WBB: Princeton Drops Pitt Behind 2nd Half Surge
By: Andrew Stern
The Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1, 0-0) played the Princeton Tigers (1-0, 0-0) tough, and even held a slim one-point lead at halftime, despite scoring only 20 points, turning the ball over 12 times, and shooting just 28 percent from the field.
“Honestly, I don’t think I [could] be more disappointed with our performance this afternoon” Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said.
“The performance was not indicative of what I have seen from these players as individuals, and as a team. [Today we] tried to do too much, [didn’t] play within ourselves. We always talk about how important team chemistry is, and I didn’t see a lot of that on the floor today, and so this performance was extremely disappointing” the coach said in her post-game presser.
Following the halftime break, the Panthers allowed the Tigers to go on a 16-0 run over the first seven and a half minutes of the second half, as Princeton shot 52 percent in the 2nd half, and attempted 20 free throws.
“We had to fight back the entire first half to try and regain that lead. We thought we would have a little momentum, and for some reason that didn’t happen” McConnell-Serio said.
Despite not seizing the momentum at the beginning of the half, the Panthers showed some resolve, as the team, led by senior guard Brianna Kiesel cut the Tigers lead to just eight points with about five minutes to play.
Kiesel, who only scored five first half points and attempted only three field goals, scored nine points in the game’s final session.
“I was definitely trying to pick it up in the second half. That’s why it’s great to have two half’s to a game. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked to, when I pick up the aggression, we all pickup the aggression, and I feed off my teammates” Kiesel said.
However the Utica product was unable to will her young bunch to victory, as Princeton closed the game on a 12-4 run, extending their margin of victory to 16 points.
While the loss was certainly disappointing to head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, the result is to be expected, as the Panthers are trying to accommodate four new starters.
“One thing I’ve said all along with this squad is we need game experience. We have three freshman playing significant minutes, Fred Potvin going from a minimal role to a starting role, Monica Wignot playing volleyball for four years, so looking at it with each game, hopefully we’re getting better and better as a team” she said.
The Panthers will have a chance to gain their first win of the season Monday night when they host Niagara at 7 PM.