This past week, Missouri Western’s women’s basketball team had a road trip against the Missouri Southern Lions and Pittsburg State Gorillas. They went 1-1, defeating the Lions and falling to the Gorillas.
“It is an uphill battle, but our program is at a point where we expect to win every game we play,” Coach Edmisson said.
Coming off a big conference win over Emporia State on Feb. 11, the Griffons had to get prepared for two conference rivals. Entering Wednesday’s contest against the Missouri Southern Lions, the Griffons were 18-6, while the lions were 11-13. Meanwhile, sitting at the top of the MIAA, Pitt State had a record of 23-3 when Western visited them.
The first half of Wednesday’s contest against Missouri Southern was pretty close, with the halftime score being 31-28 in Western’s favor.
Western started the second half strong, scoring seven straight points and never trailing for the rest of the contest. Nine Griffons scored, with four having double digits. Dwanisha Tate had a team high 17 points, while Chelsea Dewey added 13 points and 4 assists.
Saturday’s game against the Pittsburg State Gorillas was a very big game for both teams. An upset would have shook up the MIAA standings shortly before the tournament. The home team went into the game being ranked first in the conference and sixth nationally.
“We are 8-3 on the road and have beat three nationally ranked teams already, so we were used to it,” Edmisson said. “Our kids don’t look at that stuff as much as they just look at the opponent ahead of them.”
After a close first half where Pittsburg State led 28-35, Western’s deficit increased to 13 late in the third quarter, which led to a 14-2 run to begin the fourth. With Pitt State leading with the score 48-47 after the third quarter, the Gorillas answered by outscoring Western 18-2 to start the final period.
Pitt State out-rebounded Missouri Western 25-14, including 16 offensive rebounds opposed to Western’s 9. The gorillas also shot 24-27 from the free throw line, while the Griffons shot 5-8.
“We hit 3 more field goals and shot better field goal percentage, but we got outscored from the free throw line so dramatically, it was hard to recover,” Edmisson said.
Pittsburg State’s Madison Northcutt had a double double, with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Chelsea Dewey led the Griffons with 11 points and 5 assists as Sefula Faavae had a good defensive presence recording two blocks and four steals, while also scoring 12 points.
Western is still standing tall, being ranked top five in the MIAA, with a current record of 19-7.
“The only thing the Pitt State game did to us was hurt us in our regional rankings. It didn’t hurt us in our conference tournament, and we still have a good chance to get that bye and finish top 4 in the MIAA,” Coach Edmisson said.
Missouri Western will try to move forward from the loss to Pittsburg State as the 19-7 Griffons go on to play the 5-19 Lincoln Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 23. The Griffons defeated the Tigers earlier this month 78-59. After that, Western hosts the 11-14 Lindenwood Lions who they defeated 66-60 on Feb. 2.
“It is gonna be a tough week, but hopefully we can finish with a positive note on our home floor,” Edmisson said.