Dec. 6, 2013
GAME NINE: PITT (4-4) at WAGNER (1-5)
Saturday, December 7, 2013 • Noon ET
Spiro Sports Center • Staten Island, N.Y.
Series History: Pitt leads, 3-0.
At Pittsburgh: Pitt leads, 2-0.
At Wagner: Pitt leads 1-0.
Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 2012: Pitt 63, Wagner 39
First Meeting: Dec. 30, 2007: Pitt 85, Wagner 41
Storylines & Notables:
• Brianna Kiesel is 24 points away from 1,000 in her career.
• Pitt has dominated the series with Wagner, winning the first three games by an average of 42.3 ppg.
• Asia Logan scored 22 points against Wagner last season at the Petersen Events Center
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - After a three-game homestand, the University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team hits the road this Saturday for a contest at Wagner with tip set for Noon at the Spiro Sports Center.
About the Match-Up:
Each team will look to end losing-streaks as Pitt has dropped its last two games and Wagner its last four. After a 78-43 victory over Mount St. Mary's, Pitt has lost back-to-back games to Buffalo and James Madison. Wagner started the season at 1-1, but has since suffered losses to Iona, Seton Hall, Vermont and VCU.
Brianna Kiesel continues her march towards entering the prestigious 1,000 point club at Pitt. She has scored 976 career points and needs just 24 more heading into Saturday's contest. If Kiesel were to achieve the feat, she would be the 18th player in program history to do so.
Fred Potvin will also look to continue her solid play of late. The Montreal native has scored in double-figures in each of Pitt's last four games and is heating up from behind the arch as well. In her past three outings, Potvin has connected on 11 of her 21 from long range and has raised her scoring average to 7.7 points per game.
Last Time Out:
After a very closely contested first half, the Panthers team was not able to keep pace with James Madison and ultimately dropped a 71-61 decision to the Dukes.
JMU's Toia Giggetts scored a game-high 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and CAA Preseason Player of the Year Kirby Burkholder contributed 14 points to send Pitt (4-4) to its second-straight loss. Kiesel scored team-high 15 points for the Panthers, while Potvin joined Kiesel in double-figures with 10.
With JMU up one at 18-17, the Dukes (6-2) reeled off an 8-2 run which was helped by the Panthers who shot 1-of-5 and committed four turnovers during that span. Pitt would regain its balance and scored nine of the final 13 points of the half, including a bucket from Kiesel as time expired.
The first half featured three ties and three lead changes, but JMU took a two point lead into the break at 30-28. Bubbles Anderson scored six of her eight total points in the first half, and also tallied three rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the first 20 minutes.
JMU came out red-hot in the second half, making seven of its first eight shots and stretched a two point halftime lead into 14 point advantage (52-38) when Burkholder nailed a three-pointer with 12 minutes remaining.
The Dukes' lead would swell to 20 with three minutes remaining, but Pitt refused to give up and scored the final 10 points of the game, bringing the final score to 71-61.
James Madison shot 47.6 percent for the game (30-of-63), including 51.5 percent in the second half, while Pitt was 37.9 percent overall (22-of-58). The Panthers were plus-8 on the free throw line, but were out-rebounded 41-34.
Wagner (1-5) enters the game with Pitt having lost four in a row. The Seahawks have been outscored by 102 points thus far thus far and allow opposing teams to shoot 43.7 percent against them. Of the 11 players on the Seahawks' roster, 10 of them average at least 11.0 minutes per game and Coach Lisa Cermignano has used the same starting lineup every game this year.
Jordyn Peck and Jasmine Nwajei carry the offensive load for the Seahawks. Peck is the team's leading scorer at 17.7 points per game, while Nwajei contributes 13.7 per game. The two have combined to score just about half of Wagner's total points (188 of 378 total points).
Ugo Nwaigwe anchors the defensive efforts, averaging a team-best 7.8 rebounds per contest. She has also blocked 20 shots so far this season (3.3/game).
In a series dominated by the Panthers, this will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools. Pitt is 3-0 and has won each game by an average of 42.3 points.
Saturday's game is the back-end of a home-and-home as Wagner visited Pittsburgh last season on Nov. 20, 2012. The Panthers defeated the Seahawks 63-39 last season at the Petersen Events Center and were led by Asia Logan who poured in 22 points.
Wagner has not managed to score many points against the Panthers in the three previous contests. The Seahawks average 40.3 points against the Pitt and have not scored more than 41 points in any contest. The 98-41 victory for Pitt on Dec. 16, 2008 tied a school record for margin of victory (+57) against a Division I school. They also beat Youngstown State by 57 that year.
Versus the Northeast Conference:
Pitt holds a 44-3 record against teams from the Northeast Conference (NEC). The only three losses to current NEC league members have come to state rival Saint Francis. Wagner will be the second team from the NEC Pitt has faced the season. The Panthers defeated Mount St. Mary's on Nov. 26 by a score of 78-43.
Mount St. Mary's: 7-0
Robert Morris: 24-0
Sacred Heart: 1-0
Saint Francis University (PA): 7-3
St. Francis (NY): 1-0
The Panthers will be off for eight days before hosting Old Dominion on December 15 inside the Petersen Events Center. Tip is set for 2 p.m. against the Lady Monarchs.
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