Jan. 28, 2006
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In her return home to the Philadelphia area, sophomore Marcedes Walker scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half to lead Pitt to a comeback victory over host Villanova at The Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
Walker (Philadelphia, Pa./University City) was 8-of-10 from the free-throw line in the second half and added three key baskets to finish with 17 points in just 17 minutes of action. Walker actually came off the bench for the first time in her 45-game career. She added six rebounds and a steal as Pitt erased a three-point halftime deficit.
Junior guard Mallorie Winn (San Diego, Calif./Bishop's/Georgia Tech) was also a big part of the Panthers' comeback, scoring 14 of her game-high 20 points in the final 20 minutes. Winn also had a career-best nine rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
Pitt (13-6, 4-4 Big East) led for the early part of the first half, building a 12-8 lead with 10:31 remaining. A 12-2 run by the Wildcats (12-7, 3-5) pushed the host team into the lead, which it held for the remainder of the first half. Pitt closed to within one point on a jumper by Cheron Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) with 2:48 to go but Villanova led 27-24 at the break.
The second half started out the same way as Walker made a free throw with 15:19 to go to cut the lead to one at 31-30 and Winn tied it with a jumper at 12:51. Villanova was able to regain the lead and had a 44-40 advantage with just over seven minutes remaining.
Pitt went on a 5-0 run to take its first lead since the first half but a three-pointer by Jenna Viani pushed the Wildcats back in front at 47-45 with 5:54 to go. Two baskets by Winn over the next minute traded the lead again and the teams battled back and forth until two free throws by Liad Suez-Karni gave Villanova a four-point lead with 3:04 to go.
Winn again came through for the Panthers with a lay-up at the 2:45 mark and the score remained that way until the final minute. Walker was able to get an offensive rebound and scored on the put-back and was fouled on the play. She made the free throw to give Pitt a 57-56 lead and two more free throws - one by Walker and Winn - gave the Panthers the three-point victory.
Jackie Adamshick led the Wildcats with 20 points and nine rebounds, playing all 40 minutes in the game. Pitt freshman Xenia Stewart (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) scored eight of her 11 points in the first half and added five rebounds in 39 minutes.
Pitt had the advantage in most statistical categories, including a school-record-tying seven turnovers. The Panthers also had seven giveaways in a win over Duquesne earlier this season, and marked the fourth time the team has had 10 turnovers or less in 2005-06.
Pitt returns home to take on Georgetown on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center.
NOTES: Pitt's 13 victories match last year's final total, marking the team's best season since 1999-2000...the win ended a six-game losing streak against the Wildcats, the Panthers' first vs. Villanova since Feb. 23, 2000...Pitt outrebounded Villanova, 47-38, and held the Wildcats to a 32.8 percent shooting clip.
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