Dec. 2, 2011
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Pitt women’s basketball team dropped an 82-75 decision to High Point Friday evening at Millis Center.
Pitt freshman Brianna Kiesel had a team-high 23 points, while redshirt sophomore Ashlee Anderson registered 14. Redshirt sophomore Leeza Burdgess collected her third double-digit rebounding game of the season with 13 rebounds.
Guard Erin Reynolds recorded a game-high 36 points for High Point (4-2). The Panthers were 23-of-33 from the free throw line in the second half, making 12-of-16 in the last two and a half minutes.
The teams combined for 119 rebounds and a 152 field goal attempts. Pitt had 62 rebounds, the most for a Panthers squad in a single game under ninth-year head coach Agnus Berenato.
I have to give credit to High Point, they played a great game,” said Berenato. “We had some lapses and those lapses were costly. We dropped the game on the free throw line (17-of-31) and because of turnovers (19, 15 in first half). I thought the effort was great and I take that as tremendous progress. We have to get more from our bench in terms of voices, but I am confident that will come.”
The first half featured six lead changes and six ties. HPU jumped out to a 15-7 lead to start the contest, connecting on six of its first eight shots of the game.
Down by eight for the second time at 17-9, Pitt (4-3) roared back with a 12-2 scoring run commenced with a hook short courtesy of freshman Cora McManus. Burdgess concluded the Panthers’ surge with a field goal in the paint to give Pitt a 21-19 lead with 10:44 left in the first half. High Point scored five-straight to pull out ahead by three, but both teams went cold over the next two minutes. Three-straight free throws followed by a pull-up jumper from Anderson pushed Pitt back ahead, 26-24.
Tied for the fifth time at 27-27, the home team reeled off four-straight - all from Reynolds - to take a 31-27 advantage with 3:08 remaining in the half. The Panthers answered with two consecutive fast-break buckets from Anderson and then Kiesel to knot the score at 31-31. A jumper from Reynolds at the halftime horn sent HPU into the locker room with a 33-31 lead.
The Panthers could never gain the lead again in the second half. Pitt closed to one at 34-33 on a layup from sophomore Kyra Dunn, but High Point responded with a 10-3 storm to take an eight point advantage.
HPU increased its lead to 14 – the largest of the game – with 5:28 to go. The Panthers chipped at the deficit as Kiesel tallied two straight baskets and Anderson followed with a free throw to cut the edge to single digits.
Trailing by 10 (75-65) with 1:30 showing, Pitt sophomore guard Marquel Davis converted a runner in the lane and Kiesel dropped two from the free throw line to make it a six-point game. The Panthers could get no closer than five on two occasions in the waning minutes as HPU made 4-of-6 from the stripe in the last 48 seconds to seal the win.
The Panthers posted a season-high 11 blocks and season-best 44 points in the paint. High Point went to the free throw line 46 times in the game, making 31 of those.
Pitt continues its stay in the Tar Heel State, travelling to No. 8 Duke for a Sunday, Dec. 4 showdown. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.