Pitt falls to Fordham, 58-55, in last-second decision


Thomas J. Yang

Junior center Kalista Walters was the leading scorer for the Panthers with 22 points in the team’s loss to Fordham. (Photo by Thomas Yang | Senior Staff Photographer)

By Dominic Campbell | Staff Writer

In another close game for the Pitt women’s basketball team Sunday afternoon, a game-deciding 3-pointer bounced off the rim and ended in a Fordham win.

The Panthers (5-3) fell to the Fordham Rams (4-2) 58-55 in Bronx, New York, which was the second close loss in a row after a 58-57 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers Wednesday night at home.

Junior center Kalista Walters got two easy buckets down low to start the quarter off, and a three from redshirt junior forward Yacine Diop helped the Panthers jump out to a 7-3 lead.

Fordham quickly came back though, leading 11-7 at the media timeout, with help from two 3-pointers from redshirt first-year guard Bre Cavanaugh and junior guard Lauren Holden. Pitt fouled out early, though, with three of the first five being offensive — two of them Diop.

The Rams shot the ball well from outside in the first quarter, going 4-6. A 3-pointer by first-year guard Kendell Heremaia with six second left ended the first quarter for the Rams who lead 21-13.

The Panthers fired back in the second quarter with strong offense — particularly from the outside — going 4-7 from 3-point range. First-year guard Kyla Nelson led the Panthers with two in the quarter.

Diop picked up her third foul directly after coming in, though, and was benched for the rest of the second quarter.

Nearing the end of the half, sophomore guard Jasmine Whitney drove all the way down the court and landed a layup, cutting the deficit to 29-27.

On the half, junior Mary Goulding had six rebounds and seven points as a big presence down low for the Rams, and Cavanaugh led the Rams with nine points in the first half. Walters was the main focus of the Panthers’ offense with 10 points in the first half and Jasmine Whitney was a force on defense taking three steals.

Opening the second half, Holden sunk two easy buckets, but Panthers junior forward Kauai Bradley countered with four points. Cavanaugh also snagged a three and two foul shots.

Walters had a particularly successful third quarter, with ten points — contributing to get her 20 on the game — and a Pitt lead of 41-40. She also snagged a double-double, her second of the season, early in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Panthers.

Diop hit her second shot of the game in the fourth quarter to make it 52-49, but received her fifth foul with a minute to go to end her day and double-figure scoring streak.

With only 46 seconds left in the game, Cavanaugh hit a running shot and Whitney hit a foul shot to cut the deficit, 54-50. On the ensuing Pitt possession, Nelson shot two threes, missed both, but Walters was fouled. Right off the inbound, Nelson then got a layup to make it 55-52.

Goulding was quickly fouled by Walters and made two free throws to make it 57-52. She finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds to record a double-double. Bradley then fouled Cavanaugh with six seconds to go, hitting only one of her two free throws to make it 58-55. She ended the game with 21 points, a career high.

On Pitt’s last opportunity to tie the game, Nelson found herself in the corner for a 3-pointer, but the ball clanked off the rim and time expired.

The leading scorers for the game were Walters for the Panthers with 22, and Cavanaugh with 21 for the Rams.

Pitt will seek to return to a winning record Thursday night as they travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

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