Pitt women dump Bucknell, 66-51, for first victory
Friday marked a first for Pitt women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio and a first in a long time for most of her players.
Pitt beat Bucknell, 66-51, at Petersen Events Center in McConnell-Serio's coaching debut with the Panthers, and the team recorded its first victory since Jan. 2, 2013, at Old Dominion.
It also was their first season-opening win since the 2010-11 season and the first time they led wire-to-wire in 55 games.
Junior point guard Brianna Kiesel led the team with 20 points and recorded her third career double-double by adding 11 rebounds. Senior Asia Logan recorded her ninth double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore Loliya Briggs added 15 points and five rebounds.
“It felt good to finally be coaching,” McConnell-Serio said. “I was getting a feel for things we want to implement into our system. ... It was a learning experience for me to see how players would respond in game situations and what we need to do to get them better.”
Kiesel, who led the Panthers the past two seasons, was dominant, and McConnell-Serio called her the glue that's holding the team together. In addition to her double-double, Kiesel added four assists and one steal and turned the ball over only once.
Bucknell turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 16 points for Pitt. The Panthers had their most steals in a game (14) since Feb. 4, 2012.
“It was much more up-tempo,” said Kiesel, who scored eight of her 13 first-half points on fast-break layups. “We got a lot of transition points, and because we played really good help defense, it allowed me to get a lot of steals and breakaways.”
The game was the fifth-annual School Day at The Pete and the largest so far, with just more than 4,000 children from 50 area elementary and middle schools in attendance.
Senior guard Shelby Romine, Bucknell's leading scorer the past three seasons, was held to eight points. The Bison shot just 29.7 percent and were 0 for 16 from 3-point range. Audrey Dotson led Bucknell with 23 points.
The Panthers were without 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman center Marvadene “Bubbles” Anderson, who sat out for a disciplinary reason.