Dec. 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS – Redshirt sophomore Loliya Briggs scored a career-high 24 points, but the University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team suffered a 77-63 defeat to DePaul University of Thursday afternoon in the Panthers’ opening contest of the Duel in the Desert hosted by UNLV.
Brigg was 9-of-14 from the floor including 3-of-5 from long range, and added six rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist in 29 minutes of action. She, Brianna Kiesel, Ashlee Anderson and Chyna Golden all shared a team-high six rebounds, but the Blue Demons held the total edge on the glass 47-41. DePaul (6-3) had five players score in double-figures, led by Megan Podkowa and Chanise Jenkins with 13 apiece. Podkowa grabbed 10 rebounds for her second career double-double.
Briggs scored seven early points, and her first 3-pointer of the game at the 13 minute mark tied the contest at 14. DePaul however, surged ahead with a 7-0 run which put the Blue Demon up 21-14. Briggs and Kiesel would then score consecutive buckets, making the score 21-18, but Pitt (6-5) missed its next seven shots and committed four turnovers during a six minute span as DePaul pulled ahead 36-18 with a 15-0 run. DePaul eventually took a 38-23 advantage into halftime; Pitt’s largest halftime deficit of the season.
Briggs, Kiesel and Marquel Davis did all the scoring for the Panthers in the first half, combining to go 10-of-22. The rest of the team was 0-of-10 from the floor. Pitt shot 10-of-32 overall (31.3 percent) in the opening frame. DePaul had 31 rebounds in the half, compared to 17 for the Panthers.
The two teams both scored 11 points in the first six minutes of the second half as DePaul maintained its 15 point lead at 14:03 mark, which turned into a media timeout after coach Suzie McConnell-Serio called the first timeout of the second half.
Out of that called timeout, the Panthers use a 5-0 run to get with 10 at 49-39, and they were hanging around down 12 (55-43) with 9:43 remaining, until DePaul drained a three, and then had a steal and a layup on the ensuing Pitt possession to stretch its lead to 17 at 60-43.
Briggs would once again try to lead the Panthers back by scoring eight-consecutive Pitt points, which got the Panthers within 12 (66-54) with 4:50 remaining, but Pitt missed its next five shots while DePaul scored six straight points to push its lead back to 18, which essentially iced the game.
Kiesel was the only other Panther to score in double-figures with 12 points. She has now scored at least 10 points in every game this season, and 17-straight dating back to last season.
The Panthers shot 33 percent overall (22-of-66), and minus Briggs, Pitt was just 13-of-52. DePaul made 35 of its 61 shots, and hit seven 3-pointers, five of which came in the second half.
Pitt is back in action on Thursday in its second game of the three-day tournament against the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Tip is set for 3 p.m. EST (Noon, PST).
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