Panthers fall prey to Deacons, 57-48


Pitt forward Kalista Walters shoots against Louisville on Jan 29. Evan Meng | Staff Photographer

The Panthers and the Demon Deacons each claimed the lead twice Sunday, but when the Panthers failed to put a stop to the Deacons’ rampant scoring, the game ended with a familiar outcome for the men’s and women’s basketball teams: a Panther loss.

The Pitt women’s basketball team (12-11, 3-7 ACC) suffered its fourth consecutive loss Sunday afternoon after falling to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (14-9, 5-5 ACC).

At the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest won the opening tip-off and scored the first points of the game with a layup from senior forward Milan Quinn and a jumper from sophomore forward Elisa Penna. Pitt first-year guard Alayna Gribble answered with one of her signature 3-pointers, decreasing the deficit to one point, 4-3.

After a nearly five minute scoring drought, Pitt first-year Jasmine Whitney sank both of her foul shots, bringing the Panthers within four and making the score 11-7.

A trip to the free throw line for Quinn gave Wake Forest one more point, but Pitt junior guard Aysia Bugg nailed both of her foul shots to score her first points of the game. After 10 minutes of play, the quarter ended with a Demon Deacon lead of 14-9.

Returning from a quarter with seven team turnovers, Gribble tried to start the second quarter off strong with a triple, but her shot was off-target. Pitt sophomore forward Brenna Wise scored the first points of the quarter with two successful free throws to make the score 14-11. Most of Pitt’s points had so far resulted from foul shots, with only five points coming from the field.

Coming back into the game already with two fouls against her, Bradley nailed a three for her first basket of the day. Wise’s first field goal of the game tied the score at 16 apiece.

The Panthers captured the lead for the first time of the afternoon with another jumper from Wise. The Deacons managed to tie it once again on a jumper, but the deadlock broke with Bradley’s second three of the quarter making the score 21-18.

After the Demon Deacons scored on a jumper, Wise added to the Panther lead with a layup. But a midrange shot from Quinn put the Deacons on top once more. The Wake Forest senior was responsible for more than half of her team’s offense in the first half, scoring 14 of Wake Forest’s 24 points. At the end of the half, the Panthers faced a one-point deficit, 24-23.

After the break, Bradley’s fourth personal foul sent Quinn to the line for two points. Walters made her second field goal of the game, right before the Demon Deacons added four more points. She also found herself at the free throw line and her two foul shots made it a three-point game, 34-31.

Walsh worked her way to a breakout layup and, with 4:38 to go in the third quarter, put up her first points of the game. Wise made her 11th and 12th points of the game with two foul shots, placing the Panthers in a good position to tie the game once more. Whitney’s first foul sent Wake Forest to the foul line to increase the Demon Deacons’ lead, 40-37.

With two seconds remaining in the third quarter, Wise drew a foul as she drove for a layup. She missed the layup, but sank both of her free throws to make the score 40-39.Wake Forest entered the final quarter holding onto the lead, but a layup from Walters reversed the advantage, putting the Panthers back on top and Walter’s scoring to double-digits.

Two fouls by Bugg sent the Demon Deacons to the foul line twice, allowing Wake Forest to put up three points. Walters tied the game with a layup, but a jumper from the Deacons quickly broke the tie, 45-43.

From then on, the Panthers were unable to regain the lead. With three minutes remaining in the game, the Demon Deacons made their first 3-pointer, shortly followed up by a jumper. Walters answered the opponent’s baskets with a layup, but Wake Forest did not let up, scoring a layup of its own to give the home team a six-point lead, 52-46.

A solid drive to the basket from Wise gave the Panthers two more points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Demon Deacons’ scoring rampage. The Panthers were unable to stem their losing streak and dropped their fourth game in a row with a final score of 57-48.

The Panthers return to the Petersen Events Center Thursday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. to take on the Clemson Tigers.