Jan. 18, 2006
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Foul trouble kept the Pitt women's basketball team from making a run at host Marquette, and dropped a 71-62 decision at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee on Wednesday evening.
The Panthers (12-5, 3-3 Big East) trailed by only four points at halftime but picked up several early fouls in the second half and lost starters Cheron Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) and Mallorie Winn (San Diego, Calif./Bishop's/Georgia Tech) with five apiece before it was over.
Marquette (12-4, 3-2 Big East) had four players in double figures, led by Jasmine McCullough's 14 points. As a team, the Golden Eagles shot 55 percent from the floor, the first time in 17 games this season Pitt allowed a team to shoot higher than 50 percent. Krystal Ellis had 13 points for the Golden Eagles, while Carolyn Kieger added 10 points and a game-high nine assists.
Sophomore center Marcedes Walker (Philadelphia, Pa./University City) had a game-high 22 points for the Panthers on 9-of-16 shooting, and added 12 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double. Winn had 14 points, four rebounds and three assists before fouling out, while Xenia Stewart (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) finished with 13 points, three rebounds and a team-best four assists.
Both teams were finding success from the floor in the early going, trading baskets throughout the first 10 minutes. After Ellis hit a free throw to finish a three-point play and put Marquette up 13-11 with 12:50 remaining in the first half, Pitt went on a 10-3 run over the next three minutes to take a five-point lead. Winn had two three-pointers during the run and eight of the 10 points.
Marquette countered with an 17-2 run, holding the Panthers scoreless for a stretch of over six minutes to regain a 10-point lead. Pitt was able to get late baskets from Walker and Stewart to close the gap to four at the break.
The Panthers closed it to one point on two occasions, the second on a tip-in by Walker with 18:48 left in the game. Another 8-0 run by the Golden Eagles over the next 3:33 made it tough for the Panthers to get back in the game and the closest they would get was four points with 11:21 left after a lay-up by Danielle Taylor (Cleveland, Ohio/Villa Angela-St. Joseph).
The foul trouble kept Marquette at the free-throw line, making 27 trips in the second half and the Golden Eagles converted on 21 of them to finish with the nine-point victory.
Pitt returns home to face No. 5 Connecticut on Saturday, Jan. 21, with a 2 p.m. tip-off at the Petersen Events Center.
NOTES: Pitt committed just nine turnovers, the fourth time this season the Panthers have had less than 10 in a game...the Panthers took a season-high 73 shots, making just 24 of them for a 32.9 percent clip...Pitt also had a season-high 13 steals, including four by Shavonte Zellous (Orlando, Fla./Jones).
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