June 4, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Participating in the ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge for the first time in program history, the University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team will travel to Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 3 to face the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"We are excited for the opportunity to participate in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge," head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. "Ohio State has a talented team and it will be a great early season road test for us."
Since the inaugural ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge in 2007, the ACC is 6-0-1 and has an overall record of 48-32 in the challenge. During last year's ACC/Big 10 Challenge, the ACC won seven of 12 games.
The 2014 challenge will be contested in a two-day format beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The eight-game slate on Dec. 3 includes home contests for Boston College (vs. Indiana), NC State (vs. Minnesota) and Notre Dame (vs. Maryland) at Fort Wayne, Ind., while Florida State (at Purdue), Duke (at Nebraska), Pittsburgh (at Ohio State), Virginia (at Illinois), and Wake Forest (at Michigan) will be on the road. On Thursday, Dec. 4, Louisville (vs. Iowa), Miami (vs. Wisconsin), Syracuse (vs. Penn State), Virginia Tech (vs. Northwestern) will host Big Ten opponents, and North Carolina (at Rutgers) and Georgia Tech (at Michigan State) visit their inter-conference foes.
Ohio State is one of two Big Ten teams the Panthers will play during the 2014-15 season. Pitt will host Michigan at the Petersen Even Center in the conclusion of a home-and-home series between the teams.
Both Pitt and Ohio State return their leading scorer from the 2013-14 campaign. Senior guard Brianna Kiesel (16.4 ppg) leads the way for Pitt, while junior guard Ameryst Alston (19.0 ppg) heads the Buckeyes' attack. Alston finished the season ranked fourth in scoring in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes are coming off a season in which they finished 17-18 overall and 5-11 in conference. In last year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Ohio State lost to Maryland 67-55. This will be the 13th all-time meeting between Pitt and Ohio State and the first since 1998.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most competitive conferences on the women's basketball scene. Since 1982, the ACC (16) and the Big Ten (8) have combined for 24 berths in the Final Four and have combined for 318 total appearances in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. Last season, the ACC sent nine teams to postseason play, the most in conference history, and had two teams in the Final Four.
2013 Challenge Results - ACC 7, Big Ten 5
North Carolina 75, Nebraska 62
Maryland 67, Ohio State 55
Georgia Tech 93, Illinois 69
Florida State 60, Michigan State 58
Notre Dame 77, Penn State 67
Indiana 77, Virginia Tech 65
Wisconsin 74, Boston College 59
Duke 99, Purdue 78
NC State 76, Northwestern 61
Iowa 97, Syracuse 91
Minnesota 74, Miami 67
Michigan 73, Virginia 53