Gorillas Set to Entertain SBU, Northwest in Weekly Action

  Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Gorillas Set to Entertain SBU, Northwest in Weekly Action

PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University men’s basketball team will return to the friendly confines of John Lance Arena Wednesday (Feb. 1) to begin two-game Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association homestand.

The Gorillas will play host to Southwest Baptist University Wednesday before entertaining MIAA co-leader Northwest Missouri State University Saturday.

Wednesday’s tip is set for 7:30 p.m. (CST), while Saturday’s action will get underway at 3:30 p.m.

The Records
Pitt State is 12-8 overall, 8-5 in the MIAA and ranked in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings.

The Gorillas split a pair of league games last week, defeating Truman, 73-56, in Pittsburg on Jan. 25 and falling 84-82 at Warrensburg, Mo., to Central Missouri last Saturday (Jan. 28).
SBU brings a 13-9 overall record and a 6-7 MIAA mark into Wednesday’s action.  The Bearcats enter the game having won seven of their last nine games, after an 0-5 start to MIAA play.

Northwest is 16-3 overall, 10-3 in the MIAA and tied with Central Missouri atop the conference standings.  The Bearcats sit just outside the NABC Division II Top 25.  Northwest has won three straight games, including victories over Washburn (70-63) and Fort Hays State (74-57) last week.

The Coaches
Pittsburg State’s Kevin Muff is in his second season leading the Gorillas. Muff (Kansas State, ’86) became the Gorillas’ 14th all-time head coach on Apr. 5, 2010, after spending 12 seasons at Cloud County Community College, where he helped the Thunderbirds to an average of 21 wins in each of the last five seasons. [for complete biography, see page 3]

He has a 25-21 record in his short tenure with the Gorillas.  He is 1-2 in three career games against both SBU and Northwest.

Jeff Guiot is in his seventh season at Southwest Baptist and his 17th year as a collegiate coach.  Guiot (Pittsburg State, ’87) has a 370-171 (.684) career record, including a 152-78 (.661) mark at the helm at SBU.  He is 12-4 vs. his alma mater at SBU and 13-4 vs. PSU overall (includes one game at Bemidji State).

Ben McCollum is in his third year as head coach at NW Missouri State.   McCollum (NW Missouri, ’03) has guided the Bearcats to a 37-33 (.529) record heading, including a 3-2 mark in five career games against the Gorillas.

Series History
Wednesday evening’s action will mark the 67th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and SBU in a series that dates to the 1965 season.  SBU holds a slight 29-27 edge in the series.

On Dec. 10 at Bolivar, Mo., Courtney Ingram led four Pitt State players in double figures with 15 points as the Gorillas beat SBU, 73-67. JaVon McGee flirted with a double-double, recording 12 points and nine rebounds. Kyle Sloan scored 16 points for the Bearcats, but it was not enough as the Gorillas took the lead in the closing seconds of the first half and never let go. The victory snapped a seven-game winning streak for SBU against the Gorillas at Bolivar.

Saturday’s match-up will mark the 118th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Northwest in a series that dates back to the 1926 season.

Pitt State leads the series, 65-53, including six wins in the last seven games at John Lance Arena.

Earlier this season, Northwest Missouri claimed a 73-70 overtime victory at Mayrville, Mo., on Dec. 7. Bryston Williams came off the bench to score 22 points (shooting 17-for-18 from the free throw line) to lead the Bearcat attack. Eric Ray hit a jumper with two seconds remaining to force overtime and Andra Bailey recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds, but Norrthwest led the entire overtime period to score the victory.

Scouting the Gorillas
Three Pitt State players are averaging in double figures early in the season:  senior guard Eric Ray and junior forward Eric Ray lead the way with 12.8 points per game and 12.2 points per game, respectively. Ray is coming off a season-high 26-point performance against Central Missouri on Saturday (Jan. 28). Andra Bailey  is also averaging in double figures with 11.3 ppg.

Bailey (6-4, 203) has pulled down a team-leading 175 rebounds this season, good for 8.8 rebounds per game. The St. Louis, Mo. native is also pacing the team with a 53.3% shooting clip from the field (84-for-158).

McGee (6-6, 224), from Grandview, Mo, has 138 rebounds (6.9 rpg) on the year, including 68 on the offensive end. In addition, McGee has a team-high 39 steals to date (2.0 spg).

Both players help fuel PSU’s MIAA-best rebounding rate, leading the conference in rebounding defense, rebounding margin, defensive rebounding percentage, and offensive rebounding percentage. Pitt State also leads the MIAA in steals (9.9 spg).

Senior guard Drake Green (6-3, 199) and junior guard Courtney Ingram (6-3, 210) have scoring averages just under double figures at 8.6 ppg and 8.4 ppg, respectively. Green recorded a season-high 20 points against Eastern New Mexico on Nov. 11. Ingram had a career-high 20 points in the Gorillas’ 88-78 win against Avila (Mo.) Saturday on Nov. 19. Hitting from behind the arc at a 37.1% pace, Ingram has 23 three-pointers on the season.

As a team, Pitt State is shooting 44.8 percent from the field (500-for-1115), 32.1 percent from 3-point range (105-for-327) and 70.9 percent from the free throw line (373-for-526).

Pitt State’s opponents are shooting 47.3 percent from the field (480-of-1015), 36.0 percent from 3-point range (114-for-317) and 72.3 percent from the free throw line (350-for-484).

Scouting the SBU Bearcats
Southwest Baptist has four players averaging in double figures to date:  senior guard Ryan Dougherty (16.2 ppg), junior forward Preston Guiot (13.4 ppg) and senior guard Kyle Sloan (12.6 ppg), and senior guard/forward Robson Memnon (11.9 ppg).

The Bearcats have been active from behind the arc - 49% of the team’s field goal attempts have been from three-point range. Dougherty (60), Sloan (59), Guiot (58), and senior Jake Littrel (36) have all connected on more than 35 three-pointers on the season. Guiot also leads the team in assists, dishing out 118 so far this year (5.6 per game).

Memnon is averaging a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game.

As a team, the Bearcats are averaging 80.9 points per game and shooting 45.2 percent from the field (631-for-1397).  Southwest Baptist is shooting 35.7 percent from 3-point range (244-for-684) as a team.

Scouting the Northwest Bearcats
Northwest Missouri has two players averaging in double figures to date:  senior guard DeShaun Cooper (12.6 ppg) and junior forward Jake Reinders (10.9 ppg). Senior guard Kyle Haake (9.6 ppg) and senior guard DeAngelo Hailey (8.9 ppg) come into the contest averaging just under double figures.

Reinders has a team-high 110 rebounds (5.8 per game) to go along with 21 blocked shots (1.1 bpg).

As a team, Northwest is averaging 69.4 points per game and shooting 46.8 percent from the field (454-for-971).  The Bearcats are shooting 37.0 percent from 3-point range (121-for-327) and allow 58.7 points per game.

Probable Starters

Pitt State (12-8, 8-5 MIAA)
    F    33    Andra Bailey, 6-4, 203, Sr., St. Louis, Mo.
    F    44    JaVon McGee, 6-6, 224, Jr., Kansas City, Mo.
    G    4    Marky Nolen, 6-3, 195, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
    G    5    Eric Ray, 6-2, 183, Sr., Topeka, Kan.
    G    24    Drake Green, 6-3, 199, Sr., Oakland, Calif.

Southwest Baptist (13-9, 6-7 MIAA)
    F    23    Daveion Zellner, 6-7, 210, Jr., Forsyth, Ga.
    F    32    Kyle Sloan, 6-2, 180, Jr., Kansas City, Mo.
    F    33    Robson Memnon, 6-6, 225, Sr., Nassau, Bahamas
    G    3    Preston Guiot, 5-11, 185, Fr.-RS, Bolivar, Mo.
    G    25    Ryan Dougherty, 5-11, 180, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas

Northwest Missouri (16-3, 10-3 MIAA)
    F    42    Jake Reinders, 6-9, 200, Sr., Omaha, Neb.
    F    51    Dillon Starzl, 6-8, 250, So., Kearney, Mo.
    G    2    DeShaun Cooper, 5-7, 150, Jr., St. Louis, Mo.
    G    25    Kyle Haake, 6-3, 190, Sr., Harlon, Iowa
    G    33    Justin Clark, 6-4, 180, Jr., Independence, Mo.



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