournament between the MIAA and the Northern Sun. Being exempt, it gives the teams a chance to play two extra games in their schedules and get in regional games that could help in regional rankings for post-season bids.
This year’s tournament features the Gorillas and Fort Hays State from the MIAA and Concordia-St.Paul and Bemidji State from the Northern Sun.

Tournament Schedule
Friday, November 14, 2014
5 p.m. – Fort Hays State vs. Bemidji State
7 p.m. – Pittsburg State vs. Concordia-St. Paul
Saturday, November15, 2014
3 p.m. – Pittsburg State vs. Bemidji State
5 p.m. – Fort Hays State vs. Concordia-St. Paul

Scouting Concordia-St. Paul
The Golden Bears enter the 2014-15 season after winning the Central Regional and reaching the Elite Eight in the 2013-14 season. The team fell to Nove Southeastern in the first game in Erie, Pa, but finished the season with a 28-9 overall record and a 16-6 mark in the Northern Sun.
Concordia returns three starters from the 2013-14 squad, guard Ameshia Kearney and forwards Anika Whiting and Kionda Nicks. Kearney made a huge impact in her first year in navy and gold as she went off in the second half of the year and finished the season third on the team with 12.4 points per game. She scored 20+ points four times and 10+ points 24 times, including the final 10 games of the season. Anika Whiting enters her senior season after completing a junior year which saw her break the single-season school record in points with 655. Kionda Nicks heads into her third year at Concordia already holding the school record for blocked shots in a single season. Nicks also ranked second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per game and third on the team with 1.9 assists per game while also contributing 27 steals as a solid all-around player.
The Golden Bears started the season with an exhibition game at Division I Nebraska. The Huskers won 78-46 Mishayla Jones led the team with 11 points, while Amanda Barton added 10.

Scouting Bemidji State
BSU is coming off a 9-18 2013-14 season record with a 5-17 conference mark, finishing eighth in divisional standings.
Sophomore guard, Hanna Zerr was chosen as the Beavers’ NSIC player to watch this season. Zerr is coming off her freshman year during which she played in and started 26 games before missing the season finale due to injury. In Zerr’s first collegiate season, she finished with averages of 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and a team-best 2.8 assists per game. She knocked down 48-of-61 free throws for a 78.7 percentage and added 34 steals to finish second among her teammates. During the 2013-14 season, the Beavers shot 38 percent (663-1,732) from the field and 75 percent (375-502) from the charity line.
The Beavers kicked off the 2014-15 season with two exhibition games as they took on University of North Dakota Nov. 2 and North Dakota State University Nov. 7. BSU fell in both games 79-43 and 100-47, respectively. Allie Knuti led the Beavers scoring at UND, charting 12 points. Zerr was second on the team in scoring against North Dakota with 10 points, including 4-for-17 from the field. Leading the Beavers against NDSU was Sarah Durand as she came off the bench to score 12 points, put up six rebounds and one blocked shot. Durand was 4-for-7 from the field.

Scouting Southwest Minnesota
The Southwest Minnesota State University women’s basketball team features 17 players on this year’s roster with eight returning letterwinners. The Mustangs finished the 2013-14 season with a 4-23 overall record and a 2-20 mark in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. SMSU must replace its top three scorers and top rebounder from last season’s team.
Forward Ellen Degler is the lone senior on the roster, but won’t join the team until the conclusion
of the volleyball season. Degler, an outside hitter on the Mustang team, averaged 8.1 points per game last season in 21 games. She ranked second on the team with 4.3 rebounds per game and also recoded 27 steals, tying for second on the team.
Four returning juniors are expected to see major minutes this winter. Guard Annessa Rosch returns after playing in all 27 games last season, averaging 5.1 ppg, and connecting on 21 3-pointers, while forward Emilee Duske also played in all 27 games and averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg. Guard Whitney Miller saw action in 22 games last season and averaged 2.3 ppg. SMSU will be bolstered by the return of forward/guard Hope Bonlander, who missed all but three games last season with an injury. Bonlander played in 53 games her first two seasons averaging 5.2 ppg with 24 3-pointers.
SMSU also returns four sophomores, guards Abby Connell, Brianna VonWahlde and Megan
DeRuyter, along with forward Kendra Snaza, who all saw limited action in 2013-14.
The remainder of the roster features one junior college transfer and seven true freshmen.

Scouting Pittsburg State
Pitt State returns each of its top three scorers from a year ago, including senior first-team All-American Lizzy Jeronimus (18.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.6 apg), junior Cathy Brugman (9.5 ppg, .462 3pt pct.) and senior guard Antqunita Reed (9.1 ppg). Three additional seniors will help lead the team, three-point shooter Morgan Westhoff (5.2 ppg), point guard Brigit Hesser (4.2 ppg, 1.6 apg) and defensive stronghold Hailey Roderique (1.9 ppg). Junior forward Kylie Gafford (4.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 47 blocks) rounds out the returners with significant playing time last season.
Sophomore point guard Hadyn Herlocker and guard Paige Lungwitz each saw limited playing time last season as freshmen, but look to make significant contributions this season after working in the offseason to improve their skills and get stronger.
Six freshmen join the Gorillas this season. Elena Flott, Maria Klug and Madison Northcutt will help add some size at the forward position, while Paige Imhoff, Katren Reinbolt and Mikaela Burgess add depth at guard.
Pitt State will open the 2014-15 season at the Radisson Hotel Roseville Classic, a MIAA/Northern Sun Conference Challenge event hosted by last year’s Regional Champion and Elite Eight team, Concordia St. Paul on November 14. The team’s next three game will be against regional opponents, Bemidji State, Southwest MInnesota State amd Minnesota-Duluth. The remainder of the early non-conference schedule includes William Jewell, former MIAA foe Truman State, Drury, Rockhurst and in-region opponent Henderson State.
The Gorillas will play their first home game of the season with its MIAA conference opener on December 6 against Northwest Missouri. Before the holiday break, the team will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii for an exempt tournament including two games against BYU-Hawaii and Wingate. The tean returns from Christmas and New Year’s at home against Lindenwood on January 3 and from there jumps full throttle into the conference schedule.
Pitt State was picked to finish second in the MIAA this season, behind only Emporia State.

PSU vs. Opponents
Pitt State and Concordia have met only one time, last season in the Disney Tipoff Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Golden Bears won the game, 68-62.
Saturday will be the first meeting between the Gorillas and the Beavers.
Southwest Minnesota came to Pittsburg for the 2012-13 season opener. The Gorillas won the game, 97-51.

Last Time vs. Concordia-St. Paul
Nov. 9 2013 • Anaheim, Calif. — The Pittsburg State women’s basketball team (1-1) fought hard, but suffered a 68-62 loss at the hands of Concordia-St. Paul (2-0) on Saturday evening in the CCA Tipoff Classic.
Lizzy Jeronimus led all players, including 13 PIttsburg State players in double figures, with 22 points. Twelve of those points came from a 12-for-13 performance from the charity stripe. She also grabbed eight rebounds before fouling out with 27 seconds left in the game. Alexa Bordewick added 12 points. Alex Muff came off the bench to score 10 points and was just short of a double-double as she led the Gorillas with nine rebounds.
The Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears were led by Amanda Barton and Ameshia Kerney with 14 points a piece. Kionda Nnicks added 11 points.
There were seven ties and two lead changes in the game, all early in the game. The Gorillas never led by more than two and had a lead up until a Barton jumper gave Concordia lead lead with 13:09 to go in the first half.
The Gorillas were able to tie the game twice more at 15-15 and 17-17 before the Bears took over the lead for good. An 11-2 run lead to a nine-point Concordia lead at 28-19 with seven minutes to go in the first half.
Though a Y’Cedria Devers layup was able to stop that run, another 8-0 run lasting just over four minutes led to a 36-21 CU lead, the largest lead of the game.
Pitt State was able to cut the lead two 10 behind a three by Bordewick and free throws from Muff and Brigit Hesser, Barton hit a three with 38 second left in the half to send the Gorillas to the lockerroom down 41-28 at the half.
The Gorillas made adjustments at the half and chipped the Concordia lead back to single digits on a layup by Kylie Gafford with 15:08 remaining, 37-45.
Pitt State continued to battle, cutting the lead two three with Gafford threes with 7:09 on the clock. Concordia came back, but Pitt State woul not back down. After the Bears built the lead back to nine points at 54-63, The Gorillas went on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to three once again, 65-62 with 57 seconds remaining. Pitt State was not able to score again after that point and three Bear free throws made the final score 68-62.

Last Time vs. Southwest Minnesota
Nov. 9, 2012 • Pittsburg, Kan. — If there is one thing Pitt State fans learned about the women’s basketball team in the home opener, it is that this year’s team plays fast. The Gorillas run the full court from first tip until the last buzzer sounds and that pace helped them to a 97-51 win over Southwest Minnesota State in the season opener on Friday (November 9) afternoon.
Pitt State was only ahead by nine, 41-32 at the half, but charged to a 72-40 lead in the first 10:30 of the second half. Pitt State outscored the Mustangs 31-8 before the second media timeout just beyond the midway point in the second half. A big portion of that came in a 24-0 run from 17:17 to 11:14 in the second half.
All 13 Gorillas that saw court time scored in the game. Morgan Westhoff came off the bench to lead four players in double figures with 17. Lizzy Jeronimus added 15, Drew Roberts, 13, and Lauren Brown, 12. Twelve of Westhoff’s points came in the second half, as did eight of Brown’s.
Pitt State shot 63 percent from the floor (41-of-65) and 60 percent (9-of-15) from three point range. Roberts hit three of the Gorilla threes in the game.
Pitt State outrebounded the Mustangs 44-28. Four Gorillas shared the team lead in rebounds with five a piece, Jeronimus, Brown, Hailey Roderique and Y’Cedria Devers. Roderique led the team with five steals. Kylie Gafford added four steals and led the team with three blocks. Alexa Bordewick led the Gorillas with four assists.
Southwest Minnesota State was led by Rebekah Rolling with 13 points. Bree Holleman and Annessa Rosch each scored 11. Hope Bonlander led all players with six rebounds.

Pitt State in Season Openers
Pitt State is 25-15 in season opening games. The Gorillas are 17-4 in home openers at John Lance Arena and have won each of the last four. The program has a 5-9 record in season openers on the road and 3-2 at neutral sites. The last time the team opened the season at a neutral site was last season at the Disney Tipoff Classic. The Gorillas have won each of their last three season-opening games. For complete information on Pitt State in season-opening games, see the chart on page two.

In the Polls
The Pittsburg State women’s basketball team is ranked No. 24 in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Top 25 Preseason Poll.
Four Pitt State opponents are ranked in the top 25, No. 3 Drury, No. 7 Emporia State, No. 10 Concordia St. Paul and No. 20 Central Missouri. Three additional opponents are receiving votes, Wingate, Washburn and Truman State.

Up Next
The Gorillas will travel to Maryville, Mo. for the Winstead-Reeves Classic. Pitt State will face MInnesota-Duluth on Friday and William Jewell on Saturday. Game times will not be set until football playoff matchups are set.