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Slow Start Dooms Panthers in 66-62 Loss to Buffalo

Asia Logan scored 13 points in the loss to Buffalo

Asia Logan scored 13 points in the loss to Buffalo

Dec. 1, 2013

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PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team could not overcome a 16-point first half deficit as the Panthers fell to the University at Buffalo by the score of 66-62 on Sunday afternoon inside the Petersen Events Center.  

Pitt (4-3) had three players score in double-figures, led by junior guard Brianna Kiesel with a game-high 17 points (15 of which were scored in the second half). Senior forward Asia Logan - who was in foul trouble for the majority of the game - had 13 points, and freshman guard Frederique Potvin contributed 12 points, all of which came on 3-pointers.  

Buffalo (4-2) kept the Panthers in the game by making just 15 of their 31 free throw attempts (14-of-29 in the second half). The Bulls, however, used a balanced offensive attack as five players scored in double-figures, led by Sloane Walton with 13.

"We prepared for their matchup and knew what we wanted to run, but we are team that struggles if we don't start strong," head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. "I'm frustrated with our execution, decision making and turnovers - things we try to be disciplined on offensively."

Buffalo gained control from the opening tip with a 10-0 run to start the game. The Panthers missed their first nine shots from the field and ultimately shot just 27 percent in the first half (9-of-33).

UB forced Pitt into its second timeout of the half after Walton hit back-to-back 3's which pushed the Bulls lead to 27-11 with 6:57 remaining. From there, the Panthers clawed their way back into the game with an 8-0 spurt, led by Kiesel who had a steal, two assists and a layup in that span, which cut UB's advantage to 27-19. The two teams would trade baskets down the stretch as Buffalo took a 34-25 lead into halftime.  

The Bulls scored six of the first eight points of the second half to bring the score to 40-27, but the Panthers got back into the game with their defense. Pitt held UB to 32 percent shooting (8-of-25) and forced nine turnovers in the second half.

A 9-0 Pitt run got the Panthers within four at 40-36, but Buffalo would make timely basket throughout the second half, including a three from Cherridy Thornton that pushed the UB lead back to seven at 43-36.

Pitt would once again get within four (53-49) when Potvin connected on a three from the corner, but a layup and two UB free throws kept Pitt at a distance.

One final push from Pitt brought the score to 59-55 when Kiesel nailed a jumper with 2:14 left, but the Panthers could not capitalize on the momentum. Kiesel had an opportunity to bring Pitt within one with 1:11 remaining, but her three point attempt was off the back rim, and the Bulls would make enough free throws down the stretch to seal the victory (UB's final seven points came from the free throw line; 7-of-11).

The Panthers return to action when the host James Madison this Wednesday, December 4, inside the Petersen Events Center. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

Notes: Today's game marked Pitt's seventh annual Hometown vs. Hunger game...Buffalo outrebounded Pitt 51-43...Bubbles Anderson had a career-high four blocks...Loliya Briggs led Pitt in rebounding for the first time this season with eight boards... Pitt held a 28-26 advantage of points in the paint...Buffalo led wire-to-wire.