Jan. 31, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Despite a strong first half, Pitt women’s basketball could not sustain its momentum in the second period and dropped a 66-51 decision to St. John’s on Tuesday evening at Petersen Events Center.
Redshirt sophomore Ashlee Anderson scored 19 points and freshman Brianna Kiesel had 15 for the Panthers (8-14, 0-9 Big East), who suffered their eighth-straight loss.
The Red Storm (14-8, 6-3) were paced by senior Da’Shena Stevens with a season-high 19 points, while Shenneika Smith added 14.
The fast-paced first half featured seven lead changes and two ties. At the second media timeout (11:35), Pitt was shooting 57.1 percent and posting an 11-9 lead on the scoreboard. The Panthers could gain no ground offensively due to seven turnovers in the first eight and a half minutes.
After the Red Storm used a 4-0 run to take a three-point edge, the Panthers rallied getting a bank shot at the shot clock buzzer from Kiesel and a driving layup by Marquel Davis to retake the lead at 15-14 with 9:46 left in the half.
St. John’s tallied 10 of the game’s next 12 points to move to a 24-17 advantage with 4:04 showing. Every field goal over the run came in the paint. After the Red Storm took an eight-point (20-28) edge, the Panthers responded with a flurry of offense.
A 3-pointer from Anderson started a 7-0 run and backcourt teammate Kiesel closed it with back-to-back jumpers as Pitt trailed by just a point (28-27) at the half.
The Panthers shot 50 percent in the first period, the second-highest first half field goal percentage of the season.
St. John’s jumped out of the gate early and often to start the second period, reeling off a 17-2 scoring run. The Panthers turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the second half and made just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the half.
A turnaround face-up jumper from Leeza Burdgess started a 6-2 run which narrowed the gap to 12 points at 47-35 with 10:27 remaining. The Panthers could not make up ground as St. John’s answered by piecing together a 14-3 run to take its largest lead of the game.
The Panthers were outscored in the paint, 46-14.
Pitt returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Marquette. Game time is at 8 p.m. EST.
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