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Gorilla Men Head to KC



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men's basketball team will travel to Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday (Nov. 21) to face Newman University as part of a triple header lineup the inaugural MIAA Men's Basketball Challenge. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (CST) at historic Municipal Auditorium.

The University of Central Missouri will meet East Central (Okla.) University to open the day's action at 4 p.m. while MIAA foes Northwest Missouri State University and Washburn University will face off in a non-conference tilt at 8 p.m.

The Records
Pitt State is 3-1 on the young season. The Gorillas opened the 2017-18 campaign with a pair of wins over Minnesota State (90-80) and St. Cloud State (72-62) in the MIAA/NSIC Conference Challenge Nov. 10-11. Pitt State added a 90-50 home victory over NAIA member Haskell on Nov. 15, before dropping a 104-95 road decision to Arkansas Fort Smith last Saturday (Nov. 18).

Newman is off to a 2-1 start to the season. The Jets split a pair of games in the Heartland/Lone Star Challenge Nov. 10-11, defeating Cameron, 87-85, in overtime and falling to Texas A&M-Commerce, 74-69. NU posted an 80-61 home win over Manhattan Christian on Nov. 15 as well.

Head Coach Kim Anderson
Pittsburg State's Kim Anderson is in his first season leading the Gorillas. He has a 3-1 record. Anderson (Missouri, '79) became the Gorillas' 15th all-time head coach on Apr. 10, 2017, after coaching the past three seasons at his alma mater – the University of Missouri.

He has a 304-163 (.651) record in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship as head coach at the University of Central Missouri as well as two more Division II Final Four appearances (2007, 2009) while compiling a 274-95 (.743) record at the school.

Anderson led UCM to seven trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and seven 20-win seasons.  In his final season with the Mules he guided the squad to a 30-5 overall record and the D2 national title.

His Mules teams captured six MIAA regular season titles (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and four MIAA Tournament titles (2005, 2007, 2009, 2013).

He was selected the MIAA Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2010, and the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2014.

Series History
This will be the 28th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Jets in a series that dates back to the 1974 season. Pitt State holds a 15-12 advantage in the series.

Tuesday's action will be just the second battle between PSU and NU on a neutral floor. The Jets claimed a 95-80 win at Emporia, Kan., on Nov. 22, 1975. Last year, Pitt State posted an 84-76 win in Pittsburg on Nov. 15, 2016. The Jets claimed a 98-89 win two years ago in Wichita on Nov. 17, 2015.

All-Time Victories
Pitt State has compiled a 1409-1169 (.547) all-time record in 109 seasons of intercollegiate play. The Gorillas rank 15th on the NCAA Division II wins list (1409).

Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas enter Tuesday's action averaging 86.8 points per game and shooting 47.0 percent from the field.

Pitt State has five players averaging in double figures on the young season: junior guard Donovan Franklin (17.0 ppg), senior guard/forward Xavier Adams (15.5 ppg),  junior forward Demetrius Levarity (12.0 ppg), junior guard Jabari Antwine (11.3 ppg) and sophomore guard Brandon Clifford (11.0 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 46.7 percent from the field (21-45), 81.8 percent from the free throw line (18-22) and averaging 3.8 rebounds per game. He has converted eight of 18 attempts from 3-point range (.444).

Franklin (6-5, 205) joined the Gorillas from Indiana State University. He averaged 4.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 26 games for the Sycamores in 2016-17. The St. Louis, Mo., native averaged 14.9 points a game as a freshman at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla.

Adams is averaging 15.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He also is shooting 64.7 percent from the floor (22-34). He posted a double-double with team highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas victory against SCSU on Nov. 11; and he scored a season-high 23 points vs. UAFS on Nov. 18.

Adams (6-6, 215) joined the Gorillas from the University of New Mexico. He started 14 of 77 career games in three seasons for the Lobos. The Flower Mound, Texas, native averaged 4.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2015-16. He contributed 3.9 points per game as a junior in 2016-17 before suffering a season-ending injury in early January.

Levarity is contributing 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He did not play in Pitt State's opener against MSU. The New Orleans, La., native is shooting 54.5 percent from the field (12-22), including 70.0 percent from 3-point range (7-10).

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 (6-7, 210) transferred to Pitt State from Sam Houston State University, where he redshirted in 2016-17. He contributed 15.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Southeastern Illinois College.

Antwine scored a game-high 15 points in the Gorillas lopsided win against Haskell. For the season, he is averaging 11.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Antwine (6-1, 155) averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.9 steals as a sophomore at Moberly Area Community College in 2016-17, earning second-team All-Region and All-Conference honors. The Chicago native also made 35 3-point field goals, converting 44.9 percent of his long range-shots (35-78).

Clifford scored 11 points in his season debut against Haskell last Wednesday (Nov. 15). The Paragould, Ark., native made three of four 3-point field goal attempts against the Indians.
Clifford (6-3, 190) made three starts as a freshman last year, contributing 6.9 points per game on the year.

The Gorillas have four additional players scoring between 4.5 and 9.3 points a game: senior guard Jaxon Holden (9.3 ppg), junior guard Grant Lozoya (7.0 ppg), junior center Deitrich Cole, Jr. (4.8 ppg) and junior guard Mar'Qywell Jackson (4.5 ppg).

Holden (6-1, 180) is contributing 9.3 points per game and shooting 57.9 percent from the field (11-19). He scored a season-high 18 points against UAFS on Nov. 18. Holden started 13 games for the Gorillas a year ago, averaging 10.5 points per game. He missed 14 games due to injury.

The Flower Mound, Texas, native has started 28 of 38 career games for the Gorillas, after transferring to Pitt State following his freshman season from Stephen F. Austin University.
Holden has averaged 8.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game for his career and he has converted 55 career 3-point field goals.

Lozoya scored 15 points in the season opener against MSU. He has dished out a team-leading 12 assists (3.0 apg) and snared six steals (1.5 spg).

Lozoya (6-3, 180) came to Pitt State after three years at Stetson University. The Agoura Hills, Calif., native averaged 9.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a freshman for the Hatters in 2014-15, earning All-Freshman honors form the Atlantic Sun Conference. He  contributed 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds as a sophomore in 2015-16, before exercising a medical redshirt in 2016-17.

Cole is shooting 53.3 percent from the floor (8-15) and averaging 4.5 rebounds per game.

Cole (6-10, 240), a Detroit native, averaged 2.5 points and shot 55 percent from the field at Moberly Area Community College last season. He also averaged 2.4 rebounds and recorded 11 blocked shots on the year.

Jackson, also from Detroit, is averaging 4.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

Jackson (6-5, 195) contributed 11.5 points per game at Moberly Area Community College, helping the Greyhounds to a 27-5 overall record a year ago. He knocked down 42 3-pointers on the season during his sophomore campaign.

The Gorillas are +6.8 in the rebounding department – +3.8 on the offensive glass.

Pitt State Probable Starters
    F    21    Xavier Adams, 6-6, 215, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas
    C    4    Deitrich Cole, Jr., 6-10, 240, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
    G    2    Grant Lozoya, 6-3, 180, Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif.
    G    3    Donovan Franklin, 6-5, 205, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.
    G    25    Jaxon Holden, 6-1, 180, Sr., Flower Mound, Texas

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