Pitt women fade down stretch in loss to 'Nova

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 9:24 p.m.

After a close first half, the Pitt women could not contain Villanova in the second half and lost, 68-52, on Saturday at Petersen Events Center.

Junior Asia Logan scored 21 points for the Panthers and sophomore point guard Brianna Kiesel had 11 points and four rebounds.

Seniors Laura Sweeney and Rachel Roberts led Villanova with 18 and 14 points, respectively.

The Panthers (9-6, 0-2 Big East) have already surpassed their win total from last season when they went 8-22, but their winless streak in the Big East continues now at 0-20. Their most recent conference victory was against South Florida in the 2011 Big East Tournament.

“We just have to get better,” said Logan, who has scored 21 points in each of the last three games. “We work so hard. We'll take the loss but have to get back to practice and move on.”

Villanova (13-2, 3-0) led by 33-31 at the break and opened the second half with a 7-0 run. Roberts hit Villanova's fourth 3-pointer of the half to make it 55-41.

Villanova shot 56 percent in the second half and 46.6 percent overall.

Pitt missed its first six field-goal attempts and trailed, 10-2. Finally Loliya Briggs hit a 3-pointer with 13:50 left in the half to make it, 11-5, and four minutes later the Panthers had closed the score to 13-11.

Logan hit a 3-pointer to give Pitt a 27-25 lead with 2:37 remaining in the first half and, after Villanova again took the lead, hit a jump shot to make it, 30-29, with just under a minute left. But Villanova's Caroline Coyer dropped in a 3-pointer.

“The first half was a fabulous game, an unbelievable game and I was really proud,” coach Agnus Berenato said. “They came out and hit us with a punch and we came back and that shows tremendous growth and improvement, especially with a young team. It looked like it was going to be a runaway and that's what Villanova does.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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