Jan. 9, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Pitt women’s basketball continues Big East play on Tuesday, Jan. 10 when it hosts No. 8/10 Rutgers at the Petersen Events Center at 7 p.m. The game will be shown live on Pitt Panthers Television on The Comcast Network (Channels 188/210). The contest begins a stretch of three-straight ranked opponents on the Panthers' schedule.
The Panthers (8-8, 0-3 Big East) dropped their second straight on Saturday, falling at home to Syracuse. The Scarlet Knights (13-2, 2-0), playing their first league road tilt of the season, are riding a four-game win streak.
The teams are meeting for the 28th time in program history with the Scarlet Knights holding a 24-3 advantage – including wins in the last two showdowns.
Pitt is paced in scoring by freshman Brianna Kiesel, who is averaging 14.1 points per game. The point guard has tallied double figures in a team-high 11 games, while also pacing the squad in assists in 10 games. She is complimented in the backcourt by sophomores Marquel Davis (11.1 ppg) and Ashlee Anderson (9.7 pog).
Redshirt sophomore Abby Dowd, who along with Kiesel is the only player to start all 16 games, leads the team in three-pointers with 22.
The game will also be broadcast on the air on WJAS AM which can also be heard via Pitt Panthers All-Access.
When: Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 - 7:01 p.m. tip
Where: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Officials: Lisa Mattingly, Bonita Spence, Kevin Pethtel
On the Air (Radio):
WJAS, 1320 AM, Scott Stiller, Karlyle Lim
On the Air (TV): Pitt Panthers
Television on the Comcast
Network - Channel 188/210
Jeff Hathhorn/Jen Tuscano
Series Info: Rutgers leads 24-3
Current Streak: Rutgers W2
Big East Regular Season: RU, 18-2
Home: RU leads 11-2
Away: RU leads 13-1
Neutral: Never Met
Last Meeting: Feb. 8, 2011,
Piscataway, N.J., RU 54, Pitt 42
Last Meeting in Pittsburgh: Jan. 10, 2010, RU 52, Pitt 46
First Meeting: Feb. 25, 1978, New Brunswick N.J., RU 88 Pitt 67
Storylines & Notables:
• Pitt has captured two of its three wins in the series in Pittsburgh, the last coming on Jan. 6, 1998 (66-56).
• 12-year old Lindsey Maiorano of Pittsburgh is the honorary captain this evening.
Children’s Hospital Honorary Captain Program
Patients from Children’s Hospital are invited, to each home football game and select men’s and women’s basketball game, to be an honorary captain. Honorary captains and their families receive complementary tickets to the game and have the opportunity to participate in pre-game activities with the Pitt team captains. They are presented with a signed jersey to mark the special day.
Tonight’s meeting is the 28th in the series. Pitt trails Rutgers, 3-24 all-time – which includes a 2-18 mark in Big East action. The Panthers had dropped 13-straight to the Scarlet Knights before posting a 61-53 overtime win on Feb. 10, 2009 in Piscataway, N.J.
RU has rebounded to capture the last two meetings, which included a 52-46 win over Pitt on Jan. 10, 2010 - the last time the two met at the Petersen Events Center.
Odds & Ends
MOST POINTS IN A SINGLE GAME:
24 Marcedes Walker, Pitt 2-25-06
24 Nikki Jett, RU 1-15-02
24 Matee Ajavon, RU 1-11-05
MOST REBOUNDS IN A SINGLE GAME:
15 Nickeia Morris, Pitt 2-3-99
11 Mariota Theodoris, RU 2-25-06
MOST ASSISTS IN A SINGLE GAME:
9 twice, last Allisha Morris, Pitt 2-25-05
10 Khadijah Rusdan, RU 2-8-11
MOST BLOCKS IN A SINGLE GAME:
4 Shavonte Zellous, Pitt 2-2-08
6 Rashidat Junaid, RU 1-10-10
Last Season’s Showdown
Senior Chelsea Cole collected her 12th double-double of the season, but it was not enough as Pitt dropped a 54-42 decision at Rutgers at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway. Then redshirt junior Khadijah Rushdan recorded a triple double for Rutgers with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
A two-point game (6-4) at the 16:18 mark following a field goal from Pitt guard Ashlee Anderson, Rutgers erupted on a 13-2 run to move ahead, 19-6, over the next five minutes. Senior guard Jania Sims ended the over three-minute drought with a three-pointer from straightaway with 10:22 left in the period. RU pushed ahead by as many as 14 (23-9), but Pitt finshed the half on a 9-2 run to make it a seven-point game at the half Pitt got closer in the second half on an offensive put-back from Cole (37-35) with 9:05 on the clock.
RU guard April Sykes responded with a fall-away three pointer and Monique Oliver drained two from the free throw line to give the home team a 42-35 advantage.
Pitt would not go away as Harrison hit a triple from the top of the arc to cut the deficit to four (42-38) with 4:55 to play. The Panthers had three chances to cut the lead to a basket, but could not make up ground as the last attempt – a three-pointer - from the left side by Asia Logan bounced off the rim. After Oliver picked up her fourth foul on a player control call, Pitt had a chance to again, close the gap as the shot attempt was blocked on the other end by Oliver with 2:03 on the clock and RU went the other way for a fast break layup.
Pitt reacted quickly with Cole scoring on the other end on a fast break opportunity – but the Scarlet Knights got a three-pointer, their sixth of the game, by Wheeler to put some distance on the scoreboard. Pitt shot 32.1 percent for the game while Rutgers hit at a 35.3 percent effort. The Panthers connected on just two of 19 three-point attempts (10.5 percent).
Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato has a number of connections to the state of New Jersey. Berenato, who grew up in Gloucester City, N.J., is the eighth of 10 children born to Peter and Theresa McGlade. She attended Gloucester Catholic High School, where she played on three state championship teams (a group of 20 former classmates from her high school were in attendance last season at Rutgers).
Berenato started her collegiate coaching career in the Garden State, spending four seasons at Rider (1981-85). She was also the head volleyball coach for the Broncs. Berenato is a member of both the Camden County and Rider University Sports Hall of Fames.
The Panthers have one lone New Jersey native - Chyna Golden – on their roster. The first year player is very familiar with two Scarlet Knights, having played at Neptune with RU freshmen guards Syessence Davis and Kena Richardson. The trio helped lead the Lady Scarlet Fliers to the Shore Conference title and the NJ Group 3 state crown last year.
A Lot of Familiarity
Pitt assistant coach Patty Coyle, a Philadelphia native, starred at Rutgers from 1978-82. She was part of the first class of inductees into the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. Coyle - along with her twin sister, Mary - formed one of the best backcourts to ever don the Scarlet. She finished her career with 1,209 points - fourth highest at the time and ranked 22nd today. Coyle tallied 30 points against Texas in the AIAW Tournament championship, earning MVP honors. The AIAW 1982 national championship banner can be seen in the rafters at the RAC. Coyle also served as an assistant coach at her alma mater. While the head coach for the New York Liberty, she coached a pair former Scarlet Knight standouts - Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn. Coyle’s twin, Mary (Coyle) Klinger is the head coach at Rutgers Prep, the head coach for the East squad at the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game.
Rutgers assistant coach Tasha Pointer shares a connection with Pitt redshirt sophomore Ashlee Anderson - both are graduates of famed high school powerhouse Whitney Young High School in Chicago.
On the opposite bench, Hall of Fame Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer has ties to the city of Pittsburgh. She is a native of Uniontown, Pa., a graduate of Slippery Rock University and was inducted into the Fayette County Hall of Fame in the summer of 2010.
The Scarlet Knights are 13-2 overall and 2-0 in Big East play. Tonight’s game is the first Big East road contest of the season for Rutgers.
Senior April Sykes has recorded three double-doubles on the season and leads the team in both points per game (14.6 ppg) and 3-pointers (24). Two other players are also averaging double figures, redshirt senior Khadijah Rushdan (12.2 ppg) and junior Monique Oliver (11.9 ppg/8/0 rpg).
First Time for Everything
The last time Pitt led in a game against Rutgers was on Jan. 10, 2010 at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt held a three-point edge (8-5) at the 15 minute mark of the first half. RU used a 6-0 run to take the lead for good. The teams combined for 34 points off of each other’s turnovers (Pitt has 21 turnovers and RU 17).
Ironically, both teams have (nearly) new rosters from the 2010 meeting. Four active players (and five if you count injured Chelsey Lee) from Rutgers played the last time the teams met at the Petersen Events Center. Those five for RU posted a combined 12 points of the Scarlet Knights’ total 52 points in the win. Of the Pitt squad, not one member returns from the squad that was on the court against RU in 2010.
It Will Be About the D
The contest will be a defensive minded one Tuesday evening as Rutgers is ranked first in conference only games in scoring defense, allowing just 45.5 points. Pitt has given up 78.3 in its three games, but with Rutgers averaging just 56.5 points in league games - don’t expect a high scoring affair.
Pitt has scored its lowest point total the past two-straight seasons against the Scarlet Knights: 42 points last season in Piscataway (Feb. 8, 2011) and 46 the season prior in Pittsburgh (Jan. 10, 2010). The Scarlet Knights have forced opponents into 301 turnovers this season (20.1).
Neither team lives and dies by the three - or at least has not been the cornerstone of the season - as Rutgers is ranked 14th in the Big East in triples per game (.3.7) and Pitt is at 15th (2.7 per game).
COURTSIDE: Panthers Trounce Tar Heels, 68-48
Pitt Knocks Out North Carolina, 68-48
Panthers Return Home to Host Tar Heels Sunday
Pitt Falls at No. 6 Notre Dame, 86-54
Pitt Faces Second Consecutive Top-10 Opponent in Irish
Pitt Drops Battle at No. 8/9 Louisville, 73-52