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Pitt Women's Basketball Opens 2011-12 Season




Game 1 vs. Hampton Get Acrobat Reader

Nov. 11, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team will open the 2011-12 season against Hampton on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Petersen Events Center. Tip-off time is set for 2 p.m. Live stats, audio and video will be available through www.pittsburghpanthers.com. Scott Stiller and former Panther Karyle Lim, in her first broadcast, will have the call courtside on WJAS 1320 AM.

Head Coach Agnus Berenato begins her ninth season at Pitt on Saturday, 14 victories away from tying the all-time program mark for wins in women’s basketball.

Pitt returns five letterwinners from a squad that went 14-17 a season ago. The Panthers will take on the task of replacing over 75 percent of its scoring from a season ago with the highest recruiting class in program history (No. 19/Hoopgurlz).

The Pirates have captured the last two-straight MEAC tournament crowns and have won 24 of their last 27 contests. Hampton’s last loss came in the NCAA Tournament first round, an overtime setback at the hands of Kentucky.

Start Us Up
Pitt women’s basketball holds an all-time record of 27-10 in season openers. Twenty-three (23) of the 37 previous season starters have been at Pitt’s home confines. The Panthers have kicked off their season 13 of the past 15 seasons at home. Today’s game marks the second-straight season Pitt has opened a campaign at the Petersen Events Center. Under head coach Agnus Berenato, Pitt is 7-1 in home season openers.

Last season, Pitt opened against Youngstown State on the exact same date (Nov. 12). That contest was the annual school day promotion for the Panthers and over 2,000 school children watched as Pitt claimed the 78-58 win.

Home Sweet …

The Panthers are home for the entire month of November – six regular season games in total. Pitt was also home for the 11th month of the year during the 2009-10 season, beginning the year 5-0 (and 8-0 in total). The six-straight are the most consecutive home games during Berenato’s tenure.

Pitt has a 60-22 (.732) record at the Petersen Events Center over the past six seasons, including a 14-1 mark during the 2008-09 campaign. Pitt posted an 8-6 home mark last season with five of those losses coming in Big East action.

Youngest in the Land
Pitt enters the season with the youngest team in NCAA Division I women’s basketball, a squad comprised of only sophomores and freshmen (six sophomores/six freshmen). The Panthers are the only team in the nation without at least one junior on their roster.  Pitt returns one starter (Anderson, 23 starts) and five letterwinners from a team that posted a 14-17 overall record and 5-11 Big East record in 2010-11.

Pitt will have to replace 74.6 percent of its scoring from the 2010-11 campaign. Pitt welcomes a six-member recruiting class that was tabbed the nation’s No. 19 recruiting class according to ESPN’s Hoopgurlz.

Youngest Teams in NCAA Division I in 2011-12.

                                           Fr.          So.          Jr.           Sr.
1. Pittsburgh                      6            6             0             0
2. Delaware St.                     5            3             1             0
3. Marquette                         6            4             1             0
4. St. Francis (NY)                 8            3             2             0
5 Southern Utah                    5            5             2             0
6.  N.C. A&T                            10          5             2             0

 Scouting the Lady Pirates
Hampton went 25-7 in 2010-11 and captured the MEAC title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament with the league’s automatic bid. The squad won 14 of its last 15 games before the overtime loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. In total, Hampton has won 24 of its last 27 contests.

The Lady Pirates return three starters led by senior guard Jericka Jenkins. The Texas native played in 28 games last season, averaging 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds. Jenkins – a 5-4 guard - had a breakout season and was named Honorable Mention All-America, while ranked second in the nation in assists (201/7.2 assists per game). She is joined by classmates Choicetta McMillian (11.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game) and Melanie Warner, (9.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, .5 bpg). Hampton brings in eight newcomers to complement its roster.

The Lady Pirates have won the past two-straight conference tournament crowns (and one regular season title) and rank among the most successful programs in Virginia over the past two seasons. The 45-19 two-year record is third only to James Madison (52-15) and Liberty (49-17) over the same span. The change coincides with head coach David Six, who begins his third season at Hampton this season.

We Have Met Before …
Saturday’s meeting with Hampton is just the second in series history. Pitt posted an 86-65 win on Dec. 11, 1999 at Hampton Convocation Center. Then freshman guard Brooke Stewart scored all 25 of her game-high points in the second half to lead the Panthers to the road win. Stewart played just 27 minutes and went 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point range. Four players in total scored in double figures for the Panthers, who led by as many as 20 points. HU out-rebounded Pitt, 38-29 in the game and the teams combined for 43 turnovers.    

Against the MEAC
The Panthers are 17-1 against current members of the MEAC. The lone loss, a 75-61 set-back, came on November 25, 2003 in head coach Agnus Berenato’s debut. Pitt last faced a MEAC member on Dec. 19, 2008, defeating Florida A& M, 89-59 at the school’s holiday tournament.

Hello Virginia
Pitt is 15-6 against teams hailing from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Panthers have faced nine teams from Virginia in their history. Today’s matchup marks the second-straight season Pitt has faced a team from Virginia as last year the Panthers hosted and beat Radford, 77-46 (Nov. 21, 2010). The school from Virginia that Pitt has faced the most is former Big East member Virginia Tech. Pitt will soon see the Hokies more when the Panthers join the Atlantic Coast Conference in the near future. 

Did you know?
Only four of the 50 states in the U.S. carry the formal title of commonwealth: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It is merely a legacy of all four states' history, and their formal name has no effect on the legal status as states.

What’s Back
Pitt has five letterwinners (Anderson, Burdgess, Davis, Dunn, Logan) back from a season ago – but young in terms of year (all sophomores) and in minutes played (1939 of 6225/31.1 percent).

the Show
The Panthers welcome seven new faces to the team this season, which includes a sophomore transfer and six true freshman. The five member class who signed National Letters of Intent one year ago were ranked as high as No. 17 and are currently listed as No. 19 in the class of 2011 rankings by ESPN’s Hoopgurlz.

If the starting lineup is the same as the Seton Hill exhibition lineup, it will feature two players getting the starting nod in their first collegiate game. The five who heard their names called first one week ago were Brianna Kiesel, Abby Dowd, Marquel Davis, Kyra Dunn and Chyna Golden. Of that group, the only one to post a prior start in a Panthers uniform is Davis. The sophomore guard made three starts in 2010-11, appearing in 30 total games. A start today versus Hampton would also be the first for sophomore Kyra Dunn, who saw action in 27 games off the bench last season.

Kiesel and Golden, both true freshmen, would be getting a start in their first respective college games, The last freshman to earn a start in her first career game was Pepper Wilson to open the 2008-09 season. Ironically, not even All-America honoree and former Pitt great (ove Shavonte Zellous started her first collegiate game- she came off the bench for nine minutes. One better for you – the last time two freshman got the start in their collegiate debuts in the same game was on Nov, 23, 2004 when Marcedes Walker and Karlyle Lim got the call in an 86-71 win over North Carolina A&T. Walker posted a double-double in that contest, 12 points and 16 rebounds.

From All Over
A Pitt roster of 12 is represented by 10 different states. Two players each hail from Florida and Virginia. The furthest point of home origin to the Pitt campus is Cora McManus’ hometown of Seattle, Wash. (2, 523 miles). Kyra Dunn is not far behind, traveling 2,490 miles from Sacramento, Calif. The student-athlete who hails from the closest city to the Oakland campus – that’s walk-on Brianna Brizzi, 223 miles from home sweet home in Warrenton, Va. Tracing back the rosters to one player representing Pennsylvania has not appeared on the Pitt roster.  

Welcome to Our Family
University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball head coach Agnus Berenato announced on Wednesday the signing of Marvadene “Bubbles” Anderson and Krista Pettepier to National Letters of Intent in the early November signing period.

Anderson, a 6-11 center, played scholastically the past three years at Rutgers Prep in Somerset, N.J. The Jamaican-born product is recognized as the world’s tallest teenage girl, appearing on a 2010 episode of ‘Oprah” entitled ‘That’s Incredible.’ The tallest player currently on a collegiate women’s basketball roster is Baylor center Brittney Griner who stands 6-8. A 2011 Courier News All-Area Second Team honoree, Anderson averaged 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a junior for the Argonauts. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the Somerset County Tournament in 2011.

Pettepier is a 6-2 forward from Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa. A three-year starter, she helped lead the Hawkettes to a 59 13 record over the span and three-straight appearances in the Class 4-A state tournament. As a junior co-captain, she averaged 5.9 points and 5.0 rebounds en route to all-conference honorable mention honors. In addition, she paced her Ankeny squad in both rebounds (120) and blocked shots (32). Pettepier averaged 7.4 points and 6.1 rebounds during her sophomore campaign.
 Pettepier is also a standout for the Ankeny volleyball team, directing the team to a second place showing in the Class 4-A state tournament last year. The Hawkettes captured their third consecutive outright CIML Central Conference championship in mid-October and compete in the 2011 state semifinals on Friday.

Lots of Different Looks
In addition to its 16-game Big East slate, Pitt will face programs from 11 other leagues this season. After opening with MEAC member Hampton, the Panthers move on to Northeast Conference (NEC) foe Saint Francis on Tuesday. They also will meet NEC member Mount St. Mary’s the end of this month (Nov. 29). The Mount is the alma mater of Coach Berenato. Other leagues the Panthers will tangle with include: Big Ten, ACC, Big South, Horizon League, Atlantic 10, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Patriot League, Mid-American (MAC) and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). There are 32 Division I Basketball conferences.

Where to Watch and Listen
All Pitt home Big East games not broadcast on ESPN or its family of networks or on CBS College - will be shown on the new Pitt Panthers Television on The Comcast Network. Pitt Panthers Television can be viewed on either channel 188 or channel 210. Every Sunday will feature eight consecutive hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jen Tuscano and Jeff Hathhorn have the call this season. Pitt women’s basketball can be heard live on WJAS AM for the entire season with Scott Stiller and either Tuscano or former Pitt Panther Karlye Lim.

The home for Pitt Athletics on the web is www.PittsburghPanthers.com, is your source for Pitt Women’s Basketball. The website offers the most recent information and news on the Panthers. At www.PittsburghPanthers.com All Access, fans can also listen to each women’s basketball game broadcast live and follow along on live scoring for every home game. In addition, each home non-conference game can be viewed (video) live at www.pittsburghpanthers.com.