Dec. 1, 2012
EASTON, Pa. – The Pitt women’s basketball team saw its five-game winning streak come to a close, dropping a 68-65 decision at Lafayette on Saturday afternoon at Kirby Sports Complex.
Sophomore Brianna Kiesel registered 17 points, which included nine points from behind the arc. Three players - juniors Asia Logan and Ashlee Anderson and sophomore Cora McManus – had 12 points each for the Panthers (5-2).
Lafayette (3-5) was paced by reserve Kelly Loughney with 18 points and eight rebounds. Linnel Macklin posted 15 points, which included four of the Leopards’ season-high 10 three-pointers.
“You can’t come into a gym and not make shots, you have to score,” said head coach Agnus Berenato. “We can’t wait until end of the game to make three’s. We hit the three’s (in the second half) and all of sudden we take the lead and then we go back to being tentative. We didn’t see seize the moment and jump on it. That’s when you know you have grown up, we did it at home, but didn’t on the road and this was our first road game."
The Panthers found themselves playing catch-up from the start as the Leopards took an 11-3 opening lead. Lafayette shot 4-of-6 over that span, while Pitt missed five of its first six shots over the first four minutes.
Two straight baskets from Kiesel cut the deficit to four, but a 15-6 run capped by an old-fashioned four-point play from Loughney – a three from the top of the key and the subsequent free throw – gave Lafayette a 26-13 advantage with 9:17 showing.
The Leopards took their largest lead (16) twice in the closing minutes of the first period, before Pitt closed the stanza with two-consecutive lay-ups from McManus to make it 38-26 at intermission.
Trailing 45-32 with 15:01 remaining, two-straight fast break lay-ins from Ashlee Anderson followed by a right-side triple by Abby Dowd quieted the Leopards and cut the lead to seven at 46-39. Lafayette asked for a timeout and out of it rebounded by dropping another trey and converting a three-point play by 6-7 center Danielle Fiacco to stretch the home team’s lead to 13 (52-39).
The Panthers used a 15-2 scoring run – commenced by a McManus hook shot and capped off by a 3-pointer from Kiesel on the near side – to tie the contest at 54-54 with 6:52 to play. Loughney took back the lead on the Leopards’ next possession, but Pitt knotted the score at 56-all with a pair of free throws.
Lafayette scored the game’s next four points to force a Pitt timeout. Logan got the Panthers back on the scoreboard with a short jumper from the elbow with 3:44 left to - again – make it a one-point game at 59-58.
The Leopards converted its next three shot attempts, the last two from behind the arc. Macklin’s triple with 26.4 seconds pushed the Leopards’ lead to seven at 67-60. Logan had an offensive put-back with just over eight seconds left and Kiesel drained a fall-way three as time expired, but it was not enough as Lafayette escaped with a 68-65 final.
The Panthers shot 40.6 percent from the field, while converting 37.5 percent of their attempts from long range. Pitt hit all six of its three-pointers in the second half after a 0-of-5 clip in the first period.
The Leopards finished the contest shooting at a 46 percent clip, which included a 54.5 percent showing in the first half. Lafayette had a 39-34 rebounding edge.
The loss was the first for Pitt against Lafayette in three meetings.