Gorilla Men Look for 3-0 Start - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Gorilla Men Look for 3-0 Start



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men's basketball team will host Haskell Indian Nations University in a non-conference match-up Wednesday (Nov. 15) at John Lance Arena/Whetzel Court. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CST).

The Gorillas are 2-0 on the young season. Pitt State opened the 2017-18 campaign with a pair of NCAA Division II Central Region wins over Minnesota State University (90-80) and St. Cloud State University (72-62) Nov. 10-11 in the MIAA/NSIC Conference Challenge at John Lance Arena.

Haskell, an NAIA member, enters a Tuesday night match-up against Benedictine College with a 1-8 record. The Indians are seeking to halt a four-game losing streak this evening. HINU most recently dropped a 110-59 decision against NCAA Division I University of Missouri-Kansas City Sunday (Nov. 12).

The Gorillas enter Wednesday's action averaging 81.0 points per game and shooting 48.7 percent from the field.

Pitt State has three players averaging in double figures on the young season: junior guard Donovan Franklin (22.0 ppg), senior guard/forward Xavier Adams (15.5 ppg) and junior forward Demetrius Levarity (13.0 ppg).

Franklin scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in his Pitt State debut against MSU Nov. 10. The St. Louis, Mo., native is shooting 58.3 percent from the field (14-24), 83.3 percent from the free throw line (10-12) and averaging 5.5 rebounds per game. He has converted six of 10 attempts from 3-point range.

Adams is averaging 15.5 points and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game. He also is shooting 68.8 percent from the floor (11-16). He posted a double-double with team highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas victory against SCSU Nov. 11.

Levarity scored 13 points on five of seven shooting in 20 minutes of action against SCSU. He made all three of his 3-point attempts against the Huskies. Levarity did not play in Pitt State's opener against MSU the night before.

The Gorillas have four additional players scoring seven or more points a game: senior guard Jaxon Holden (9.5 ppg), junior guard Jabari Antwine (7.5 ppg), junior guard Grant Lozoya (7.5 ppg) and junior center Deitrich Cole, Jr. (7.0 ppg).

Lozoya, who scored all 15 of his points in the season opener against MSU, has dished out a team-leading six assists (3.0 apg) and snared a team-best five steals (2.5 spg).

Cole is shooting 63.6 percent from the floor (7-11) and averaging 3.5 rebounds per game.

Junior forward/center Jonathan Murray also is contributing 3.0 points and 5.0 rebounds on the young season. Murray and Adams share the team lead with four offensive rebounds apiece thus far.

The Gorillas are +9 in the rebounding department — +2.5 on the offensive glass. Pitt State has outscored its first two opponents by an average of 5.5 points per game from the free throw line.

Following Wednesday's contest, Pitt State will venture away from the friendly confines of John Lance Arena for the first time Saturday (Nov. 18) when the Gorillas travel to Fort Smith, Ark., for a match-up against the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

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