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Jan. 22, 2013

Game Notes (pdf) | Game Day Central | Live StatsListen Live | Notre Dame Notes

GAME 18: PITT (9-8, 0-4 Big East) vs. No. 2/3 NOTRE DAME (16-1, 5-0 Big East)
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 • 7 p.m.
Petersen Events Center • Pittsburgh, Pa.

On the Air (Radio):
WJAS 1320 (live and streamed); George Von Benko, Ashley Battle (Listen)
Social Media: Twitter, @PittWomensHoops; Facebook, Like Pitt Women's Basketball
Live Updates on Twitter during game
On the Air: Pitt Panthers TV on The Comcast Network (Channels 188/210)
Jeff Hathhorn, Jennifer Tuscano
On the Air (Radio):  WJAS 1320 (live and streamed on website via Pitt Panthers All-Access)
George Von Benko, Ashley Battle
Live Stats/GameTracker
Series Info: Notre Dame leads, 20-3
Current Streak: ND W3
Home: Notre Dame leads,  9-2
Away: Notre Dame leads 10-0
Neutral: Series tied at 1-1
Last Meeting in PGH: Jan. 21, 2011; Notre Dame 82, Pitt 50
Last Meeting: Jan. 17, 2012; South Bend, Ind., Notre Dame 120, Pitt 44
First Meeting: Feb. 7, 1996, South Bend, Ind., Notre Dame 91, Pitt 51
Honorary Captain: Taliah Baldwin

Pitt weclomes the group Hoopla for Wednesday night's game at the PEC.  

Storylines & Notables:
• The last Pitt win over a ranked opponent was on Feb. 5, 2011 - a 60-53 win over No. 14/14 West Virginia.
• This marks Pitt’s first contest versus a ranked foe this season.
• The Panthers last win over Notre Dame occured on Feb. 3, 2009. Shavonte Zellous had 29 points in the 82-70 win.
• The Irish are averaging 20.4 more points than the Panthers.
Head Coaches:
Pitt: Agnus Berenato (Mount St. Mary's, 1980); 444-399/29th season overall; 161-136/10th at Pitt
Notre Dame: Muffet McGraw (Saint Joseph's, 1977); 695-257/31th season overall; 607-216/26th season overall

Pitt Stat Leaders:
Asia Logan, Jr., F, 15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 6 double-doubles
Brianna Kiesel, So., G, 13.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.9 apg
Ashlee Anderson, Jr.-RS, 7.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Notre Dame
Stat Leaders: 
• Skylar Diggins, Sr. G, 15.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 51 steals
• Kayla McBride, 14.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, leads BE in FT% 95%
• Natalie Achonwa, 14.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg (second in Big East), .549FG

Last Game Out
Four players registered double figures, but it was not enough as Pitt dropped a 74-65 decision to Marquette in Big East women’s basketball action on Saturday at the Petersen Events Center.

The Panthers were paced by junior Brianna Kiesel, who pumped in 18 points. Sophomore Cora McManus added 15 points and nine rebounds, while junior Marquel Davis chipped in 12 points off the bench.

Redshirt freshman Loliya Briggs recorded her second-straight double figure scoring game with 10 points.

The game was a battle in the paint with the teams combining for 88 points down low. Pitt had one of its worst efforts on the season from the free throw line, connecting on just 8-of-20 opportunities (16.7 percent).  

The Panthers pulled to a 4-0 lead to start the game on back-to-back scores from Kiesel. The Golden Eagles tallied eight of the game’s next 10 points capped by a layup from Katherine Plouffe to take their first lead at 8-6.

Tied at 9-9, MU ran off an 11-2 run to take a nine point lead– doing so on another score from Plouffe - at the 10:39 mark.

Davis added a boost off the bench for Pitt, helping kick-start a 6-2 surge to cut the deficit to five at 22-17. MU answered basket for basket and used another run to pull to its largest lead of the stanza – 10 points – on three occasions, lastly with 47 seconds left in the period.  A jumper from Asia Logan and runner from Briggs closed the gap to six (40-34) at intermission.

The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 13-point edge twice over the first seven minutes of the second half, moving to the 54-41 edge after a four-footer from Cristina Bigicia.  The Panthers silenced MU, scoring nine of the next 11 points. Davis had six points and McManus added three over the five-minute span which trimmed the lead to 56-52 with 9:47 remaining.

Marquette built its advantage back to seven on a baseline 3-pointer from Brooklyn Pumroy. Briggs responded with her second old-fashioned three-point play of the afternoon which started an 8-2 run to close the gap even further. A steal from Kiesel and the subsequent layup from Davis pushed the Panthers a point away at 64-63 with 3:50 to play.

The Golden Eagles handled the pressure, scoring the next seven as the Panthers hit just one field goal over the final 3:50 of play.

Lauren Tibbs led Marquette in scoring with 14 points. Plouffe had 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.   

The game was the 11th meeting between the teams – and the ninth in which the final outcome was 13 points or fewer. The nine-point difference marked the sixth in the series decided by nine or less points.

About the Match-Up With Notre Dame
Pitt trails in the all-times series with Notre Dame, 20-3. Nine of the past 13 games in series have been decided by 12 points or fewer.

The Irish have an 19-2 advantage in Big East regular season action versus the Panthers. The two head coaches are facing off for the 17th time- with the first five meetings coming when Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato was at Rider University (NJ) and Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw was at Lehigh.
The Irish have a couple of Commonwealth connections as junior guard Kayla McBride is a native of Erie, Pa. and sophomore Madison Cable is from Mt.
Lebanon, Pa. and played at Mt. Lebanon.

Odds & Ends
Most points in a single game:
Shavonte Zellous (Pitt) 29    Feb. 3, 2009
Ruth Riley (ND)           29    Feb. 7, 2001
Most rebounds in a single game:
Marcedes Walker (Pitt) 18    Feb. 28, 2006
Shayla Scott (Pitt)        18    Feb. 3, 2009
Ruth Riley (ND)           14    Jan. 17, 2000
Most assists in a single game:        
LaTonya Blanton (Pitt) 10    Jan. 16, 1999
Mollie Peirick (ND)       9     Jan. 18, 1997
Niele Ivey                   9      Feb. 27, 2001
Megan Duffy               9     Feb. 5, 2005
Most blocks in a single game:       
Nickeia Morris (Pitt)      7    Feb. 15, 1998
Ruth Riley  (ND)          7    Feb. 7, 2001

Pitt’s last win in the series came on Feb. 3, 2009 at the Petersen Events Center. Shavonte Zellous poured in 29 points - the most by a Pitt player in the series - to lead the No. 22/24 Panthers to an 82-70 victory over the then-ranked No. 19/16 Irish. Shayla Scott matched a series game high with 18 rebounds.

Scouting Notre Dame
The Irish are ranked No. 2 in the latest Associated Press rankings and boast a 16-1 overall mark and a perfect 5-0 record in Big East play.  The 16-1 mark is the fourth time in program history the Irish have started its season with that record.  Since Notre Dame’s loss to Baylor on Dec. 5, the Irish have averaged 86.6 points and won by an average margin of 28 points per game.

UND is ranked first in the nation in free throw percentage (.815) and second in scoring offense (82.7 ppg), while third among NCAA leaders in assists per game (19.8)

Notre Dame has attempted 100 more shots this season than its 17 foes and 50 more 3-point opportunties. They are out-rebounding opponents by more than 11 boards a game.  Seven players are averaging 3.3 rebounds or more a game.

The Irish moved their winning streak to 11 games with a 74-50 win over St. John’s on Sunday in South Bend, Ind. UND won wire-to-wire in the third straight game. Senior Skylar Diggins had 18 points and six assists in the game, while Natalie Achonwa posted her 10th double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) - the most in the big East.

Diggins leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.3 poitns per game and shooting a team-best 87.6 percent from the free throw line. Diggins is one of two players to have started all 17 games for the Irish.  Kayla McBride is second on scoring with a 14.7 points per game average. McBride has connected on 95 percent of her free throw opportunities, while recording 4.1 rebounds a game. Natalie Achonwa is averaging 14.2 points and 9.3 rebounds (second in the Big East).

Freshman Jewell Lloyd is the fourth player in double figures with a  12.8 points per game average. She is pacing the team with 18 three-pointers.

What A Win Means ...
A Pitt win over Notre Dame would be the ..
• first in Big East play since March 4, 2011 in the Big East Championship in Hartford, Conn. – a 63-60 win over USF.
• first regular season Big East win since Feb. 15, 2011 –a 60-57 victory over Providence at the Petersen Events Center.
•  a win at Georgetown in the next game would be the first road win in Big East regular season play since at West Virginia on Feb. 5, 2011 (60-53).

Versus Ranked Opponents
Pitt is 15-141 all-time against ranked opponents. Eight of those 15 wins have come since 2006. The Panthers beat No. 14/15 West Virginia, 60-53 on Feb. 5, 2011 - their first over a ranked foe since 2009.  On Feb. 3, 2009, Pitt posted an 82-70 victory against No. 19 Notre Dame. The last time the Panthers defeated two ranked opponents during the same season was 2008-09. In addition to Notre Dame, Pitt bested No. 8 Maryland on Dec. 7, 2008- the highest ranked opponent it has ever beaten.

Last Go-Round
Pitt began its last season in the Big East on Jan. 5 at Seton Hall. Under head coach Agnus Berenato, the Panthers are 4-6 in Big East Conference openers. Overall, Pitt moved to 12-19 in Big East openers. This season marks the final Big East campaign  for Pitt. They join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning July 1, 2013.  Notre Dame is also a future member of the ACC - with date to still be determined.

Simply The Best
With a 67-49 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 20, Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato became the program’s all-time winningest coach. She surpassed  former coach Kirk Bruce (1985-98, 13 seasons) for the most wins in women’s basketball history at Pitt with her 159th win.  Berenato, in her 10th season at Pitt this year, is the second-longest tenured coach behind Bruce.

Leading the Pack
Junior Asia Logan is averaging 15.5 points a game - through 16 contests. If she should continue that pace it would be the most points by a player in a season since the 2008-09 season. Shavonte Zellous averaged 22.0 points in Pitt’s 33 games.  The last few leaders in scoring for Pitt is:
2009-10    Taneisha Harrison, 12.9 ppg (31 games)
2010-11    Taneisha Harrison, 15.5 ppg (31 games)
2011-12    Brianna Kiesel, 13.6 ppg (30 games)

Excuse Me, I’ll Take That
The Panthers matched a season-high with 13 steals at Old Dominion on Jan 2. Pitt also had 13 steals versus the Mount on Dec. 20 at home - one off the Petersen Events Center record. The all-time Pitt record for steals in a game is 25 (vs. Niagara on Nov. 22, 1981).

Close Calls
The win over ODU marked a turning point for the Panthers. Last season, Pitt lost three of its last seven games by five points or fewer. The one-point win over the Lady Monachs on Jan. 2 was the first by three points or fewer since a 63-60 win over USF in the Big East Championship in 2011.  It was the first win by a lone point since the 2009-10 campaign (a 76-75 overtime victory at Austin Peay).  

The Panthers rallied from 12-down to defeat Brown, 58-57, on Nov. 24.  The win was the largest come-from- behind victory since a 74-69 overtime over Lafayette last season (12/31/11 – 15 points down).  Three times this season Pitt has come back from a double-digit deficit to post a win. They havew lost a double-digit lead - and lost the game just once - the first contest out against YSU.
Red Hot
The Panthers shot 60.3 percent (30-of-58) from the field at Buffalo on Dec. 29, the highest mark since a 61.4 percent (35-of-57) effort versus Western Michigan on Dec. 5, 2009.  It marks only the fourth time since 2006 a Pitt team has shot over 60 percent in a single game. The other two times were versus Cincinnati on March 4, 2006 (61.2%) and against Youngstown State on Nov. 29, 2008 (67.2 percent).

Against Buffalo, the Panthers also posted a 50 percent clip (5-of-10) from long range - its best mark from behind the arc on the season and highest total since Jan. 3, 2012 (Pitt’s first game of 2012) - a 60 percent showing at Villanova.

Struggle Versus the Johnnies
The Panthers shot 4-of-28 from the field in the first period at St. John’s on Jan. 16 and connected on 8-of-31 shots in the second stanza.  The 32 points were the fewest in program history with the previous single game low coming in 1996 (34 points vs. Hawaii).

Highs All Around
The 91 points scored versus Buffalo to end the calendar year on Dec. 29 were the most scored by a Panthers team since a 94-78 win over Central Michigan on Dec. 31, 2010 (ironically, also closed out a calendar year!). Current members Ashlee Anderson, Marquel Davis and Asia Logan were part of that squad.

Pitt Women's Basketball Hosts No. 2/3 Notre Dame on Wednesday

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