Feb. 9, 2014
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PITTSBURGH - Wake Forest erased a 17-point halftime deficit and came back to defeat the University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team, 74-70, on Sunday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.
Loliya Briggs scored a career-high 28 points and made a career-best five three pointers, and Marquel Davis had a season-high 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting. However, the Panthers (10-14, 2-8 ACC) could not stop the ACC's leading scorer and rebounder in Dearica Hamby who had a career-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Hamby scored 23 of her 32 points in the second half.
Millesa Calicott of Wake Forest (13-11, 4-7 ACC) contributed to the comeback by scoring all of her 14 points in the second half, including four 3-pointers. Pitt had its second-best shooting performance of the season by making 51 percent overall (26-of-51), while Wake Forest shot 48 percent (24-of-50) and 68.2 percent in the second half (15-of-22).
The Panthers opened the game on an 11-2 run, and led 15-7 at the second media timeout of the contest. Davis and Briggs scored 13 of the team's first 15 points and were a combined 6-of-6 from the floor to start the game.
The Panthers defense was stout in the early going, holding the Demon Deacons to just 27 percent shooting through the first 13 minutes of the game and forced 10 of Wake Forest's 24 total turnovers during that span.
Davis and Briggs continued to carry the scoring load for the Panthers as Briggs had 15 points at the break and Davis had 14. They helped Pitt shoot a season-best 63.3 percent in first half (14-of-22), and Briggs' third 3-pointer of the half as time expired gave the Panthers a 40-23 halftime advantage.
Wake Forest came out of the break on a 9-2 run - led by Hamby who had six of those points - and Calicott's 3-pointer with 17:16 left forced Suzie McConnell-Serio into a timeout with Pitt leading 42-32.
Hamby continued to assert herself in the second half and her free throw helped the Demon Deacons get within four points (51-47) with 11:34 remaining, the closest Wake Forest had been since it was 6-2.
With Pitt clinging to 59-55 lead, Hamby went on a 9-0 run by herself, and her basket with 6:31 left gave Wake Forest its first lead of the game. She increased Wake's largest lead to five with a jumper from the top of the key, but Briggs responded with a corner three which cut the lead to 64-62 in favor of the Demon Deacons at the final media timeout of the game.
Out of that timeout, Davis tied the game with an elbow jumper, and then Briggs had a steal and went coast-to-coast for the hoop and the harm to give Pitt a three point advantage at 67-64 with 3:07 left.
Wake Forest would score its final 10 points from the free throw line, but with Kandice Ball making just 1-of-2 with :37 seconds remaining, it brought the score to 72-70 in favor of the Demon Deacons and Pitt called timeout with an opportunity to tie or take the lead.
But on the ensuing possession, Chelsea Welch received a pass on the wing but her foot was out of bounds and it turned the ball back over to Wake Forest. Calicott then knock down two free throws to seal the game.
The Panthers are back in action this Thursday evening when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on No. 13 North Carolina. Tip is set for 6 p.m.