Feb. 25, 2013
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GAME 27: PITT (9-17, 0-13 Big East) at No. 3/3 CONNECTICUT (25-2, 12-1 Big East)
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 • 7 p.m.
XL Center • Hartford, Conn.
Officials: Cameron Inouye, Eric Brewton, Michele O’Connor-St. Pierre
On the Air (Radio): WJAS 1320 (live and streamed on website); George Von Benko, Jen Tuscano
On the Air (TV): SNY
Live Stats/GameTracker: www. PittsburghPanthers.com
Series History: UConn leads, 40-9
Big East Regular Season: UConn leads 36-8
Current Streak: UConn, W27
Home: UConn leads 17-4
Away: UConn leads 19-4
Neutral: UConn leads 4-1
Last Meeting: Feb. 21, 2012, UConn 86, Pitt 37, Pittsburgh
Last Meeting in Connecticut: UConn 66 Pitt 46, Storrs, Conn. Jan. 22, 2011
First Meeting: Pitt 79, UConn 67, Feb. 9, 1983
Storylines & Notables:
• Tonight’s meeting is the 50th in the series. The last Pitt win was in 1993 (2-24-93, 76-74).
• Pitt associate head coach Patty Coyle and UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey were teammates at Rutgers, where they led the Lady Scarlet Knights to the 1982 AIAW national title.
• UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph served on Coach Berenato’s staff at Pitt for five seasons.
• Pitt has used eight different starting line-ups this season.
Pitt: Agnus Berenato (Mount St. Mary's, 1980); 444-409/29th season overall; 161-145/10th at Pitt
Connecticut: Geno Auriemma (West Chester, 1981) 528-290/27th season overall and at UConn
Pitt Stat Leaders:
• Asia Logan, Jr., F, 14.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg
• Brianna Kiesel, So., G, 14.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
• Ashlee Anderson, Jr.-RS, G, 7.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 apg
• Loliya Briggs, Fr.-RS, G, 6.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Connecticut Stat Leaders:
• Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, So.,F, 17.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .887 FT%
• Stefanie Dolson, Jr., C, 14.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, .598 FG%
• Breanna Stewart, Fr., F, 12.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg
• Kelly Faris, Sr., G, 10.7 ppg
Last Game Out
Junior Asia Logan recorded 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, but it was not enough as Pitt dropped a hard-fought battle to Georgetown, 72-70, on Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.
Sophomore Brianna Kiesel had 18 points and seven assists, while junior Ashlee Anderson chipped in 15 points off the bench. The Panthers (9-17, 0-13 Big East) out-rebounded the Hoyas, 43-38.
Georgetown scored the game’s go-ahead points with seven-tenths of a second remaining after junior Andrea White drained two from the free throw line to break the eighth tie of the game. White finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Hoyas (14-12, 5-8 Big East). Senior Sugar Rodgers led the Hoyas with a game-high 23 points.
Georgetown, up by seven at the half, stretched its lead to a dozen (40-28) to start the second half after a 3-pointer from Brittany Horne. The Panthers steadily chipped at the lead, rolling off a 16-3 run to take their first lead since the game’s early minutes. Pitt forced GU into seven turnovers over the six and a half minute span.
Kiesel scored seven of the last eight points of the Pitt run with her three-pointer from the right side with 12:07 to go lifting Pitt to a 44-43 lead.
Rodgers countered with a triple on GU’s next possession, but Anderson knotted the game up (46-46) for the fourth time by making two from the charity stripe with 11:13 left. Briggs followed with a trifecta on Pitt’s next possession from in front of her own bench that gave Pitt the three-point advantage with 10:09 showing.
GU cut the margin to a point thanks to two more from the free throw line, but Logan got into the three-point act – connecting on her second attempt of the afternoon and followed with two from the stripe to bump the lead to six at 54-48 with 8:16 remaining. The Hoyas got back into the ball game with a pair of 3-balls from Rodgers in a 35-second span – the second tied the game at 56-56 at the 6:40 mark.
A three-pointer by Anderson gave Pitt a brief lead, before GU connected on its next two field goal attempts to retake the lead at 60-59 with 5:23 left. Logan was fouled attempting a baseline three-pointer and calmly hit all three of her attempts from the stripe for a two-point Panthers edge.
Rodgers, who scored 15 of her game-high 23 in the second half, connected on a runner in the lane to tie the game yet again. Kiesel hit another triple and Anderson followed a possession later with her third three of the game to make it a five-point Pitt lead (68-63) with just under three minutes to go. White answered for the Hoyas, cutting the deficit to a single point with a basket and more free throws to pull GU to a within striking distance at 68-67 with 1:52 showing.
Logan grabbed the offensive board and used the glass on the put-back to push Pitt to a 70-67 cushion. Pitt fouls would, again, stop the clock as Rodgers hit two at the 1:15 mark and 19 seconds later, her teammate Dominque Vitalis connected on one of two from the line to tie the game at 70-70.
The Panthers had two turnovers in the final 1:04 of the game - the last with 35.6 seconds gave the ball back to the visitors with a 5.6 second differential with the shot clock. Rodgers got a shot off with 11 seconds to go and Pitt was able to grab at the ball as the play was whistled a jump ball with the possession arrow favoring Georgetown.
After a called timeout, the Hoyas inbounded from the right of the basket on the baseline. Rodgers’ shot bounded off the rim and to White on the weak side. She attempted the offensive put-back and was fouled on the follow-through, leading to her free throws with seventh-tenths of a second remaining.
The Panthers are 9-17 on the season and 0-13 in the Big East, having dropped their past 13-straight. The last win for Pitt came on Jan. 2, 2013- a 55-54 win at Old Dominion. Pitt is the only team without a win in league play.
Junior Asia Logan has paced the team in scoring since the second game of the season, averaging 14.9 points (9th in the Big East). Logan is also leading the team in rebounding with 7.4 boards a game - sixth in the Big East. She is one of just four players to be ranked in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding. Logan posted seventh career (and this season) double-double against Georgetown, tallying 21 points and 16 rebounds. The 16 boards were a career-high for the Baltimore native.
Sophomore Brianna Kiesel is averaging 14.7 points, ranked 10th in the Big East. (first time in top-10 this season was last week). Pitt is the only school to have two players ranked in the top-10 in scoring. She is averaging 17.6 points and 6.4 rebounds over the past five games . Kiesel has tallied double figures in 20 games - a team-high - and 40 times over her career. She is leading the team in free throw percentage (.800), steals, (1.5), assists (2.9), minutes (36.3, 4th in Big East), field goal attempts, free throw attempts (117/4.9 per game) and free throws made (92/3.5 per game). Ashlee Anderson is third in scoring, averaging 7.0 points. The redshirt junior guard has 15 starts in 26 games (20.3 mpg). She is third on the team in assists (2.1). Redshirt freshman Lo Briggs is also averaging 2.2 assists a game to along with 6.5 points (23.8 minutes).
The Panthers finished the non-conference slate with a 9-4 mark. Pitt is 10th in scoring offense and 12th in scoring defense among Big East leaders. The free throw percentage, as high as fifth this season, has dropped to 13th in Big East stats (.675).
What A Win Means ...
A Pitt win over UConn 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.
• 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 33-straight regular season league games and have fallen in 31-straight Big East contests overall (includes tournament which was the last win in Big East play on March 4, 2011).
Tonight’s meeting is the 50th all-time with UConn holding a 40-9 lead over Pitt. The Panthers have dropped 27-straight to their conference rival with the last win - a 76-74 victory - in the series coming on Feb. 24, 1993 in Pittsburgh. Pitt captured the first seven meetings, but UConn has registered victories in 40 of the last 42 games.
The Huskies are 25-2 overall and 12-1 in Big East play and are ranked No. 3 in the two national polls. UConn is averaging 82.8 points per game, not just tops in the Big East but also in the NCAA. The squad is also leading the nation and league in scoring defense, allowing just 47.3 points per game. As a team, the Huskies are shooting 49.7 percent from the field - second in the country.
UConn has four players averaging double figures led by sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who went over the 1,000-point milestone in the last game out versus Seton Hall (a 90-30 win) with her 18 points . The forward is pacing the team in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per game (2nd in the Big East) while shooting 55.4 percent from the field. Junior Stefanie Dolson is second on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and in rebounds (6.4 rpg). She is topping the Huskies in field goal percentage, shooting 59.8 percent (best mark in the country).
Breanna Stewart - who played her high school ball in central New York State against Pitt’s own Brianna Kiesel - is averaging 12.8 points per game. She is pacing the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and free throw percentage (.803, 61-of-76). Senior Kelly Faris is averaging 4.1 assists per game, 8th in the Big East. In total, UConn has three players averaging 3.2 or more assists (Dolson, 3.2 apg; Bria Hartley, 3.4 apg).
Familiar Face on the Sidelines
UConn assistant coach Shea Ralph was an assistant on Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato’s staff for five seasons. In 2010, Ralph made her first trip back to the Pittsburgh since leaving to take a job at her alma mater in July 2008. Ralph upon her move to UConn’s staff told the Hartford Courant about the University of Pittsburgh, “Pittsburgh is where I learned how to be a coach, to learn how to build a program. And it was the first time that I had ever really been away from UConn, in a sense, since I was a freshman in college. It was the first time I was really on my own and it was a great growing experience for me, personally and professionally.”
The two associate head coaches facing off this evening has a long history. Pitt associate head coach Pat Coyle and UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey are former teammates at Rutgers. Coach Coyle as a three-year starter for the Lady Scarlet Knights, amassing 1,209 career points and earning MVP honors when RU captured the 1982 AIAW Championship (which saw her score 30 points). Dailey, a local product who grew up in shadows of Rutgers, was a four-year forward over the same period and served as the team captain her junior and senior seasons. The duo also both coached at Rutgers under their former coach and mentor Theresa Grentz.
Coyle and UConn head coach Geno Auriemma are both proud Philadelphia natives. Coyle attended West Catholic High School (has since closed), while Auriemma is a Bishop Kenrick High School graduate (also coached at the Philly high school with Jim Foster). Foster is the current Ohio State head coach, who previously was the HC at Saint Joseph’s University (1978-91).
Auriemma served on Foster’s staff at St. Joe’s (1978-79) Coyle also was a member of Foster’s staff at the school from 1989-92. Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato, who grew up in the shadow of the City of Brotherly Love, played scholastically at Gloucestor Catholic.
Prior to Pitt taking a 2-0 lead over Georgetown on the first basket of the game on Saturday (19:10), the Panthers had not led in a 123:09 span (double overtime vs. PC). They failed to hold a lead in games versus Cincinnati, Syracuse and Louisville prior to the early lead against Georgetown.
50 Hard-Fought Minutes
The Panthers played just the third double overtime game in program history and the first in 28 years on Feb. 6 as Pitt dropped a 85-83 decision at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers second double OT game was last played on Jan. 2, 1985 - also against Providence (71-69 loss).
The Panthers grabbed 68 rebounds in the game, marking a Petersen Events Center record (previous high of 61 set in 2008). Pitt also took 92 shots versus Providence - the most recorded by a Big East team this season.
The Panthers had have a number of droughts in Big East play (without a field goal) this season, lasting four or more minutes - 10 in total. The longest was a six minute and 10 second period without a basket versus Villanova. Pitt went 5:25 without a field goal against Cincinnati on Feb. 20 and went a combined 10 minutes and 16 seconds (two differnet spans) without a field goal at Syracuse (one in first half and one in second stanza) on Feb. 16. Pitt experienced similar shooting woes at Louisville on Feb. 9, going 4:54 and 5:09 without a field goal versus the Cards.
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).
Versus Ranked Opponents
Pitt is 15-144 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. SU was the third ranked opponent that Pitt has faced this season and they will face their fourth ranked foe when the Panthers travel to UConn on Tuesday.