Panthers hang tough, can’t stay close down stretch
By: Jacque Howell
Though the Pittsburgh Panthers were riding a strong three game winning streak, it was brought to an end by a 68-54 loss to the Syracuse Orange.
Pittsburgh went from shooting 51.5% in the first half to only 17.9% from the floor in the second half. Overall, the Panthers shot 36.1%, which was better than Syracuse, who only shot 33.9% overall.
Despite the loss, three of the Panthers were able to put double-digits on the board. Monica Wignot had a team-high 14 points, followed by Yacine Diop with 12 points and Brianna Kiesel with 11 points of her own. Stasha Carey was only one point away from a double-double to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds.
Three Orange also scored double digits. Brianna Butler contributed a team-high 19 points. Briana Day followed her having a double-double, 15 points and 18 rebounds. Alexis Peterson also added 14 points on the board.
Though Pittsburgh put the first points on the board, Syracuse took the lead by the first TV timeout. However, the game was tied up by the second TV timeout. It was 15-15 with 11:53 on the clock. Wignot contributed nine of those points and made her first four shots from the floor.
Wignot continued her hot streak in the first half, making 14 of 24 points for the Panthers by the third media timeout. During this time, the lead changed four times before tying the game at 24-24 with 7:04 left in the first half. Pittsburgh then took over the lead for the remainder of the first half, going on a 12-5 run before forcing a Syracuse timeout with 2:05 left on the clock. Pittsburgh concluded the first half with the lead, 41-33.
The first ten minutes of the half consisted of four lead changes. However, Syracuse took over the lead with a made layup by Cornella Fondren and Syracuse went on an 8-1 run before forcing a Pittsburgh timeout with a little less then six minutes left in the game.
Though Pittsburgh attempted to take back the lead, the team missed too many shots and never recovered. Syracuse went another small run of 6-3 run forcing yet another timeout with less than a minute in the game. Orange’s Peterson would add a few more points to the board before the conclusion of the game.
The Panthers still remains on the road to face the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday, February 26th. Tip off will be at 7 p.m.