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Dec. 1, 2011

at High Point

GAME 7: PITT (4-2) at HIGH POINT (3-2)
Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 • 7 p.m. ET •  High Point, N.C.


Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Scott Stiller and Jennifer Tuscano), WJAS AM 1320

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats:

Coaches: Pitt: Agnus Berenato, Ninth Year at Pitt (148-108), 28th season overall (431-372); High Point: Jennifer Hoover, First Season at High Point and Overall (3-2)

Series: Pitt and High Point have met one time prior - a neutral matchup on Dec. 23, 1978.

Game Notes

Last Game Out
Sophomore Ashlee Anderson and freshman Brianna Kiesel each scored in double figures to help lead Pitt women’s basketball to a 58-45 win over Mount St. Mary’s Tuesday evening at the Petersen Events Center.
Anderson recorded a game-high 13 points while also posting career-highs in rebounds (9) and assists (7). Kiesel had 12 points and sophomore Kyra Dunn collected 12 rebounds for the Panthers (4-2). Kayla Grossett paced Mount St. Mary’s (2-4) with 13 points.

The Panthers opened the game on a 12-0 scoring tear as four different players tallied a basket over the spurt. Mount St. Mary’s missed its first nine shots and turned the ball over five times during the six and a half minute start. The Mount rallied to pull within seven with 10:35 remaining in the half, but Pitt responded with consecutive fast-break jumpers from Kiesel and sophomore Asia Logan to make it a 10-point game at 18-8.

Mount St. Mary’s chipped away at the lead, rolling out an 8-2 run to pull to five (20-15). The Panthers scored two of the final three field goals in the period – including the first career points for freshman Cora McManus – for a 24-17 halftime advantage. Pitt commenced the second half with a 5-0 run to take a commanding 32-17 lead following a three-pointer from Kiesel and a layup by Anderson. The Mount would not go away, using a 17-10 surge to make it a seven-point game (42-35) with 10:59 remaining. Logan reeled off four-straight points and Anderson followed with a jumper from right elbow to give the Panthers a cushion as they would led by double-digits the rest of the contest.

About the Match-Up
Pitt and High Point are meeting for just the second time in program history. The first meeting took place on Dec. 23, 1978 in a touranment hosted by the University of North Carolina. Pitt dropped an 87-61 decision to the Panthers of High Point in the neutral event.

About High Point
High Point, also the Panthers, have a 3-2 record under first-year head coach Jennifer Hoover. Senior Shamia Brown is averaging 19.6 points per game with a season-high of 29 versus VCU in the seaason opener on Nov. 11. Sophomore Cheyenne Parker has posted three double-digit rebounding games and is averaging 10.8 boards a game. The Panthers finished the 2010-11 season with a 16-15 record and a 9-7 mark in the Big South.

Versus the Big South
Pitt is facing off against a member of the Big South Conference for just the fourth time in program history (2-1 record). The Panthers defeated Radford last season by a 77-46 score on Nov. 21, 2010 and bested Liberty, 54-47, Dec. 20, 2006 in the Caribbean Classic.

A Familiar Place
Pitt head coach Agnus (McGlade) Berenato is no stranger to the state of North Carolina having served as a coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference for 15 years at Georgia Tech. She had a record of 223-209 while at Ga. Tech from 1988-2003. High Point head coach Jennifer Hoover played collegiately at Wake Forest (1987-91)and faced Coach B as a player in the three seasons the two overlapped.

In the Tar Heel State
The Panthers have not played in the state of North Carolina since the 2004-05 season - which included two different stops in the state and three games. Pitt opened the 2004-05 campaign - Coach Berenato’s second season - at North Carolina A&T (86-71 W) and then played two games in the UNC Greensboro Tournament on Nov. 26 and 27. Pitt went 2-0 in the tourney, beating South Carolina State and then host UNCG (62-55).

Pitt is 11-6 all-time against schools from the state of North Carolina. They have played a team from NC the past five-straight seasons - those games are posted below:

vs. East Carolina, W, 70-53!
vs. Duke, L, 51-72!

Charlotte, W, 85-68
vs. Duke at MSG, L, 49-51

Elon, W, 84-49

Appalachian State, W, 63-56

Duke, L, 55-93

!Cancun Tournament

Different Leader Every Night

Pitt has had a different scoring leader in quite a few 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 again versus Mount (13 points), while Marquel Davis took over the load in 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 five of six games. Sophomore Kyra Dunn has posted three or more swats in three games and she leads 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 42.7 percent in the past five games. Drexel had the most success of any team this season against the Panthers, hitting on 49.2 percent of its shots.

While Pitt is shooting over 40 percent from the field, the Panthers have struggled with the shot behind the arc. Pitt is at a 26.2 percent clip from 3-point range.

From Long Range
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 12 games after the two drained versus the Mount on Tuesday.

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.

Possession Matters
The Panthers uppped their offensive rebound effort on Nov. 26 - 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. Pitt has posted more or equal rebounds in all but one game this season. The last time they were outrebounded was the first contest against Hampton.

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 (35.8), 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 third in the BE in minutes played. The Big East is one of only two schools to have at least two players ranked in the top-five in that category (St. John’s is the other).

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 been an issue for this young Pitt team this season as the average has hovered around 21.0 a game (thru five games). The Panthers had a season-low versus Drexel on Nov. 26, committing just 14 miscues. The Dragons, a senior-laden club, took advantage by scoring 15 points off the 14 turnovers. Pitt, meanwhile, could muster just nine points off of 20 Drexel cough-ups. Pitt made it two for two below 20 - with 14 turnovers against Mount on Tuesday - dropping the season average to 19.8. The Panthers forced the Mount into 20 turnovers.

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 she has seen action in, 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. The Utica, N.Y. native scored 17 points (8-of-16 FG) and tallied nine rebounds and eight assists versus Saint Francis on Nov. 15. 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.

Impressive Showing
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). It also marked the first time a Pitt player off the bench 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 second year guard topped her rebounding numbers versus Mount St. Mary’s, grabbing nine boards and topping a career high with seven assists to put her extremely close to the triple double feat. Anderson is second in assists, averaging 3.5 a game for the Panthers.

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 12 rebounds and four assists in a three-game span (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 7.3 rebounds a game (14th 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 on the season. She is ranked third on the team in assists per game (1.7) and posted three each in three straight games (matching a career-high in each game). Burdgess is averaging 24.8 minutes a game, all minutes off the bench.

Solid Start
Sophomore Kyra Dunn has earned a start in every game this season, the first six 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 39 of her 51 rebounds in the past four games and is ranked fifth in the Big East in rebounding (8.5 per game/leading the team). Dunn has three double-digit rebounding efforts this season, with 12 recorded in two games and a career-best 13 versus Loyola on Nov. 18.

Dunn is averaging 26.7 minutes a game so far in 2011 - that compared to just one 20-plus game appearance in 27 contests a season ago.

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 - and not one player who averaged more than 5.2 points!. 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. St. Francis (NY) 8 3 2 0
5 Southern Utah 5 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). The Panthers return not one double-digit scorer from a season ago - but that’s not the first time since Coach Berenato has been at Pitt. She opened the 2009-10 season with her leading scorer from the season prior (08-09) having averaged 8.7 points (Shayla Scott) after the graduation of Shavonte Zellous and Xenia Stewart.

Welcome to the Big Time
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.

Down a Few
The Panthers have been 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 she saw action for the first time against Mount St Mary’s) and Porter is out with a left foot stress fracture.


Pitt Women's Basketball Hits the Road for Two Games in North Carolina

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