Jan. 15, 2014
GAME 18: NO. 2 NOTRE DAME (15-0, 3-0) vs. PITT (9-8, 1-2)
Thursday, January 16, 2014 • 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center • Pittsburgh, Pa.
Watch: ESPN3 | Pitt Panthers Television
Play-by-Play: Jeff Hathhorn
Color: Jen Tuscano
On the Air (Radio): WJAS 1320 AM
Play-by-Play: George Von Benko
Color: Marcus Bowman
Social Media: Twitter: @PittWomensHoops; Facebook: Like Pitt Women’s Basketball
Series History: Notre Dame leads, 21-3
at Pitt: Notre Dame leads, 10-2
at Notre Dame: Notre Dame leads, 10-0
Neutral: Series tied, 1-1
PITTSBURGH – Familiar foes will clash for the first time as members of the ACC as the University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team hosts unbeaten and second-ranked Notre Dame on Thursday evening inside the Petersen Events Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Playing as rivals in the Big East since 1996, this will be the 19th consecutive year the two programs have met. Notre Dame holds a 21-3 advantage in the all-time series and has claimed the last four victories. Pitt will look to even its record in ACC play and beat a Top 25 team since February 5, 2011 (beat No. 14 WVU 60-53).
League’s Leading Scorer Belongs to Pitt:
Brianna Kiesel is making a name for herself not just in the ACC, but throughout the country as well. Kiesel was named the ACC Player of the Week (1/6) and the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Women’s National Player of the Week (1/7) for averaging 23 points and seven assists against Florida State and Virginia. Through three ACC games, Kiesel is the league’s leading scorer, averaging 22.3 points per contest. Through all games this season, she ranks fifth in conference, averaging a career-high 18.1 ppg.
Kiesel at the Free Throw Line:
Kiesel ranks seventh in the ACC in free throw percentage making 84.5 percent of her attempts. She is 87-for-103 on the season, but recently she has been even better, making 42 of her last 44 attempts. Most impressively, Kiesel has made and attempted the most free throws in the ACC by a wide margin.
Players Ranked by Made Free Throws:
1. Brianna Kiesel - UP: 87-for-103 (.845)
2. Kaela Davis - GT: 71-for-86 (.826)
3. Kristen Doherty - BC: 64-for-78 (.821)
4. Kody Burke - NCST: 56-for-64 (.875)
5. Alyssa Thomas - MD: 55-for-63 (.873)
Davis Shooting Well in Conference Play:
Marquel Davis also finds herself leading a statistical category through three ACC games. Davis tops the conference during league play in shooting percentage, making .688 percent of her shots (11-of-16). Davis went 2-of-4 against Florida State, and was a perfect 3-of-3 at Virginia. She then had her second best scoring output of the season at Clemson, scoring 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Davis was inserted into the starting lineup during the team’s trip to Vegas, and in seven starts she is averaging 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Scouting Notre Dame:
Notre Dame is one of just two unbeaten teams in the country (along with No. 1 UConn). The Fighting Irish have been crushing their competition, averaging a +28.5 scoring margin. ND scores 87.5 ppg and allows 59.0 ppg. The Irish have won 14 of their 15 games by double digits, with their only game not beating the opposition by more than 10 points was at Virginia (79-72) in ND’s last game. Pitt also won at Virginia, defeating the Cavaliers 79-75.
Jewell Loyd leads the Irish in scoring at 17.1 points per game, followed by Kayla McBride (16.1) and Natalie Achonwa (13.4). Achonwa averages a team-high 8.8 rebounds per contest which ranks her seventh in the ACC. As a team, Notre Dame shoots .511 from the floor, which is the highest in the nation.
The ACC currently has four teams ranking inside the AP Top-10 (No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Duke, No. 6 Maryland, No. 9 North Carolina) and is joined by two other ACC schools ranked in the Top-25 (No. 17 Florida State and No. 20 NC State), bringing the ACC’s total to six ranked schools. Syracuse is also receiving votes. The SEC also has six ranked schools, followed by the Pac 12 with four teams, and the Big-12, Big 10 and the American with three teams apiece.
The Panthers will remain home as they play host to another former Big East rival in Syracuse University on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. It will be Girl Scout Day and ACC Day at the Petersen Events Center and that game will also be on ESPN3/Pitt Panthers Television.
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