Panthers suffer let down loss to Seminoles
By: Jacque Howell
The Pitt Panthers Women’s Basketball team entered this game enthusiastic and hopeful coming off the big victory against a UNC team that ranked 8th in the nation at the time. If Pitt could beat one of the top ten teams in the country, then playing Florida State University Seminoles, who were only ranked 20 out of the top 25, would not seem so bad.
That’s easier said than done, however, and ultimately FSU defeated Pitt 58-43. Besides walking away with a loss, Pitt walked away with season-high 23 turnovers in the game. They also had a season-low for assists of only six, which comes as a surprise since the Panthers entered the game leading the ACC in assist to turnover ratio.
By the first official TV timeout with 15:47 on the clock, Panthers led the game 4-2. However, the Seminoles went on an 18-0 run with 8:09 left in the first half. Pitt missed all eight jump shots from the floor and had five turnovers in that span of approximately seven minutes.
Pitt was finally able to break the drought with two free throw shots from Yacine Diop. Another couple of jumpers made by Aysia Bugg brought the score to 20-10 with the Panthers still down, but FSU was able to answer back with two jumpers from Letica Romero and a layup by Kai James to bring the score to 26-10 with 4:40 left in the first half.
By the half time, FSU still held the lead 32-14. For the Panthers, this was the largest halftime deficit of the season. For the first half, Pitt only shot 24 percent in comparison to FSU who shot 46 percent. In addition, Pitt entered the locker room already having 13 turnovers.
The Panthers were able to come into the second half looking promising. Pitt went on a 9-4 run, bringing the score to 36-23. This forced the Seminoles to utilize two timeouts within the first five minutes of the second half.
With 13:48 on the clock, the Panthers were able to cut the Seminoles lead to only 12 points. Though this seemed promising, FSU was able to keep Pitt tamed and stay ahead offensively. By the next official TV timeout with only 7:40 left in the game, Pitt was down 30-48.
For a good remainder of the time, FSU was able to keep a solid 20-point lead at minimum. Although, during the last few minutes of the game, Monica Wignot was able to contribute a three-pointer and a jump shot while Chelsea Welch and Brianna Kiesel were able to make some layups, which lessened the Seminoles lead. But, this was not enough and FSU left victorious.
Letica Romero for the Seminoles scored the highest points of the game with a grand total of 19 points on the board and was able to grab seven rebounds. Shakayla Thomas added another 13 points to the board as well and had 10 rebounds in addition.
For Pitt, Diop and Wignot contributed the most points with 10 points each while Kiesel was only able to add six on the board. This is a drastic change from her average 18 points per game.
After the game, head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio stated, “They took us out of our game early on and we did not respond. They disrupted us on offense and it was evident we were rattled. We never gave up though, and I am happy to see that we outscored them in the second half.”
Pitt cannot let this loss discourage them, as they will continue on the road to play a conference game at Georgia Tech this Sunday, January 18th. Tip off will be at 2 p.m.