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Nov. 28, 2011

Pitt Game Notes (pdf) | Game Day Central |

PITT (3-2) vs. MOUNT ST. MARY’S (2-3)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 •7 p.m.
Petersen Events Center • Pittsburgh, Pa.


Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Scott Stiller/Jennifer Tuscano), WJAS AM

Internet Radio Broadcast/Video and Live Stats:

Pitt Coach: Pitt: Agnus Berenato, Ninth Season at Pitt (147-108), 28th Season Overall (430-372); Mount St. Mary’s: Bryan Whitten, Fifth Season at Mount (42-80), 17th season overall (262-183)

Series: Pitt and Mount St. Mary’s are meeting for the fifth time in program history. The Panthers hold a 4-0 advantage in head-to- head meetings with a 3-0 edge at the Petersen Events Center.


Last Game Out
Sophomore guard Marquel Davis had 19 points, but it was not enough as Pitt dropped a 71-50 contest to Drexel in women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.

Freshman Chyna Golden registered 14 rebounds, the most by a first year Pitt player since 2009. The loss snapped the Panthers’ (3-2) three-game win streak.

Guard Kamile Nacickaite led four players in double figures for Drexel (3-1) with 23 points. She had 13 in the first half, all of those coming in the first six minutes of the game.

The Panthers grabbed their first lead of the game off a three-pointer by redshirt sophomore Abby Dowd with 18:03 on the clock, but Drexel quickly answered. The Dragons scored the game’s next 10 points in building a lead they would not relinquish.

After Pitt closed the gap to five on a three-pointer from freshman Brianna Kiesel, Drexel took its game to the inside and scored three straight buckets in the paint to collect its first double-digit advantage at 23-12 with 9:19 left in the first half. 

The Panthers rallied to within seven on two occasions in the final eight minutes of the period, lastly with 6:22 showing on a soft lay off the glass from Davis. Drexel made four of its next five shots, using a 12-1 scoring run to make it an 18-point game at the 3:14 mark. Pitt trailed 39-24 at intermission. 

In the second half, the Panthers attempted to close the gap. After cutting the deficit to 12 on two occasions - the second with 13:54 remaining on a layup by Leeza Burdgess – the Panthers got the ball on consecutive possessions, but could not convert. Pitt turned the ball over on a fast-break opportunity and then after a Drexel miss also failed to convert on the next play, missing two from the free throw line to make it a single digit game. The Dragons made seven of their next 12 shots to pull out to a comfortable lead en route to the 71-50 final.

About the Match-Up
Pitt and Mount St. Mary’s are meeting for the fifth time in program history. The Panthers hold a 4-0 edge in head-to-head showdowns and are 3-0 at the Petersen Events Center.

The teams last faced off on Dec. 4, 2010 with Pitt grabbing a 66-30 win - highlighted by a number of records - at the Petersen Events Center.

The Panthers recorded 14 steals in the contest, setting a Petersen Events Center record, topping the previous mark of 13 versus California (Pa) on Nov. 15, 2006. The 30 points scored by the Mount  were the fewest by a Pitt opponent since Nov. 18, 1981 while the 36-point victory over the Mount last season was the largest since a 52-point win over Youngstown State the previous campaign [Dec. 2, 2009 (89-37)].

In the showdown last season, Pitt held Mount St. Mary’s to 12 second-half points. Ironically, the Mount had scored an identical 12 points – in the first half – on Dec. 31, 2009 when the teams met on the hardcourt.

On Dec. 31, 2009,  Pitt grabbed a 57-47 win at the Petersen Events Center. Shayla Scott led Pitt with 18 points, the only player to score double figures. As a team, Pitt shot 33.9 percent in the game (19-56) while Mount St. Mary’s shot at a 24.6 percent clip (15-61), including a 3-of-24 showing (12.5%)  in the first half. 

About Mount St. Mary’s
The Mountaineers are 2-3 on the young season and coming off a 52-45 win over Navy. The Mount scored 16 of the game’s first 24 points.

MSM has shot over 40 percent from the field in four games, the first time since head coach Bryan Whitten’s first season (2007-08) that the squad has posted four-straight games with a 40-plus field goal percentage. The Mount is leading the NEC in field goal percentage (.427) and is also first in three-pointers made (7.20). Junior Sydney Henderson leads the league in minutes played (37.2) and is second in triples made. 

Versus the NEC
Pitt holds a 42-3 record against teams from the Northeast Conference (NEC). The only three losses to the league have come to state rival Saint Francis. For the third-straight year, Pitt is facing both Saint Francis and its conference member, Mount St. Mary’s in the same season. The Mount is the alma mater of Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato.

Feels Like Home
Pitt head coach Agnus (McGlade) Berenato is a 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s and was a three-year starter for the Mountaineers. Playing for former NBA star Fred Carter, Berenato was twice named a captain. She has served on the board of trustee’s for eight years and is currently a Trustee Emeritus. Berenato received the Distinguished Alumni award from the Mount St. Mary’s National Alumni Association and in 1995 was given an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters. Berenato was awarded the Bicentennial Medal of Distinction from the University in 2008.

Have We Met Before?
Berenato is facing her college team for the eighth time. Prior to Pitt’s meeting with the Mount in 2006, Berenato had not faced her alma mater since the 2000-01 season. Berenato defeated Mount St. Mary’s 102-90 on Nov. 11, 2000 when she was the head coach at Georgia Tech.

She faced the Mount twice as the head coach at Rider University in New Jersey. Rider dropped a 67-37 contest to the Mount in 1983. The next season, Mount St. Mary’s was 72-50 winners over the Broncs in the opening round of the Mount St. Mary’s Tip-off Classic on Nov. 30, 1984.

Dec. 3, 1983     Mount 67, Rider 37
Nov. 30, 1984   Mount 72, Rider 50
Nov. 25, 2000   Ga Tech 102, Mount 90
Nov. 17, 2006   Pitt 77, Mount 55
Nov. 20, 2007   Pitt 82, Mount 31
Dec. 31, 2009   Pitt 57, Mount 47
Dec. 4, 2010     Pitt 66, Mount 30

It’s Been Nice to Be Home
Tonight’s game marks the conclusion of a six-game opening homestand. Pitt makes it first road trip of the 2011-12 season on Dec. 2 at High Point.

Different Leader Every Night
Pitt has had a different scoring leader in four of five games this season – Asia Logan paced the team in game one versus Hampton (12 points), Ashlee Anderson led the way versus St. Francis (29 points) and Marquel Davis has taken the load in the past three games with 17 points versus Loyola, 26 against Central Michigan and 19 versus Drexel (she is now 10th in the Big East in scoring).

The single game leader in blocked shots – that’s been the same student-athlete in four of five games. Sophomore Kyra Dunn has posted 13 blocks in five games and is also ranked first in the Big East in that category (2.6 a game). 

For the first time this season, a freshman paced the team in rebounding in a single contest when Chyna Golden hauled in 14 rebounds versus Drexel. Golden also beame the first player not named Anderson or Brianna Kiesel to lead the squad in assists in a single game when she posted three in the same game on Nov. 26. 

Coming Together
After struggling as a team with its shot in the first game versus Hampton on Nov. 12 (shooting 31.4 percent with season low of 16 field goals), Pitt has rebounded to shoot 43.2 percent in the past four games. Drexel had the most success of any team this season against the Panthers, hitting on 49.2 percent of its shots. 

Possession Matters
The Panthers uppped their offensive rebound effort in the last game - outrebounding Drexel, 20-10 on the offensive end. Pitt converted 18 second chance points in what could have been a much larger output. Drexel - on the other hand - had 11 second chance points despite having 10 fewer offensive boards. 

Nothing But Time
Freshman Brianna Kiesel may be a newcomer to the college game, but she is logging minutes worthy of many upperclassman. Kiesel is ranked second in the Big East in minutes played (35.4), trailing only Seton Hall senior Jasmine Crew (37.9 mpg). Abby Dowd - another first year Pitt player, who played at Buffalo two seasons ago - is fourth in the BE in minutes played. The Big East is one of only two schools to have at least two players ranked in the time on the floor category (Marquette has three in the top-6).

Two Pete Records Fall
Sophomore Kyra Dunn collected six blocks against Loyola on Nov. 18, setting a Petersen Events Center record by a Pitt women’s basketball player. She topped the previous mark of five swats posted by three other players, lastly Shayla Scott vs. St John’s on March 1, 2010. The six rejections are also the most by a Pitt player since 2001 (6 blocks, Bettina Love, at Notre Dame, Feb. 7, 2001).

Freshman Brianna Kiesel made quite a few trips to the free throw line in a home win over Central Michigan on Nov. 20– and connected on 15 free throws (15-of-17), a Petersen Events Center record.  The previous record of free throws made on the Panthers’ current home court was 12 – both in the same season (Mandy Wittenmyer, vs. Howard, Dec. 31, 2002; Laine Selwyn, vs Penn State, Dec. 14, 2002), while the school record is 16 for free throws made is (Selwyn, Feb. 26, 2002).

Kiesel’s 15 made free throws in the building – which is celebrating its 10th season this campaign – is also a high on the men’s side, topping Carl Krauser and his 13 made free throws on Jan. 23, 2006 against Syracuse.

Making Most of Opportunity

Pitt collected 31 points off of 24 Loyola turnovers on Nov. 18 – the most for a Panthers team since 2008. The last time the Panthers scored that many points off of turnovers was on December 16, 2008 in a 98-41 win over Wagner (36). Pitt followed that performance with 26 points scored off CMU’s 26 turnovers.

Hang Onto the Ball
Turnovers have plagued the young Pitt team this season as the average has hovered around 21.0 a game (thru five games). The Panthers had a season-low in the last game out against Drexel, committing just 14 miscues. The Dragons, a senior-laden club, took advantage by scorign 15 points off the 14 turnovers. Pitt, meanwhile, could muster just nine points off of 20 Drexel cough-ups. The Mount is averaging 17.6 turnovers a game, while forcing 17.

Producing Results
Sophomore Marquel Davis scored a (then) career-high 17 points, her first career double figure outing on Friday, Nov. 18 against Loyola. She also collected a career-best five rebounds.  Fifteen (15) of Davis’ 17 points came over a five minute span in the second half. Eight of those 17 points were scored in just a 95-second spurt.

The guard from Fredericksburg, Virginia was not done – topping that performance with a 26 point effort in a 77-70 win over Central Michigan on Nov. 20.  She continued her scoring surge with 19 points against Drexel on Nov. 26. Davis is shooting 29-of-51 (.569) from the floor in the past three games, while averaging 20.7 points over the span span.

Two for 20
Davis along with freshman Brianna Kiesel each scored 20-plus points on Nov. 20 in a win over Central Michigan. The last time two Pitt players scored 20 or more points in the same game was on Nov. 24, 2009  in a 75-70 win over Saint Francis. Taneisha Harrison had 25 points and Jania Sims added 23 points to lead the Panthers to the victory, which also happened to be head coach Agnus Berenato’s 400 career win.

First Year Jitters, Not Really
First year player Brianna Kiesel shook off the jitters from the first game versus Hampton and built quite the stat sheet in her second career game versus NEC member school Saint Francis. The Utica, N.Y. native scored 17 points (8-of-16 FG) and tallied nine rebounds and eight assists to her stat line. Kiesel was on pace to become the first player in nine years to register a triple double. Laine Selwyn (1999-2002) holds the distinction of being the only player in Pitt women’s history to accomplish the feat, achieving it on two occasions. She last did so on Dec. 29, 2002 against Norfolk State, recording 11 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.

Kiesel kept up the momentum in a 77-70 win over Central Michigan – registering her first 20-plus point performance. The guard posted 24 points, 15 of those from the free throw line. Over Pitt’s three-game winning streak, Kiesel averaged16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists. 

One Step Further
Kiesel recorded eight field goals of the 31 total on Nov. 15 against St. Francis – and add that number to the eight assists and the freshman point guard had a hand in 16 of the 31 field goals made (51.6 percent). The freshman is leading the team in assists, averaging 4.2 per game and ranked sixth in the Big East. She is one of just three freshman ranked in the top-15 (21 players).

Could Not Miss
Redshirt sophomore Ashlee Anderson broke out for a career-best 29 points against Saint Francis on Nov. 15, the most scored by a Pitt player since Taneisha Harrison registered 30 points last season at West Virginia (2/5/11). The tally marked the first time a Pitt player under head coach Agnus Berenato (now in her ninth season) registered 29 points – the most prior was the 23 scored by Harrison (as then-freshman) off the bench at Wagner on Dec. 30, 2007.

Anderson not only reached a career-high in the scoring column, but also in rebounds (8) and field goals made (13) and attempted (20). The Chicago product failed to score versus Hampton in the season opener, only the seventh time in 32 games she did not register at least a point in a game. Anderson is second on the team in assists (2.8) and third in points (8.2).

Adjusting Just Fine
Redshirt sophomore Abby Dowd has notched double figures in two games this season for Pitt.  Dowd, who arrived at Pitt from University at Buffalo and joined the team last season as a walk-on, had 14 versus Saint Francis on Nov. 15 and recorded 11 versus Loyola. She leads the team in three-pointers with 11 of the team’s total 15 registered. The first year Panther has started every game at the two-guard position and has posted a combined 12 rebounds and four assists in past three games (Central Michigan, Loyola, Drexel) – that after a combined three and none in the same categories in the first two games (Hampton, St. Francis).

Rebounding Machine
Redshirt sophomore Leeza Burdgess is averaging a team-best 8.0 rebounds a game (ninth in the latest Big East rankings). She pulled down 10 boards in the season opener against Hampton, nine on the defensive side. Burdgess posted 12 rebounds against St. Francis in 23 minutes. 

The center has also been in the giving mood – finding her guards on the wings and delivering 10 assists over the past four games. She is ranked third on the team in assists per game (2.0) and posted three each in three straight games (matching a career-high in each game). Burdgess is leading the team in field goal percentage (.571), ranked eighth among Big East leaders). Burdgess is averaging 26.0 minutes a game, all minutes off the bench.

Not the Only One
Sophomore Kyra Dunn has earned a start in every game this season, the first five career starts for the California product. Dunn tallied her first career double-double against Loyola with 10 points and a career best 13 rebounds on Nov. 18. Dunn has logged 27 of 39 rebounds in the past three games and is ranked in a tie for 10th in the Big East in rebounding (7.8 per game). Dunn is averaging 25.6 minutes a game - that compared to just one 20-plus game appearance in 27 contests a season ago.

New Threat in Post
Freshman Chyna Golden, who has earned the start in all five games, broke out for 14 rebounds against Drexel. Eight of the 14 came on the offensive end. The most offensive boards grabbed by a single Pitt player this season. The 14 caroms were the most by a Ptt first year player since Pepper Wilson brought down 17 versus Marquette on Jan. 30, 2009.

In the Paint
Thirty-two of the Panthers’ 78 points in their win over Saint Francis came in the paint. That total was the most for a Pitt team since the 34 recorded last season at home against Cincinnati (Feb. 1, 2011) – a span of 11 games. Pitt posted 34 or more paint points in just 10 of 31 games in 2010-11 – but, have recorded 34 or more points in the post in two consecutive games, registering 36 each against Loyola and Central Michigan. 

Better Results Equals Wins
As a team, the Panthers recorded 53 rebounds versus Saint Francis on Nov. 17. That number is the most since a road game at Valparaiso last year on Dec. 11 as Pitt grabbed 58 rebounds in that contest.  After recording just 16 field goals against Hampton on Nov. 11, Pitt nearly doubled that total versus Saint Francis with 31 field goals. In addition, the Panthers tripled their assist output from game one to two – from five to 16 dimes. Pitt posted a season-high 19 assists against Loyola on Nov. 18.

From the Low to the High
The 23-point loss to Hampton in the season opener on Nov. 11 was the most lopsided loss since a 32-point setback against Notre Dame at home last season (Nov. 15, 2011). Pitt followed the 20-plus point loss with a 28-point victory over Saint Francis on Nov. 15. The 20-or more point loss followed by a 20-plus win feat also occurred last season. Pitt dropped a 93-55 contest (-38) to Duke on Dec. 4, but rebounded with a 73-45 win over Loyola (+28) in the very next game.

School’s In
The contest against Loyola on Nov. 18 marked Pitt’s third annual School Day promotion. Grade schools from around the city are attending today’s game as part of an educational field trip. Over 5,000 children were the ‘sixth man and woman’ as the Panthers posted their second win of the season.

Sweet November
In the month of November all-time, Pitt has an 81-27 record. In 2009-10, the Panthers went 5-0 in the 11th month in the calendar year. It was the third time under Agnus Berenato that the Panthers achieved that feat. Pitt has six games this month – one off the single November high of seven played during the 2006-07 campaign (7-0). 

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 63-24 (.724) 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 begins 2011-12 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 is replacing 74.6 percent of its scoring from the 2010-11 campaign. Pitt welcomes a five-member recruiting class that was tabbed the nation’s No. 19 recruiting class according to ESPN’s Hoopgurlz. (walk-on Brianna Brizzi, the sixth freshman was added to the team in September)

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. SFC (NY)         8          3          2          0
5 Southern Utah5          5          2          0
6.  N.C. A&T      10         5          2           0 

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

                  Lost      Back     %Returning
Points        1580     475       23.1 percent
Rebounds   770      425       35.6
Assists        342      108       24.0
Steals         125       52        29.4
Blocks         114       45        28.3
*total lost numbers include seven players (four to graduation, one mid-season [six games], one to transfer prior to this season and a walk-on who played 40 minutes in eight games).

Welcome to the Show
The Panthers welcome seven new faces to the team this season, which includes a sophomore transfer and six true freshmen. 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.  

A Bump in the Road
The Panthers struggled in their season opener against Hampton on Nov. 12, recording the fewest points in a game (37) since the 35 recorded at West Virginia on Feb. 13, 2008 (35-56).  The 15 first half points were the fewest in a half since that same contest (13 at WVU). In addition, the 21.4 percent shooting in the first stanza was the most unproductive since a second half showing at home against Rutgers on Jan. 10, 2010 (6-of-20/.207). The Panthers went without a field goal for nearly 12 minutes (11:47) against Hampton.

Down a Few
The Panthers are without the services of three of those newcomers (Loliya Briggs, Cora McManus and TiAnna Porter). Lo suffered a right knee injury this past summer while with playing with the Nigerian National U19 basketball team. McManus has a separated left shoulder which occurred in practice and Porter is out with a left foot stress fracture.

First Time Nods
Brianna Kiesel and Chyna Golden, both true freshmen, also earned the starting nod against the Lady Pirates in the first game of the season. 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 Shavonte Zellous started her first collegiate game- she came off the bench for nine minutes. The last time two Panthers freshmen 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.

From Behind the Arc
 The Panthers had made at least one three-pointer in 74 consecutive games until Feb. 15, 2011 in a home win over Providence last season. Pitt went 0-of-5 from behind the arc in the contest. Previously, the last time a Pitt team failed to convert a three was during the 2008-09 season (0-11 at Providence on Jan. 7).  The three-point streak is now at 11 games after Drexel and the three 3-pointers drained.  The Panthers are shooting 26.3 percent from behind the arc  - compared to 41.2 percent from the field. The three-point line has been moved this season to match the men at 20 feet, 9 inches. The move was made to give the women’s game more of a flow by extending defenses and opening up inside play.

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 as far as 1981 - it is the first time at least one player representing Pennsylvania has not appeared on the Pitt roster. 

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.

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. 

Happy Birthday!
The Petersen Events Center will be 10 years old (officially) next spring. This season marks the 10th season of basketball at the state-of-the art arena funded with a $10 million gift from John and Gertrude Petersen in 1999. The first women’s game took place on Nov. 22, 2002 against Robert Morris.

Pitt Women's Basketball Hosts Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday

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