Not content with a road split, Northwest Missouri State wore Pittsburg State down with its tough, efficient brand of basketball in the second half to pull away for a 62-51 win in a game televised on the CBS College Sports Network Saturday afternoon at John Lance Arena.
Ahead for all but 18 seconds, Northwest extended a six-point halftime lead to as many as 20 and never let the Gorillas closer than eight.
This was Northwest's third consecutive win and second on the road after losing twice in Hawaii.
The Bearcats improved to 11-2 overall and moved into sole possession of first place in the MIAA at 4-0 even with starting point guard DeShaun Cooper still on the mend. Pittsburg State fell to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA.
Northwest held Pitt State, which was averaging over 70 points per game, to its lowest total of the year.
The Gorillas shot just over 37 percent from the field, went 3-18 (16.7 percent) from three and turned it over 19 times.
Northwest connected on 50 percent of its second half shots to finish 22-48 (45.8 percent). The Bearcats made just 2-10 three's but were 16-22 (72.7 percent) from the foul line.
They also won the rebounding battle 31-29 and turned it over five less times.
For the second straight game, Dillon Starzl was Northwest's high scorer. He finished with 16 points on 6-8 shooting, making him 15-20 over the last two games.
DeAngelo Hailey went 7-13 with 15 points, highlighted by a two-handed flush in the second half.
Alex Sullivan entered double-figures as well with 13 points. Kyle Schlake was 3-4 inside with seven points.
Courtney Ingram led Pitt State with 14 points on 6-9 shooting. Post player Javon McGee finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Marky Nolen also had 11 points.
Pitt State's leading scorer, freshman Kaleb Porter, scored just two points on 0-4 shooting.
The Gorillas only lead of the game came on a three by Ingram to make it 7-6 with 13:52 left in the first half. Northwest took the lead for good 18 seconds later and worked it to 28-22 at the half.
Northwest extended to a 34-24 lead within the opening four minutes of the second half. Hailey's steal and dunk followed by a Sullivan three made it 47-29.
Northwest's lead hit 20 on a free throw by Schlake at the 9:17 mark.
Aided by four Bearcat turnovers, Pitt fought back within eight at 57-49 on a jumper by McGee with 2:09 left. The Bearcats put it away at the foul line, connecting on five of their last six free throws.
Northwest returns to action Saturday at MIAA rival Missouri Western.
By Staff Report
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Staff Report
Updated Jan. 6, 2013 @ 4:47 pm
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