Game Recap (Women’s Basketball): Pitt vs Georgia Tech
By: Zachary Harris
The Pitt Panthers took on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an ACC Women’s Basketball contest Sunday, January 14th in a 2:00 pm tip at the Petersen Event’s Center. Georgia Tech came in to the game 12-6 overall on the season and 1-4 in conference play, while the Panthers entered the contest 8-9 overall and 0-4 in ACC games. The game started off close as with five minutes gone in the 1st quarter GT lead 8-7. After a timeout the Yellow Jackets opened up a five-point lead and the quarter ended with the score 18-14 in favor of the visitors. Pitt’s Yacine Diop and GT’s Kaylan Pugh tied for the scoring lead with six points apiece at the end of the first frame. The second quarter started off well for the Panthers as an Alayna Gribble three-pointer brought the game within one, continuing Pitt’s good start shooting from beyond the arc, at 3-5. Gribble then hit a second three off a GT turnover giving Pitt a 20-18 lead. A third three-pointer, this time from Yacine Diop, gave the Panthers a five-point lead. Georgia Tech continued to outrebound the Panthers as expected, with a massive 28-12 margin at the halftime break, including 17 offensive rebounds. Despite this, a 18-0 run by the Panthers brought the lead to fourteen towards the end of the second quarter, with the Yellow Jackets held scoreless in the period for over 8 minutes. Georgia Tech was hampered throughout the half by turnover problems, finishing the half with 13 to the Panthers’ 7 turnovers. The half finished with the score 34-24 in favor of the Panthers. The Panthers defense held the Yellow Jackets to a 27.3% shooting percentage in the half, including an 0-8 showing from three-point-range, while Pitt shot 46.4% from the field and 54.5% (6-11) from beyond the arc. Leading scorers were Pitt’s Gribble and Diop with 12 and 11 points respectively. The defensive effort from Pitt was lead by Kalista Walters with 4 blocks and 4 steals.
Georgia Tech started the second half with two quick buckets by Chanin Scott and Kierra Fletcher bringing the game within six points, but Pitt then got its first points of the third quarter off another Alayna Gribble three. Gribble continued being the Panthers’ hot hand with another three-point basket followed by a Diop jumper bringing the game to 42-28 in favor of Pitt despite the massive advantage on the glass for the Yellow Jackets. Pitt continued to open up their lead in the quarter through Gribble Jasmine Whitney and Kyla Nelson. The third quarter ended with the score 51-34 in favor of the Pitt Panthers. Gribble lead all scorers at the end of the quarter with her 22 points. GT again opened the quarter with two quick buckets this time from Imani Tilford and Elo Edeferoika as the Yellow Jackets tried to cut into the Pitt lead. However, Pitt answered right back, again with an Alayna Gribble three. In the next three minutes the two teams traded free throws until a Francesca Pan three-pointer for the Yellow Jackets, and with five minutes remaining, Pitt lead 56-43. Georgia Tech continued to fight back in the game and two Imani Tilford free throws brought Pitt’s lead back to single digits at 58-49 with two and a half minutes remaining in the game. Another Pan three-point bucket brought the lead down to six at 62-56. Georgia Tech got the lead within three after free throws by Edeferoika and had possession down three with 21 seconds remaining but an offensive foul after a missed three gave the Panthers an opportunity to shoot free throws. Jasmine Whitney made both shots give the Panthers a five-point advantage. Pitt was able to hang on for a win despite no made field goals in the final 8 minutes of the game. The Panthers were able to pick up their first ACC win on the year defeating Georgia Tech 68-62. Pitt improves to 9-9 (1-4) on the season while the Yellow Jackets fall to 12-7 (1-5). The leading scorers for Pitt were Alayna Gribble with 29 points and Yacine Diop with 19. GT was led by 12 points from Chanin Scott. Francesca Pan, the team’s leading scorer in conference play had 11 and made the only two three-pointers for Georgia Tech, but shot 20% (2-10) from beyond the arc. The entire team was 2-14 from three. Pitt, however shot 50% (10-20) from long range. The Panthers turned the ball over 20 times to GT’s 17 and were outrebounded 46-30 by the Yellow Jackets. Pitt next plays on Thursday, January 18 against #3 Louisville at home. Coverage begins at 6:30 pm on WPTS Radio.