Jan. 3, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Pitt freshman Brianna Kiesel scored a game and career-high 26 points, but it was not enough as the Panthers dropped a 70-62 decision to Villanova in Big East women’s basketball action on Tuesday evening at The Pavilion. The freshman point guard went 10-of-21 from the field and dropped all six attempts from the free throw line.
Sophomores Marquel Davis and Asia Logan added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Pitt.
The Panthers (8-7, 0-2) had more field goals (25) than the Wildcats (23), but the difference turned out to be the shots converted behind the arc. Villanova knocked down 13 3-pointers to Pitt’s three.
Villanova (11-3, 2-0) was led by redshirt freshman Lauren Burford with 19 points, 16 of those in the first half. She went 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
Trailing by 12 at the half, Pitt scored the first two baskets of the second half to take the contest down to single digits. A triple from Villanova quieted the Panthers, but Kiesel responded with four straight – a short jumper and two free throws – to close Pitt to 35-28 with 16:50 remaining.
Nova increased its advantage back to 12 on three occasions - lastly on a backdoor bucket from Megan Pearson with 8:52 left in the game to make it 49-37. Pitt responded with a flurry of offense, commenced by a two plus the bonus from Logan. Davis added a free throw and then Logan closed out the short run with a steal and subsequent layup to make it 49-43 to force a VU timeout.
Out of the chat and with the VU possession ticking down, Davis picked off the pass and went the distance for the layup. Her basket cut the deficit to 49-45 with 7:21 showing.
The Wildcats ran off nine of the game’s next 11 points- the last off an offensive putback - to take a 58-47 lead with 4:26 left. Kiesel hit sandwiched a runner between four from the charity stripe for a five-point difference at 58-53 and Davis closed the 9-0 run with a triple – the second of the evening for the sophomore and of her career – to close the gap to 58-56 at the 2:05 mark.
The Panthers furious rally was halted by another VU trey, its 13th of the night and a Pitt turnover gave the Wildcats the ball back. VU converted the opportunity and pushed the lead back to nine (65-56) with 40 seconds left en route to the 70-62 lead.
Both teams shot over 40 percent in the contest, Pitt at a 41.7 percent clip and Villanova with a 41.1 percent effort. The Panthers out-rebounded the Wildcats, 37-33.