The Pittsburg State women’s basketball team left the Looney Arena Wednesday night as the only team to sweep the Missouri Western Griffons women’s team this season.
The Griffons ended the first quarter with the advantage but trailed at the end of each quarter for the rest of the game.
Corbyn Cunningham gave the Griffons a one-point lead during fourth quarter with two good free throws making the score 59-58 with 1:07 remaining in the game, but Pitt State’s Athena Alvarado switched the lead yet again 60-59 with a layup in the paint followed by a good free throw from Pitt’s Kaylee Damitz making the score 61-59.
While the score was tied on a total of six different occasions, the Griffons couldn’t grab the advantage throughout the game, but most importantly in the last 26 seconds where they had possession of the ball twice but failed to walk away with the win finishing with the final score of 61-59.
“We played as hard as we could. The ball wasn’t falling in the basket,” Cunningham said.
Though having a slow start, Cunningham was the leading scorer for this game contributing greatly in the second half adding 13 points to the score as well as Katrina Roenfeldt with 10 rebounds and 6 steals. There were 21 points off the bench.
Head coach Candi Whitaker was able to bring in some positives about the game despite the close loss.
“I thought our bench was very good they kept us in the ball game the first half and that’s important for us if we want to win games," Whitaker said. "We’ve got to have all the people we depend on to show up and make plays and in this league I don’t think you’re going to be a good team without having people that consistently do that.”
Off of the bench Simone Walker threw in eight points with five rebounds and Miranda Stephens totaled eight points as well with one rebound.
“Every game is important, sure. I told them this one hurts, and I hate it for them but you got to move on," Whitaker said. "We got to forget about it and start preparing for a really good Missouri Southern team”.
And prep they did. Missouri Western bounced back with the win against Missouri Southern Saturday night beginning with an 18-2 lead and increasing the run as the game progressed.
Compared to the game against Pitt State earlier in the week, The Griffons never trailed Missouri Southern but stayed ahead having a 47-point lead in the fourth quarter of the game.
Kylee Williams believes once the Griffons get going, it's hard to stop them.
“It felt good. I think we just needed to get our feet under us and get back to what we’re used to doing and that’s running in transition and I think it showed tonight," Williams said.
Cunningham scored 16 points in the first half, a different start from the game on Wednesday. Williams gave the team 15 shooting 4 of 5 from the field, and Anastacia Johnson brought in 10 points to add to the total score. The Griffons as a whole shot 51.9% while Missouri Southern shot 36.2%.
“I think there’s no question we played at a different level than we have the last couple of weeks," Whitaker said. "I felt like there were flashes of what makes us great. We really got back to our identity both defensively and offensively.”
The Griffons host rival Northwest Missouri State on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the MWSU Fieldhouse.