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Pitt Women's Basketball Cannot Sustain Lead, Falls to YSU in Season Opener




Nov. 9, 2012

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PITTSBURGH – Pitt women’s basketball sophomore Cora McManus (Seattle, Wash.) recorded a career-high 16 points, but it was not enough as the Panthers dropped a 64-50 contest to Youngstown State on Friday at the Petersen Events Center. The contest marked the fourth-annual School Day Promotion, drawing 4,036 middle and elementary school children from around the Pittsburgh area.

The contest - with an 11 a.m. tip - was the first of the season in both men’s and women’s NCAA Division I basketball.

McManus, who was injured for the majority of her freshman campaign, also collected a team-best seven rebounds in a reserve role. Junior Asia Logan (Baltimore, Md.) had 10 points and seven rebounds in the loss, the second-straight season the Panthers dropped their opener.

Senior Brandi Brown paced YSU (1-0) with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Pitt (0-1) jumped out of the gate early, connecting on its first three shots to take a 7-2 lead after a three-pointer from the right side by sophomore Brianna Kiesel (Utica, N.Y.) at the 17:56 mark.

The Penguins cut the lead to one at 14-13, before Pitt reeled off an 11-2 scoring run to build a double-digit advantage with 4:22 left in the half. McManus sandwiched two field goals between a three-pointer from redshirt junior Abby Dowd to fuel the run.

After YSU trimmed the lead to seven, Pitt scored eight of the final 11 points of the stanza to take a 33-21 lead into the locker room. The Panthers shot 54.2 percent in the first half, its highest first half field goal percentage since Jan. 14 last season at DePaul (.567).

Pitt missed 10 of their first 12 shots of the second period as the Penguins slowly chipped at the Panthers lead. After cutting the Pitt edge to three at 40-37, McManus hit back-to-back shots in the paint to make it a seven-point game at 44-37 with 12:24 to play.  That field goal would be the last for Pitt over the next nine minutes.

YSU scored the game’s next 15 points, which included two of their eight second half triples, to jump ahead, 52-44. The Panthers closed to four on its next two possessions, but could get no closer as the Penguins responded with consecutive 3-pointers from two different players to put distance on the scoreboard. YSU connected on 6-for-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to seal the win.

The Panthers return to action on Sunday, Nov. 11, hosting William & Mary at 1 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center. All military – both active and retired – will be admitted free.