Dec. 29, 2012
BUFFALO – Five players scored in double figures to lead the Pitt women’s basketball team to a 91-77 win over Buffalo at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers (8-4) shot 60.3 percent from the field, the highest mark since a 61.4 percent (35-of-57) effort versus Western Michigan on Dec. 5, 2009.
Sophomore Brianna Kiesel paced Pitt with 21 points, including a 9-of-10 performance from the free throw line. She scored 19 of her game-high 21 in the second stanza, which included 10 of the team’s final 16 points.
Redshirt freshman Loliya Briggs posted 18 points – her first double-digit career contest which featured a 3-of-3 showing from behind the arc – off the bench. Junior Ashlee Anderson and freshman Brittany Gordon each had 14 points, while junior Asia Logan added 12 points.
Trandfer Cherridy Thornton led Buffalo (2-10) with 18 points.
"This was a total team effort,” said Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato after the game. “To have five (players) in double-figures and shoot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three – that’s just a great team game. We have been calling this time now ‘post-Christmas’- with the mentality to take your time, shoot and score. We ran out sets today and we got some great looks. It was unbelievable play all-around."
Tied at 8-8 in the early going, Gordon tallied back-to-back buckets and Anderson clicked on a short jumper to pull Pitt to a 14-8 advantage at the 13:45 mark.
The Bulls cut the lead to three at 20-17, but the Panthers connected on six of their next seven shots and ran off 13 unanswered points to take command. The run was kickstarted by consecutive scores from sophomore Cora McManus, who helped to give Pitt a 33-19 advantage with 6:30 showing. The Panthers led by double digits the remainder of the half and took a 44-31 lead into intermission. Five players had six or more points and seven tallied at least two points in the first period.
A three-ball from Anderson and a 5-foot jumper from Kiesel opened the second half for the Panthers, pushing the squad to their largest lead of the game at 49-31.
Buffalo chipped at that lead, closing to nine points on a back-door lay-up from Christa Baccas with 17:17 to play. Briggs quieted the rally with a triple in front of her own bench and Anderson added a lay-up off a swipe to put Pitt on top, 54-40.
The Bulls pieced together a 14-5 run, which included a trifecta of three’s to cut the Panthers’ lead to five at 59-54 with 13:09 remaining. The score remained separated at five for over three minutes.
Kiesel broke the drought, scoring four-straight and sophomore Chyna Golden chipped in a fast-break lay-up to – again – make it a double-digit edge (65-54) with 9:23 left.
The Bulls would make it a nine-point game four more times before the final horn – lastly with 3:45 on the clock. Kiesel responded by notching the game’s next six-consecutive points to give the Panthers a 79-66 cushion.
Pitt was perfect from the free throw line in the final two minutes (10-for-10) in posting the 91-77 win.
The Panthers travel to Norfolk, Va. to face Old Dominion on Jan. 2. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
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