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Pitt women's slide continues

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

The Pitt women came into Saturday's matchup with rival West Virginia believing the game marked the beginning of a new season. It didn't, of course, but after suffering the biggest loss in program history at No. 2 Notre Dame on Tuesday, no one could blame them for wanting to pretend.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, their "new" season didn't start any differently than the old one ended. West Virginia prevailed, 54-43, in front of 2,868 on Girl Scout Day at Petersen Events Center, upping Pitt's losing streak to six games.

The Panthers (8-12, 0-7) remain winless in Big East play. They had never opened conference play with seven straight losses.

"We dug ourselves into a tremendous hole in the first half," coach Agnus Berenato said. "In the second half, we outscored them, but the first half, we missed probably 11 shots in the paint. ... At halftime, I told them I felt like they were pressing. I think they thought they were going to get fouled, and they just wanted to get rid of it."

Pitt, which managed 44 points in Tuesday's 76-point loss to the Irish, also struggled against West Virginia's stingy defense. The Mountaineers (14-5, 4-2) came into the game giving up an average of just 49.5 points; with six minutes left, it didn't appear the Panthers would come close to that.

At that point, West Virginia had a 49-28 lead before Brianna Kiesel made a layup and the Panthers posted 13 more points to outscore the Mountaineers in the second half, 27-22. But that surge couldn't make up for a 16-point first half.

"They were really aggressive," Pitt forward Kyra Dunn said of the Mountaineers. "We had shots, and it was a matter of making them. It was really tough on us just to put the ball in the basket."

Anderson was the lone Pitt player to finish in double figures, finishing with 16 points. She also had eight rebounds but turned the ball over seven times.

Christal Caldwell led the Mountaineers with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Asya Bussie had 12 points and seven rebounds. West Virginia turned the ball over 18 times to Pitt's 17 but scored 26 points off turnovers compared to 10 for Pitt.

"We did a great job the first half, but we did in the second half exactly what we've been doing -- we got outscored, gave up a bunch of offensive rebounds and put them at the foul line," West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. "We can't do that against some of the opponents we have coming up."




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