PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Northeastern State women hung tough for a half. But the second half was a different story.
The RiverHawks never got within eight points of Pittsburg State in the final 20 minutes and suffered a 78-60 setback at John Lance Arena.
Needing every victory possible to catch Washburn in the standings, NSU dropped to 17-7 overall and 12-4 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. The Gorillas improved to 15-7 and 9-5.
Lauren Brown and Lizzy Jeronimus led the way for Pittsburg State, posting 17 points apiece on a combined 13-of-23 shooting effort. Brown also hauled in nine rebounds.
“Pittsburg State played well. We came in here and played against a team that was really ready to play, and they had a hot shooting day,” NSU coach Randy Gipson said. “We didn’t play our best game, but I give (Pitt State) a lot of credit for the outcome of this one.”
Northeastern State owned a 16-15 advantage midway through the first half, but the Gorillas closed the half on a 16-9 run to eliminate any chance of NSU winning.
Leading the way for NSU was Taylor Lewis with 29 points. The senior guard was 8 of 15 from the field, 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc and 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
But Lewis no help on the offensive end. No other NSU player scored in double figures, and the RiverHawks were depleted on the bench with Taylor Collins sitting out after injuring a knee against Missouri Southern during the week.
Pittsburg State shot 56 percent (30 of 54) from the field, 50 percent (9 of 18) from distance and 69 percent (9 of 13) at the line.
Pitt State (men) 89, NSU 59
The RiverHawks (17-7, 10-6 MIAA) recorded their worst loss of the season, while the Gorillas (15-7, 9-5 MIAA) were able to exact revenge from a 64-62 defeat at the hands of NSU back on Jan. 23.
Northeastern State had not lost by more than 12 points this season and all six previous losses were by a combined 34 points.
Junior guard Bryton Hobbs led NSU with 16 points and five assists in 35 minutes. Senior forward Jermaine Bransford added 12 points, and fellow senior forward John Schneider added eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.
NSU shot just 33 percent (19-for-57) from the field, 39 percent (7-for-18) beyond the arc and 82 percent (14-for-17) at the charity stripe.
The Gorillas shot a scorching 57 percent (32-for-56) from the field, 53 percent (9-for-17) from distance and 84 percent (16-for-19) from the free-throw line.
Marky Nolen paced PSU with 22 points. JaVon McGee recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Kaleb Porter posted 15 points, eight assists and six boards.
Sophomore forward Landon DeMasters scored the game’s opening basket to put NSU on top 2-0, but the home side scored eight unanswered points and never looked back.
Pittsburg State led 50-31 at the half and cruised to the 30-point victory.
Northeastern State will take a week off before heading to Emporia, Kan., on Feb. 23 to take on Emporia State.