Lions Start Strong, Fall to #18 Pittsburg State, 78-64

Pittsburg, Kan. – The 18th ranked Pittsburg State Gorillas (12-0, 6-0 MIAA) proved too much for the Missouri Southern Lions (5-7, 1-5 MIAA) as the Gorillas came away with the 78-64 win in John Lance Arena Friday night.

The Lions traded buckets with the number 18-ranked Gorillas early in the first half until junior guard Tatianna Washington was inserted into the game.  Washington added seven points and four boards as the Lions took a 28-20 lead with just under eight minutes to play in the first half.  After going up 28-21 with 7:39 to go in the first half, the Gorillas went on a 11-2 run to take a 32-30 lead with 45.4 seconds to play.  Pittsburg State would take a 35-32 lead into halftime of the first round of the Sonic Trophy Series.

Freshman guard Haley Weathers and Washington led the first half in points for Southern with seven each with junior guard Kelby Fritz adding five and junior forward Erin Rice with four.  Washington and Rice led on the boards with four and three, respectively.

Coming out of the locker room Pittsburg State opened an eight point lead at the 13:08 mark, 50-42, and cruised to the 78-64 victory over the Lions.

Southern encountered a drought of over five minutes while the Gorillas went on a 10-0 run to widen their lead to 14, 56-42 with 9:55 to play in the game.  Pitt State would then extend the lead to 17 on a three pointer by Drew Roberts before Rice would score five points on consecutive possessions to pull within 12.  Rice would add another layup at the six minute mark to pull the Lions within 10 and Pitt State would answer with a layup by Brooke Conley before a Gorilla timeout at 5:44.  PSU would pull away over the final five minutes out scoring Southern 16-11.

Rice tied her season-high with 22 points for the Lions with Washington adding 13 and sophomore guard Shatara Stone adding a career-high 10 points.

Southern will be back in action Wednesday January 4 as they host the 23rd ranked Emporia State Lady Hornets at 5:30 pm inside The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.