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Feb. 20, 2013

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PITTSBURGH – Despite a game-high 24 points from sophomore Brianna Kiesel, Pitt could not muster a comeback in a 59-50 setback to Cincinnati in Big East women’s basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Petersen Events Center.

Kiesel had 20 of her 24 points in the second half, including draining three 3-pointers. Junior Marquel Davis added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Panthers (9-16, 0-12 Big East), who never led in the game.

The Bearcats (10-16, 2-11) were paced by Dayeesha Hollins’ 17 points, while Lesha Dunn and Alexis Durley had 10 points apiece.

Cincinnati pulled out to a four-point lead three times over the first four minutes of the game before two-straight baskets from Pitt– the first from Logan and the second a jumper by Kiesel – tied the game at 8-8 with 11:18 showing.

The Bearcats used a 13-4 run capped by six-straight points from Jeanise Randolph to take a 21-12 lead with 3:54 left in the period. The Panthers could get no closer than seven the rest of the period as Hollins rolled off the squad’s final two field goals – four of 10 first-half points – and UC took a 25-16 lead at the break.

After the visitors extended the lead to 11 to start the second half, Pitt ripped off eight unanswered points. Kiesel opened the run with two free throws and closed it with a layup off of an inbounds under the basket to cut the deficit to three (27-24) with 16:45 remaining.

The Panthers missed their next five shots and turned the ball over twice as the Bearcats took advantage and moved ahead by double-digits.

A driving layup by Davis at the 9:30 mark would be the only field goal for the Panthers for over a five and a half minute span. UC pieced together an 11-2 run – Pitt’s two points were from the free throw line – to take its largest lead at 48-30. Junior Asia Logan ended the Pitt drought with a four-foot jumper in the paint with 3:12 left.

Kiesel switched her game into high gear, connecting on consecutive triples in a six-second span to trim the score to 51-41. A steal by freshman Krista Pettepier led to another Davis’ basket and Kiesel hit the second of two from the stripe to close the gap to seven points (51-44) with 1:50 to play. That would be as close as Pitt could come in the waning minutes.

Pettepier grabbed a career-best eight rebounds in making her third-straight start.

The Panthers shot 34.5 percent (20-of-58) from the field for the game, while the Bearcats recorded a 43.5 percent (20-of-46) effort.

Pitt Backcourt Combines For 38 Points In Loss to Cincinnati

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