ShareThis Page
College

Pitt women lose star player for season

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006

The Pitt women's basketball team hasn't yet played a regular-season game, but the Panthers have already suffered a huge loss.

Point guard Mallorie Winn, a preseason Big East Conference first-team selection, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in practice Thursday. She will miss the entire season.

"The team was devastated when I told them," Pitt coach Agnus Berenato said. "I have seen this injury before, but I have never seen it affect a team the way it has this team.

"But I told them, 'You have to learn to handle adversity.' I know this is going to be hard, but I believe, when a door shuts, a window opens. Our goals have not changed."

Berenato will now rely on three returning starters from a 22-11 team that advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament last season. This year's squad hopes to earn the school's first NCAA Tournament invitation, especially since Pitt is playing host to first- and second-round games in March.

Big East preseason first-team selection Marcedes Walker, a 6-foot-3 junior center, and sophomore guards Shavonte Zellous and Xenia Stewart, will be directed at the point by 5-7 freshman Jania Sims or 5-6 junior guard Karlyle Lim.

"Jania and Karlyle came to Pitt to play," said Berenato, whose Panthers open the season on Nov. 15 against California (Pa.) at 7 p.m. at Petersen Events Center. "We have to pull together as a team and get past this. I feel confident in the point guards we have.

"I also know Mallorie will not let this team get down. She is so much about this team being successful. She is still a big part of this team."

Winn, who was injured on a jump stop for a pull-up jump shot, most likely will have surgery later this month. Berenato said she and Winn agreed that being close to some of the best medical care in the country at UPMC would make things go more smoothly.

Pitt plans to file a petition with the NCAA for a sixth season for Winn. Winn used a redshirt season after transferring to Pitt from Georgia Tech in 2004.

The 5-foot-11 senior averaged 15.8 points last season, which ranked second on the team.

Berenato said she had never petitioned the NCAA before for such a circumstance, but she's hopeful Winn would be awarded one more year of eligibility.

"Mallorie is the consummate student-athlete," Berenato said. "She represents what the NCAA is all about. I would love to have her play next season.

"We cannot question why this happened. Things happen for a reason. You have to blind faith and keep moving forward."

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.

click me