Jan. 19, 2014
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PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team shot a season-low 22.6 percent which hindered the Panthers as they lost to Syracuse University 58-47 on Sunday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.
The Panthers (9-10, 1-4) were slowed by the Syracuse 2-3 zone and made just 12 of their 53 attempts, including 5-of-25 from behind the arc. Ashlee Anderson scored a team-high 13 points while Brianna Kiesel, the ACC’s leading scorer during league play, was kept in check and scored 12 points. The Pitt defense held Syracuse to 30.9 percent for the game (17-of-55).
“We played hard defensively today,” head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. “They have two great players in Brittney Sykes and Brianna Butler, and our players took responsibility and ownership of trying to contain them. They are a high paced offensive team and I thought our defensive effort was tremendous across the board.”
The Panthers came out of the gates making three of their first six shots, including two 3-pointers from Anderson which gave Pitt an 11-5 lead at the first media timeout of the game.
Pitt then hit a slump, missing eight straight shots and committed seven turnovers as Syracuse (13-5, 2-3) reeled off a 16-0 run which gave them a 21-11 lead with 9:04 remaining in the half. Kiesel, the ACC’s leader in free throws made, snapped the run with a pair of makes at the line.
The Panthers missed 18 of their final 19 shots of the first half en route to shooting a season-low 16 percent in the first 20 minutes. Syracuse, who also struggled from the field in the first half as well (10-of-30), led at the break 30-18.
Kiesel started the second half by converting an and-1, plus making a 3-pointer as Pitt scored the first seven points and cut into the SU lead, making it 30-25 at the under 16 media timeout. The Pitt run was ultimately 9-0 which got the Panthers to within three, but a three-point-play for Syracuse, plus a 3-pointer from Brianna Butler (the nation’s leader in that category), stretched the Orange lead back to nine at 36-27.
The Pitt post players keep the Panthers in the game down the stretch as Chyna Golden, Asia Logan and Cora McManus combined to score 12 consecutive Pitt points, and two free throws by Golden brought the Panthers to within three (46-43) with 3:10 to play.
However, the Orange scored the next four points by throwing long inbounds passes which resulted in uncontested layups and put the lead back up to seven. The Panthers could not close the gap and had to foul down the stretch which resulted in the 58-47 final score.
The Orange out-rebounded the Panthers 47-38 and had 25 of its 58 points come from the bench.
The Panthers have a week until they play their next game which is at Duke on January 26, at 2 p.m.