Pitt women conclude home schedule with loss to N.C. State
Any team in the midst of rebuilding has to take its lumps, and the Pitt women have taken plenty this season.
Thursday night's 79-68 loss to No. 13 N.C. State won't go down as one in their minds, however, despite the final score.
Trailing by 24 points early in the second half, coach Suzie McConnell-Serio turned to a younger lineup off the bench in the second half and something clicked.
The Panthers cut N.C. State's lead to 10 when freshman guard Chelsea Welch hit a 3-pointer with three minutes remaining. Krystal Barrett missed a 3-point attempt for the Wolfpack before Pitt freshman Frederique Potvin missed a pair herself, but junior Cora McManus came up with the rebound both times and the second time put the ball in to make it 71-63.
Pitt (11-18, 3-12 ACC) got within seven points twice in the final minute and a half of the game, but N.C. State (24-5, 11-4) went 4 of 6 from the foul line and held on for the win. Still, McConnell-Serio said, she had plenty to be proud of.
“It was fun to coach because the effort was there, the energy was there, they fought hard and never quit,” she said. “The effort this team gave in the second half is how we wanted to play all year. We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole against a very talented N.C. State team.”
Welch led Pitt with 16 points, 11 of which came in the second half, followed by junior Brianna Kiesel with 13 points and sophomore Brittany Gordon with 12, 10 in the second half.
For Gordon, who came into the game averaging 2.4 points per game, the performance came as a relief after what she called a frustrating season.
“I haven't had the season I wanted as far as helping my team,” she said. “(On Thursday) things just came to me. It feels a little better, because I always told myself the next game, get it the next game. We tried to play for our seniors and give it everything we had.”
Senior Asia Logan fouled out with six points and four rebounds, Ashlee Anderson had three points and Marquel Davis played just seven minutes and was scoreless. It was their last game at Petersen Events Center.
N.C. State senior Markeisha Gatling, a 6-foot-5 center, led all scorers and fouled out with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Pitt stayed with N.C. State in the early going. Its 7-of-14 shooting in the first 10 minutes was a vast improvement over the 11-of-54 performance at Syracuse on Sunday and the Panthers even took a 15-13 lead with 13 minutes to play in the half.
But after falling behind, the Wolfpack went on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to pull ahead by nine. The visitors built an advantage in second-chance points and points in the paint as the Panthers' scoring touch cooled and Pitt went to the break trailing, 39-27.
Pitt closes the season on Sunday at Miami before heading to Greensboro, N.C., for the ACC Tournament.
“Every night we step on the floor, we're playing against a great team in this conference,” McConnell-Serio said. “Our goal is to close the gap. If we can have that performance every single night, we'll close the gap in the future.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Melocchi pleads guilty in leading McKeesport gambling ring
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Consol Energy Center cashes in again on payments from Rivers Casino
- Flags lowered to mourn Pa. state trooper shot dead during gun training
- Pets rescued from Westmoreland house fire
- Sparks fly at 2nd Corbett, Wolf campaign debate
- Pittsburgh rises up for a 2nd year of Pirates magic
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Police identify, release people involved in I-70 collision