JOPLIN, Mo. — The Missouri Southern State University and Pittsburg State University basketball teams split a double header at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center on Saturday. Previously, Pittsburg State swept Missouri Southern at John Lance Arena in Pittsburg.
The Pittsburg State women made away with a 78-60 win over Missouri Southern, clinching a spot in the MIAA tournament. The win was fueled by a strong start; the Gorillas finished the first quarter with a 28-16 lead.
Kaylee DaMitz led the Gorillas in scoring with 17 points. Sydnee Crain had 16, while Tristan Gegg chipped in 15. For the Lions, Carley Turnbull put up 10 points, while Madi Stokes had 10.
Crain says, “I think the energy at practice last week kept everything going, and we just rolled it into today’s game. We were really upset about the loss at Missouri Western, so we just kind of needed to keep our energy up, keep competing every day, and I think that’s what got me in, and Kaylee’s passes, and all that.”
Amanda Davied, Pittsburg State women’s head coach, says, “Fortunately for me, we have a lot of experience, and so we’re able to have a pretty wide offensive game package, and I think we just tried to mix it up on them because they prepare so well, and I think it happened to be a good night for us shooting.”
Hailey Grant, MSSU forward/guard, says, “It felt pretty good. I still wish we still would’ve won. But, I mean, it’s nice to start getting into the flow of the game now that I’m playing a little more and it’s nice to know that I can help my team out where I can.”
Ronnie Ressel, MSSU women’s head coach, says, – “We seemed really slow out there today. They got down hill, I give Pitt a lot of credit. They got down hill quick and they finished plays around the basket on the offensive end. Their defense I thought was really good, especially that first half. In that second quarter, they took us out of a lot of things because their quickness on the defensive end and give Pitt a lot of credit.
On the men’s side, Missouri Southern was dominant the entire game, taking the win 93-76. The last time the two teams met, Southern’s Winston Dessesow and Christian Bundy were unable to play due to injury, but were available on Saturday.
Cam Martin led the game in scoring with 25 points, while Dessesow had 21 and Lawson Jenkins had 16. R.J. Lawrence had 14 points for the Gorillas, while Martin Vogts had 13.
Dessesow says, “We made some big adjustments. We had some let ups on defense last game, a lot of easy open threes for them, let them get to the basket easily. So we stepped up on the defensive end of the game plan better, and we were missing some pieces in myself and Bundy last time, so just, major adjustments that help us beat this team.”
Jeff Boschee, MSSU men’s head coach, says, “I told our guys, and I think our guys understand the situation at hand, sometimes they felt a little pressure, they played a little tight, but I thought we played loose. I thought we had fun out there, and that was pretty evident just the way we were playing.”
Missouri Southern be back in action against Washburn University on Thursday, February 25 at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center. The women’s game is slated to tip off at 5:30 p.m., with the men’s game to follow.
The Gorillas will return to action against Emporia State University on Thursday, February 25 at John Lance Arena. Tip-off for the women’s game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the men’s game to follow.