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Gorilla Women Head to UCM Classic

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PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University women's basketball team will travel to Warrensburg, Mo., to take part in the Central Missouri Classic Friday and Saturday (Nov. 18-19). The Gorillas will face the University of Arkansas Fort Smith at 4 p.m. (CST) Saturday and then close out the two-day, classic-format tournament with a Sunday match-up against William Jewell College at 2 p.m.

The Records
The Gorillas are 2-0 on the young season. Pitt State, the 2016-17 MIAA regular season champion, opened its 2017-18 season with a pair of emphatic NCAA Division II Central Region wins over Concordia-St. Paul (80-61) and Minnesota State (84-60) at the Central Region Challenge at Municipal Auditorium at Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 10-11.

UAFS is 2-1 on the young season. The Lions opened the season with a pair of home wins over Colorado Mines (75-45) and Colorado Christian (80-50) Nov. 10-11, before dropping a 63-49 home decision to Emporia State on Nov. 14.

UAFS posted a 17-13 overall record in 2016-17.

William Jewell is 0-1 on the season heading into Friday's match-up against Central Missouri in the UCM Classic. The Cardinals, who posted a 14-13 overall record a year ago, dropped a 67-63 road decision in their season opener to Missouri Western on Nov. 15.

Head Coach Lane Lord
Lane Lord is in his 11th year as head women's basketball coach at Pittsburg State University.

Lord has compiled a 210-95 (.689) record in his tenure at Pitt State, including five trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and the program's first two Elite Eight appearances. He has led the Gorillas to four straight NCAA Tournament berths (2014-17) and his Pitt State program has averaged 24.7 wins during the past six seasons (2012-17), compiling a 148-43 record.

Lord has been honored as the MIAA Coach of the Year five times (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017) and he has been selected the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year three times (2009, 2012, 2017).

Saturday's action will be Lord's fifth meeting vs. UAFS. He's 2-2 against the Lions. Lord has a 2-1 mark against the Cardinals.

Series History
Pitt State and UAFS will meet for the fifth time Saturday. The series is tied at 2-2. The Gorillas posted an 84-64 victory over the Lions in the most recent match-up on Nov. 19, 2016, at John Lance Arena.

Pitt State and WJC will meet for the sixth time Sunday. The Cardinals hold a 3-2 advantage in the series. The Gorillas posted an 89-51 victory over WJC in the last meeting on Nov. 22, 2014, at Maryville, Mo.

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter the UCM Classic averaging 82.0 points per game and shooting 49.6 percent from the field.

Pitt State has three players scoring in double figures on the young season: senior guard Mikaela Burgess, junior forward Madison Northcutt and junior guard Shelby Lopez.

Burgess is averaging a team-leading 18.0 points per game thus far. She also is contributing 2.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Burgess scored a team-high 21 points in Pitt State's season opening win over Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 10. She has converted six of 13 3-point field goals (.462).

Burgess averaged 16.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game as a junior in 2016-17, earning first-team All-MIAA and first-team All-America honors. The Webb City, Mo., native hit 86 3-pointers. She has compiled 1,424 career points and 248 career 3-point field goals.

She led the MIAA in 3-point field goals (86) and ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (16.6 ppg) a year ago. Burgess has averaged 14.2 points in 100 career games for the Gorillas.

Northcutt is contributing 12.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game thus far. She is shooting 47.4 percent from the field and she leads the squad with 10 offensive rebounds (5.0 pg).

Northcutt averaged 11.3 points and 8.6 points per game a year ago. The Wichita, Kan., native shot a team-best 54.9 percent from the field, making 129 of 235 shots from the floor. Northcutt ranked fifth in the MIAA in rebounding while earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors. She has averaged 7.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 68 career games for the Gorillas.

Lopez is averaging 10.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. She has knocked down six of 11 3-point field goal attempts early in the season, converting 54.5 percent of her long-range shots.

Lopez contributed 9.2 points per game while earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors in 2016-17. The Wichita native hit 69 3-pointers, shooting a team-leading 38.1 percent from long range (69-181). She ranked third in the MIAA in 3-point field goals.

Additionally, Pitt State has three players averaging between 7.5 and 9.0 points per game: junior guard/forward Brenlee McPherson, senior guard Paige Imhoff and sophomore forward Athena Alvarado.

McPherson is averaging 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field (9-16).

McPherson, a Carl Junction, Mo., native shot 45.7 percent from the field last season, averaging 6.4 points per game. She has averaged 4.7 points in 62 career games for the Gorillas.

Imhoff has contributed 8.0 points and a team-leading 8.0 assists per game from the point guard position. She also has averaged 2.5 steals per game. Imhoff dished out 11 assists against Minnesota State.

Imhoff averaged 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game and dished out 38 assists last season. The Smithville, Mo., native has played in 83 career games, averaging 2.2 points per game.

Alvarado is scoring 7.5 points and grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game on the season. She also has blocked three shots (1.5 bpg).

Alvarado, a Wichita, Kan., native, shot 57.9 percent from the field in her rookie campaign for the Gorillas, converting 81 of 140 shots and scoring 6.2 points per game. She also blocked a team-leading 29 shots on the year.

Redshirt junior forward Elena Flott also is contributing 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Gorillas, while redshirt freshman guard Maya Williams is scoring 4.5 points per game as well. Sophomore guard Meghan Maher is chipping in with 4.0 points per game thus far.

Pitt State vs. Concordia-St. Paul
Pitt State overcame a slow start to the game to eventually pull away for an 80-61 victory over Concordia-St. Paul at the Central Region Challenge at Municipal Auditorium.

The Gorillas (1-0) trailed 9-0 to open the game against the Golden Bears (0-1), before battling back to take a 36-35 lead at the intermission. Pitt State pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring CSP 22-10 over the final 10 minutes of action.

Mikaela Burgess and Madison Northcutt paced the Gorillas with 19 points apiece. Northcutt posted a double-double adding a game-high 11 rebounds. Paige Imhoff also scored in double figures with 11 points as Pitt State shot 50.8 percent from the field as a team on 32 of 62 shooting.

CSP's Anna Schmitt led all scorers with 25 points, while Kyrah Fredenburg added 13 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.

Pitt State vs. Minnesota State
Pitt State took control early and rolled to a 84-60 victory over Minnesota State at the Central Region Challenge Saturday (Nov. 11) at Municipal Auditorium.

The Gorillas (2-0) got a game-high 15 points from Mikaela Burgess in the contest. Shelby Lopez (14), Athena Alvarado (11) and Brenlee McPherson (10) also scored in double figures for Pitt State.

Paige Imhoff scored five points and dished out a career high 11 assists for the Gorillas. Madison Northcutt added six points and a game-high nine rebounds. The Gorillas shot 54.4 percent from the field in the game, converting 31 of 57 shots from the floor.

Ashley Reed paced the Mavericks (0-2) with 14 points, while Taylor Klug finished with 12 points. MSU shot just 35.5 percent from the field in the game (22-62).

Pitt State Probable Starters
    F    5    Elena Flott, 6-0, Jr., Olpe, Kan.
    F    32    Madison Nortcutt, 5-11, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
    G    11    Shelby Lopez, 6-0, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
    G    14    Paige Imhoff, 5-10, Sr., Smithville, Mo.  
    G    15    Mikaela Burgess, 5-7, Sr., Webb City, Mo.

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