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Feb. 7, 2013

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PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team saw its bid for its first conference regular season win in 29 games come up short, falling in double overtime to Providence, 85-83, on Wednesday evening at the Petersen Events Center.

The Panthers played just the third double overtime game in program history and the first in 28 years, a 71-69 double overtime loss to Providence on Jan. 2, 1985

Sophomore Brianna Kiesel paced all scorers with 26 points and a career-best 13 rebounds to register the second double-double of her career. Junior Marquel Davis - in her second-straight start - had a season-high 20 points and a career-best five steals for the Panthers (9-13, 0-9 Big East).  Three players would foul out for Pitt, who could not sustain a double-digit first half lead.

Brianna Edwards finished with 25 points and teammate Symone Roberts added 23 for the Friars (7-15, 2-7)

Tied at 6-6 at the game’s first media timeout, Pitt rolled off an 18-8 run over the next six minutes - piloted by Kiesel who had nine of the 18 -  to pull to a 24-14 lead with 9:45 left in the first period.

The Panthers would lead the entire first stanza, extending their advantage to the largest of half (37-26) after a 5-0 single-handed spurt by Kiesel.  The Friars closed out the period on an 11-5 run, including scoring seven of the last nine before the halftime horn as Pitt took a 42-37 lead into the locker room. Kiesel (18) and Davis (11) combined to score 29 of the Panthers’ 42 points, while as a team Pitt had 15 points off of PC turnovers.

Providence refused to back down, opening the second half on a 9-2 tear to take its first lead of the contest. A three-foot jumper from Edwards with 17:10 to go put the score at 46-44 and the Friars would lead the entire second half until the waning seconds. Pitt closed to a point twice in the final four and a half minutes, lastly on a Davis dribble-drive with 1:20 showing to make the score 62-61.

PC responded with a quick bucket and the Panthers next two shot attempts were blocked to give the ball back to the Friars – and up by three - with less than a minute to go. Davis picked the pocket of Roberts and took off the other way, getting the whistle as she attempted her shot. She made the second of her two free throws to cut the deficit to two (64-62) with 26.5 seconds on the clock.

After a PC timeout, the Panthers turned on the full court press and were forced to foul and sent Roberts to the line. She missed the front end of the one-and-one as Cora McManus sent the outlet pass to Davis. The guard drove the lane with 9.1 seconds remaining to tie the game at 64-64. The Friars had time, but Davis – again – came up with the steal to send the Panthers to their first overtime game of the season and first since last Feb. 14 at Louisville.


PC hit its first shot and added a pair of free throws to start the extra period as Davis was whistled for her fifth foul. The Panthers played catch-up, closing to a deuce on a layup by Ashlee Anderson – two of her 10 points – with 3:00 to go. The Friars built their cushion back to six points twice in the final 60 seconds with two from the stripe from Roberts making it 76-70 with 40 seconds appearing.

Five seconds later, Kiesel got up the court in a flash and drew the foul, converting both of her free opportunities to trim the lead to four. Pitt guard Abby Dowd forced a travel call on the Providence inbounds and the Panthers capitalized by knocking down a baseline jumper – courtesy of Lo Briggs – to make it a two-point contest at 77-75.

Forced to foul, the Panthers sent PC’s Edwards to the line where she hit the first of two with Pitt grabbing the rebound. The Panthers – trailing by three- would have the last shot of the game and it would again mean extra time as a three-pointer by Kiesel with 10.7 seconds tied the game at 77-all.

The Friars jumped out again by four to start the second overtime as an offensive bucket from Edwards put PC ahead, 81-77. Krista Pettepier – who played nearly every minute of the overtimes – calmly drained two from the charity stripe with 3:35 showing to close the gap to two points and 26 seconds later Briggs connected on the Panthers’ third trifecta of the game to put Pitt ahead, 82-81 – its first lead since the start of the second half.

Pitt could not capitalize on opportunities, turning the ball over after a missed jumper and allowing PC to get a pair of offense rebounds and convert a put-back  - again from Edwards – to retake the lead at 83-82. Kiesel went to free throw line with 1:54 left and made the first of two to tie it at 83-83. A Pitt missed shot and a turnover late in the game allowed PC to take its last lead with 39.9 ticks.

The Panthers would have a host of chances in the final 40 seconds. The first- a kicked ball by Edwards – after a scramble in the paint gave the ball back to Pitt with 23.3 seconds and after a shot from Briggs went wide, the ball was again the Panthers’ with 17.5 on the clock.

Kiesel took the inbounds and got off a floater which sailed around the rim and Chyna Golden grabbed the rebound as Pitt called its final timeout with two seconds to go. Briggs sent the inbounds pass to the top of the key as Dowd’s shot at the buzzer was short.

Briggs added 12 point and a career-high nine rebounds for the Panthers, while McManus collected a season-high in rebounds with 11.

The Panthers grabbed 68 rebounds, marking a Petersen Events Center record (previous high of 61 set in 2008).

Pitt Women's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker in Double Overtime, 85-83, to Providence

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