Jan. 12, 2014
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CLEMSON, S.C. - The University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team (9-8, 1-2) shot just 30 percent from the field in the second half and suffered a 77-67 loss to Clemson University (9-8, 1-2) on Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Junior point guard Brianna Kiesel paced the Panthers with 21 points, but Pitt could not stop Clemson's Nikki Dixon who had a career day, scoring 29 points on 8-of-15 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. Clemson shot 46 percent overall (24-of-52) and out-rebounded the Panthers 46-30.
Marquel Davis had her second best scoring output of the season with 13 points, but she was the only other Pitt player to join Kiesel in double-figure scoring. Kiesel played all 40 minutes for the second straight game and had a season-high four steals.
Pitt made seven of its first 10 shots to open the game, and used a 9-0 run to gain an 18-11 lead. Davis was instrumental during the spurt as she scored seven of the nine points, but she picked up her second foul with 12:16 remaining and had to go to the bench.
Behind Dixon, the Tigers got back within one at 20-19, but Kiesel and Loliya Briggs hit-back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Panthers' lead back to seven at 26-19. However, Clemson then scored the next nine points and led 28-26 at the under four media timeout of the half. It was a lead the Tigers would not relinquish.
Pitt missed seven of its final eight shots from the field to end the first half, and Clemson ultimately ended the frame on a 13-2 run for a 32-28 halftime advantage. Kiesel had nine points in the half, followed by seven apiece from Davis and Briggs. Dixon had 12 points in the half for the Tigers and as a team, Clemson shot 52 percent in the first 20 minutes (13-of-25).
Clemson made 6-of-10 shots to start the second half, and grabbed a 47-38 advantage when Dixon made one of two from the free throw line with 13:24 left. Dixon was 11-for-17 from the line for the game.
Cora McManus keep the Panthers close by scoring nine straight points for the Panthers, and she completed a three-point play with 9:47 left which brought the score to 52-47, but Kelly Gramlich connected on her fourth 3-pointer on Clemson's next trip down the court to extend the Tigers' lead back to eight.
The Tigers forced Pitt into a timeout with 5:52 remaining when Nyilah Jamison-Myers scored an uncontested layup which gave Clemson a 12 point advantage at 62-50. From that point on, Pitt would only be able to get within eight points when Kiesel made a pair of free throws with 1:12 remaining, but Clemson scored its final 13 points from the free throw line and ultimate made 23 of their 35 attempts at the charity stripe.
The Panthers return to the Petersen Events Center on Thursday night, January 16, to host 2/2 Notre Dame. Tip-off with the Fighting Irish is set for 7 p.m.