Feb. 14, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Pitt women’s basketball saw its bid for its first Big East win fall short, dropping a 71-66 overtime decision to No. 20/16 Louisville on Tuesday night at the Petersen Events Center.
Redshirt sophomore Ashlee Anderson and freshman Brianna Kiesel each scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Panthers (8-17, 0-12 Big East). The Pitt backcourt accounted for 16 of the Panthers’ 24 field goals and five of their six 3-pointers.
Sophomore Kyra Dunn added 10 rebounds and eight points, while frontcourt teammate Leeza Burdgess had seven points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists.
Four players registered double figures for Louisville (19-7, 8-5) led by sophomore Shoni Schimmel with 16 points. Senior Becky Burke added 15, 13 of those in the first half.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 10-5 lead to start the contest before the Panthers settled in, dropping a 5-0 run to tie the game at 10-10. A three-pointer from Anderson and an offensive putback by Burdgess knotted the score for the first time at the 14:11 mark.
A triple from Burke on the next UofL possession –her third in a four-minute span – pushed the visitors ahead to stay in the first period. The Cardinals led by as many as eight (27-19), but the Panthers forced three consecutive turnovers and scored eight of the last 11 points of the first stanza to trim the margin to three at the break (30-27).
UofL stretched its lead back to seven at 34-27 to start the second half on a layup from Schimmel. Pitt pieced together a 16-7 run capped by an amazing tip-in from Dunn to take a 43-41 lead with 10:27 to play. The lead was the first for the Panthers since the 18:33 mark of the first period.
UofL hit its next shot to pull to a basket, but missed its next seven attempts. Pitt countered by reeling an 8-3 spurt to take a 53-46 advantage with 5:02 on the clock. Kiesel and Anderson each had four over the surge which gave the Panthers their largest edge.
While the Cardinals were not scoring field goals, they made up ground from the free throw line – converting the next four-straight from the stripe to claw back to three at 53-50 with 3:03 to go. Schimmel sandwiched two field goals, including a 3-pointer, in between two from the line from Pitt’s Kiesel to tie the game at 55-55 with 1:57 remaining. After Schimmel put UofL ahead by two on its next trip down the court, Burdgess answered for Pitt by converting an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 58-57 in favor of the Panthers.
Tied for the sixth time at 58-58, Dunn sank two from the free throw line with 26 seconds showing. A jumper from Atonita Slaughter knotted the game at 60 on UofL’s last possession to send the game into overtime.
Anderson sank the first field goal in overtime, but back-to-back scores from Slaughter gave UofL a 64-62 edge a minute and a half into the extra period.
Kiesel quieted the Cardinals rally with a 3-pointer from the right side to close the gap to a point and after a Cards score, Anderson tied the game at 66-66 with a free throw at the 2:14 mark.
Burdgess, making a play for the rebound off of the second free throw attempt by Anderson, was whistled for her fifth foul. UofL made one of two from the line to take a lead it would not relinquish. Pitt turned the ball over on its next two possessions and a driving layup from Kiesel with 34 seconds to go bounced off the front of the rim.
Forced to foul, Anderson picked up her fifth of the game and UofL stuck the shots to pull out the victory.
The overtime game was the third of the season for the Panthers.
Pitt travels to USF on Saturday, Feb. 18 for a 7 p.m. tip.
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