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Feb. 1, 2013

Game Notes (pdf) | Game Day Central | Live StatsListen Live | USF Notes

GAME 21: PITT (9-11, 0-7 Big East) vs USF (14-6, 3-4 Big East)
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 • 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh, Pa.  •  Petersen Events Center
Alumni Day

Social Media: Twitter, @PittWomensHoops, live updates from courtside
Facebook, Like Pitt Women's Basketball
On the Air (Radio):  WJAS 1320 (live and streamed on website); George Von Benko, Ashley Battle
On the Air (TV): Pitt Panthers TV on The Comcast Network
Jeff Hathhorn, Jennifer Tuscano
Live Stats/GameTracker:
Officials: Bill Titus, Tom Danaher, Rod Creech
Series Info: Pitt leads 7-4
Home: Pittsburgh leads 4-0
Away: USF leads 3-2
Neutral: Series tied 1-1
Current Streak: USF W2
Last Five: USF leads 3-2
Last Meeting: Big East Championship, March 2, 2012; USF 60, Pitt 59.
First Meeting: Jan. 8, 2006, Pittsburgh; Pitt 66 USF 64.
Storylines & Notables:
• Seven of the 11 meetings have been decided by four points or fewer.
• The teams have met each of the past two seasons in the Big East Tournanment with Pitt ending USF’s season in 2011 and USF closing out Pitt last season.
• The Panthers have drained 58 3-pointers this season (3.0 per game) to the Bulls’ 127 triples (6.4 per game).
Asia Logan and Brianna Kiesel have paced the team in scoring in eight games each.
Head Coaches:
Pitt: Agnus Berenato (Mount St. Mary's, 1980); 444-403/29th season overall; 161-139/10th at Pitt
USF: Jose Fernandez (Florida International, 1994); 203-190/13th season at USF and overall

Pitt Stat Leaders:

Asia Logan, Jr., F, 15.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6 double-doubles
Brianna Kiesel, So., G,  13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, .825 FT%
Ashlee Anderson, Jr.-RS, G, 7.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Loliya Briggs, Fr.-RS, G, 6.3 ppg, 2.2 apg

DePaul Stat Leaders: 
• Andrea Smith, Sr., G, 17.7 ppg (2nd in Big East), 5.4 rpg, 39 3-pointers
• Andrell Smith, Sr., G, 16.0 ppg, 5.4, 4.5 apg, 33 3-pointers
• Inga Orekhova, Jr. G, 11.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, 44 3-pointers

Last Game Out
Pitt saw its chance to end its Big East winless streak fall short, as DePaul recorded the winning shot with 4.2 seconds left to escape 57-55 in Big East women’s basketball action on Tuesday evening at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

Junior Asia Logan finished with 15 points to lead four players in double figures for the Panthers (9-11, 0-7 Big East). Loliya Briggs had 12 points, while Brianna Kiesel chipped in 11. Logan, Briggs and Kiesel each recorded a team-high six rebounds apiece.

Brittany Hrynko led all scorers with 19 points for DePaul (16-5, 5-2 Big East). Katherine Harry had 12 points – eight of those in the first half – and 14 rebounds.

The game featured 11 ties and 10 lead changes.

With Pitt holding a slim one-point halftime lead, the Blue Demons got a quick start to the second half by scoring five of the period’s first seven points. Pitt responded as Briggs drove the right side and picked up both the bucket and the foul with 17:35 remaining.

The Panthers used transition offense to stifle the Blue Demons and take their largest lead of the game (34-29) on back-to-back scores from Logan and Kiesel and force a DePaul timeout.

A three-pointer from Chanise Jenkins in front of her own bench silenced the Panthers Logan hit a jumper to again push the advantage to four, but Pitt could gain no ground missing its next nine field goal attempts. DePaul was just 3-of-12 over the same span, but two of its three baskets came from behind the arc. The last triple over the run with 9:01 left pushed the Blue Demons ahead, 41-38.

Redshirt junior Ashlee Anderson cut the defense and drove the lane for the Panthers, slicing the deficit to one at 41-40 with 7:32 showing.

A transition jumper from DePaul’s Kelsey Reynolds from the right side gave the Blue Demon a five-point lead at 47-42 and capped off a 6-2 run for the home team. After a timeout called by Pitt, the Panthers turned it over on the next possession. DePaul grabbed its largest lead of the game at 49-42 after taking the shot clock to the buzzer, collecting the rebound and finishing with a basket from Harry.

Logan narrowed the gap to five points with two free throws at the 4:03 mark. After another DePaul bucket, Ashlee Anderson calmly hit a triple from the far baseline to make it a four-point contest at 51-47.

Coming out of the media, the Panthers had a chance to close in – but a floater in the lane feel short as DePaul’s Jenkins dropped her third triple of the game in transition to make it a seven-point lead. Anderson hit the first of two from the free throw line and Pitt grabbed the rebound on the missed second shot, but the Panthers turned the ball over on the baseline.

Pitt did not go away as Kiesel drive the lane with 54.1 seconds, converting both the field goal and the subsequent free throw for a 54-51 score.

DePaul hit one from the free throw line and the Panthers grabbed the rebound on the miss. Marquel Davis was fouled and collected both of her opportunities with 34.8 seconds to play to trim the margin to two at 55-53.

The Panthers’ defense pressured DePaul as the moved upcourt with Briggs stepping into the passing line to swipe the ball and shooting the ball ahead to Anderson for the game-tying field goal with 13.2 seconds showing.

The ball never left Hrynko’s hand for DePaul as she dribbled the length of the floor and hit a learning four-footer with 4.2 ticks left to collect the win. A 30-footer from Kiesel at the final horn sailed high.

The first 20 minutes featured six ties and seven lead changes. The Blue Demons got six of their first seven points from Harry, the last of the series at the 14:07 mark gave DePaul a 7-6 lead.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game at 11-9 on a layup from Anderson with 12:18 on the clock. The game was knotted three times over the next five minutes, lastly at 19-19 at the 7:14 mark. The Blue Demons took  their biggest edge of the half (5) after two quick conversions. Pitt closed the half on a 6-0 run, four of the six points from Logan to take a 25-24 lead into the locker room.

Pitt shot just 31.3 percent from the field for the contest. DePaul recorded a 43.1 percent field goal effort. The Panthers, who recorded 13 more shots than the Blue Demons, also posted a 41-40 rebounding advantage.

About USF
The Bulls are paced in scoring by twins Andrea and Andrell Smith, averaging 17.7 and 16.0 points respectively. The duo are not only accounting for a combined 46.7 percent of the scoring - but also with assists (27 for Andrea and 90 for Andrell) have a hand in over 70 percent of the team’s total offense.

Andrea missed last season due to an ACL injury (tore her ACL against Pitt in the Big East Tourney in 2011), but in her last full season (2010-11) averaged 16.5 points per game which was third in the Big East.  Andrell, meanwhile, is also averaging 2.6  steals per game -ranking her seventh in the Big East. She had 12 in a single game (vs. Creighton), the best mark in the Big East this season in a single contest.

Andrea has knocked down 39 triples, while Andrell had drained 33 of the team’s 127 3-pointers. Leading the team in treys is returning guard Inga Orekhova. She has connected on 44 3-pointers this season. Orekhova holds the USF scoring game record against the Panthers (25 points on March 2, 2012).  

The Bulls get 63 percent of their total points from the three players. The squad is averaging 72.1 points per game to opponents’ 58.7 points.   USF is ranked fourth in the Big East in field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to just 35.4 percent shooting.        

USF - with eight seniors on its roster - won eight-straight games to start the season, its longest win streak to start a season since 1976-77. The squad’s 11-2 non-conference ledger is the second-best under head coach Jose Fernandez.

Series Info
Pitt leads USF in head-to-head meetings, 7-4.  The Panthers are unbeaten (4-0) versus the Bulls on their home court, the Petersen Events Center. Seven of the 11 games in the series have been decided by a combined total of 17 points.  Of Pitt’s seven wins in the series – five of the seven have been by four points or less and the other two by more than 25.

Five contests  in the series have came down to the final seconds of the game, including both match-ups  during the 2010-11 season and the second match-up last season in the Big East Championship.

Pitt shot 66.7 percent (8-of-12) in the second half in a 63-60 win in first round of the 2011 Big East Championship - the best second half shooting effort of the 2010-11 season. Ironically, Pitt’s top second half shooting effort in the  following season (last season, 2011-12) also came versus the Bulls. Pitt shot 56.3 percent (18-of-32) in the second period against USF on March 2, 2012 in the first round of the Big East Tourney, a  heart-breaking 60-59 loss.

Series Individual Highs
27       Shavonte Zellous, Pitt       1-17-09
25       Inga Orekhovam USF        3-2-12
17       Chelsea Cole                      2-12-11
13       Nalini Miller, USF              2-10-07
MOST ASSISTS IN A SINGLE GAME:                  
9         Mallorie Winn, Pitt             3-1-08
9         Xenia Stewart, Pitt           1-17-09
8         Shantia Grace, USF           2-10-07
4         Chelsea Cole, Pitt             2-12-11
6         Nalini Miller, USF             2-10-07

Remember When …
In last season’s second match-up in the Big East Championship, the Panthers dropped a 60-59 decision on March 2, 2012.  Then-freshman Brianna Kiesel had 24 points, scoring 15 in the second half to help Pitt overcome a 21-point deficit.  With 53.1 seconds left, Kiesel hit a five-foot jumper to give Pitt a 59-57 edge. USF responded with its ninth three-pointer of the game to retake the lead at 60-59.

The Panthers had two opportunities in the final 40 seconds. Kiesel’s shot was off as the ball bounced off the front of the rim. Players dove for the ball, but Pitt could not get a timeout called as instead a jump ball was signaled with 15.5 seconds remaining and the possession arrow went to USF. With 14.2 seconds left, the Panthers fouled Shaleth Stringfield who missed the front end of the one-and-one. Pitt had one last chance as the ball never left Kiesel’s hand. Her eight-footer with 1.6 seconds bounced in and around the rim before falling out as USF escaped with the win.

Senior Taneisha Harrison exploded for 27 points and five assists, while senior Jania Sims had 15 points and four dimes in a 70-66 home win over USF on Feb. 12, 2011. Senior Chelsea Cole racked up her (then) 13th double-double of the season with 12 points and 17 rebounds (the most by either team in the series).  

Tied at 62-62, the Panthers got consecutive baskets from Sims and Cole to stretch its lead to four and shot 3-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 11 seconds to seal the victory.  Pitt connected on 57.1 percent of its shots from the field, including a 60 percent mark in the second half. USF was at a 33.3 percent clip for the contest, but shot 41.2 percent from behind the arc.  

Later that same season (2010-11) …. then-senior Jania Sims scored 17 points to lead  Pitt to a 63-60 victory over USF in first round action at the 2011 Big East Championship at the XL Center on March 4, 2011 – Pitt’s last Big East tourney win The Panthers shot 55.3 percent from the field for the contest, including 66.7 percent in the second half.   After holding a 15-point lead, Pitt allowed the Bulls to get back in the game. USF  knotted the game at 59-59 with 49.7 seconds left with a foul shot, but Pitt gained the lead for good on its next trip down the court. After a timeout, Sims found Cole on the inbounds pass for two-plus-the foul with 28.9 seconds remaining to give Pitt a lead it would not relinquish.

More Thrilling Finishes
The series started with a pair of exhilarating games during the 2005-06 campaign (the team played twice during the regular season that season). The person that best remembers those games is still on the Pitt bench - this time as an assistant coach.  

The squads first faced off on Jan. 8, 2006 with the Panthers posting a 66-64 victory at the Petersen Events Center. In a game that featured 12 ties and 13 lead changes, the Panthers had a five point edge with 1:56 to play. The Bulls used a 5-0 run to tie the game at 64-64 on a pair of free throws by former USF standout Shantia Grace with 17 seconds showing. Mallorie Winn drained the winning shot, two of her team-high 21 points.  

On Feb. 11, 2006 and trailing by seven with 5:42 left to play, Pitt scored 10 of game’s final 11 points to grab a 60-58 victory over USF in Tampa. The winning jumper came from - you guessed it - Winn with four seconds to go while Xenia Stewart blocked the final attempt from the Bulls as time expired. Pitt had never led in the second half until Winn hit the winning field goal from the top of the key. The winning shot was the second in less than a week for Winn, who also hit the game-decider on Feb. 4 at Cincinnati.

USF had led by nine points with eight minutes remaining.  Marcedes Walker was the X Factor, scoring 23 points (on 11-of-19 shooting) and adding 16 rebounds.

What A Win Means ...
A Pitt win over USF 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 over Louisville (Feb. 9) in the next road game would be the first road win in Big East regular season play since at West Virginia on Feb. 5, 2011 (60-53).
The Panthers have lost 23 straight regular season league games and have fallen in 25 Big East contests overall.

Still Young
The Panthers fielded the youngest team in Division I in the 2011-12 season - this season Pitt is still one of the youngest teams in the land with no seniors, two redshirt juniors, two juniors four sophomores (including a walk-on). one red-shirt freshman and four freshmen (three playing this season). The starting line-up in two games has featured ALL underclassmen - three sophomores, one redshirt freshman and one freshman.

Pitt Women's Basketball Entertains USF on Sunday Afternoon

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