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Women's Basketball Defeats Towson In Pitt Thanksgiving Classic




Nov. 26, 2005

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PITTSBURGH-Senior Cheron Taylor recorded her first double-double of the season and fifth of her career, as Pitt defeated Towson, 69-50, in the second game of the Pitt Thanksgiving Classic. The Panthers improve to 4-0 on the season, while the Tigers drop to 1-2 overall.

Taylor grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds for the second time this season and scored a season-high 10 points, including 4 of 6 from the charity stripe.

Sophomore Marcedes Walker scored a game-high 20 points and recorded nine rebounds in the contest. Freshman Xenia Stewart (13) also scored in double figures for the third time this season.

Alis Freeman led the charge for the Tigers with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Kacy O'Brien (14) and Tierra Jackson (11) also scored in double figures.

Pitt's defense was once again stingy. Towson only shot 28 percent from the floor and 15 percent from downtown. The Panthers also out rebounded the Tigers, 42-36.

In the second period Walker provided a spark for Pitt with a long jumper at the 16:30 mark to take a 41-32 lead after Towson came out on an 8-4 run to close the gap.

Towson continued to gain momentum, though, as Freeman knocked down a three-pointer and then O'Brien hit a pull-up jumper to cut the Pitt lead to three, 42-39 with less than 13 minutes of action left.

After Pitt called a timeout, the Tigers wouldn't close the gap anymore, as Pitt went on a 14-2 run and hung on for the win.

Towson tried to double down on Walker on the first play out of the timeout. Walker, after looking to make the pass, turned and faced the defender, making a jumper.

Freshman Shavonte Zellous pulled down a rebound following a missed shot by the Tigers and quickly looked for Walker down the court in transition. Zellous passed the ball to Walker, who caught the ball in stride and made a lay-up. Pitt led 50-39 with 11 minutes to play.

 

 

Following two Towson free throws by O'Brien, Zellous got the inbounds pass and drove the lane earning a basket and a trip to the foul line to lift Pitt to a 56-43 advantage at the 7:19 mark.

Pitt's offense in transition led to eight fast break points. Two of those points came after Stewart made a high, cross-court pass ahead to Zellous on the right wing. Once she got a hand on it, Zellous quickly passed the ball inside to a wide-open Walker for an easy lay-up.

The first half started slow as the game remained tied at two apiece until the 16:19 mark when Walker made a lay-up off a pass from Brown. Brown, then, led a break after a Towson missed shot and found Winn under the basket for the easy shot on the next possession.

After a three-minute scoring drought, Stewart penetrated the lane and scored, drawing a foul. Pitt led 9-4 at that point.

C. Taylor made it an eight-point game, 17-9, with a pass to Walker for a baseline jumper with just over six minutes remaining in the first stanza.

Junior Danielle Taylor entered the game and nailed a shot from behind the arc with 2:45 remaining on the clock. Then, on the defensive end, D. Taylor blocked a shot that led to a basket by Brown, forcing a Towson timeout, 28-17.

Kelly Robinson recorded a three-pointer for the Tigers and Tina Hopkins tallied a lay-up to cut Pitt's lead to eight with 33 second left in the first half. After a pair of Towson free throws, junior Mallorie Winn made a three-pointer of her own to end the half at 33-24.

Pitt will face Missouri in the championship game of the Pitt Thanksgiving Classic at noon, tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 27).