Basketball Battles in The Pitt

The University of Central Oklahoma fell to Pittsburg State University 90-74 in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association matchup Thursday night at Hamilton Field House, dropping their conference record to 1-6 on the season and their overall record to 8-8.

The Gorillas set two milestones in their win. They hit a school record 16 three pointers to beat the Bronchos. Their previous record was 15. 

“They’re a really good 3-point shooting team and showed it tonight,” said head coach Tom Hankins.  “They made a lot of long shots when I thought we played pretty good defense on them. We obviously didn’t shoot it very well, but we were still in the game until the last five or six minutes when it got away from us.”

The previous two matchups against Pittsburg State had come down to buzzer beaters, each team owning one, but tonight the Bronchos just couldn’t keep up with the Gorillas three-point shooting.

“We was stressing in practice all week just trying to stay focused,” said Pittsburg State’s Donovan Franklin. “We knew this was going to be a big game, their record doesn’t show how good of a team they really are.”

Along with the 3-point record, Franklin had a career-high 32 points as he knocked down seven three-pointers on his own; his previous career high was 31.

“My shot was feeling good today,” Franklin said. “But the most important thing today was that we got the win, so that’s all I care about.”

The Bronchos started behind as Pittsburg threw down a dunk and then a fast-break layup.

Adarius Avery, who poured in 11 of the Bronchos 36 in the first half, scored the first basket for UCO.

Ashford Golden would tie Avery in the first half with 11 of his own.

The Bronchos as a team shot a better percentage from the field (47.1) than the Gorillas (45.5) in the first half. However, the Gorillas poured in 9 of 22 three-pointers to the Bronchos 1 of 8 to lead 43-36 at the half.

After a Gorilla player was called for a technical, Avery would step up to shoot the technical shots. However, the arena music started on the release of his first shot and he missed. He was able to sink the second and then Golden was able to knock in his own pair of free throws and Jordan Hemphill followed him.

Marquis Johnson would get fouled and he would take the lead knocking in his two free throws halfway through the second half but the Gorillas would score five unanswered points to go up by four. 

With just under four and a half remaining, the Gorillas would then go on to score 14 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. During that span, the Bronchos shot 0-10 from the field and 0-6 from three.

UCO will look to bounce back and improve their conference record in their matchup against Missouri Southern State University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Hamilton Field House.

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