The Pitt women’s basketball team kept it close early in the first half of Thursday night’s game against Miami but couldn’t keep up in the second half, losing 82-58.
The Panthers (10-16 overall, 2-10 ACC) showed flashes of effective offense in the first quarter, as they shot 47 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point range. But Miami (18-8 overall, 8-5 ACC) outworked the Panthers’ offense the whole game, shooting 51.2 percent to Pitt’s 38.5 percent and creating 13 more shots than Pitt.
The game got off to a fast start, as both teams were scoring with ease. The Hurricanes went 3-3 on 3-pointers in the first six minutes, including two from first-year guard Mykea Gray. Junior center Kalista Walters led the Panthers early with six points, but Pitt trailed at the media timeout, 16-10.
Sophomore guard Alayna Gribble led the Panthers through the first quarter, going 3-3 from the 3-point line and ending the quarter as Pitt’s leading scorer with 11 points.
Miami started out 7-8 from the field and ended the first quarter going 10-16. Senior forward/center Erykah Davenport shot 4-4 and had eight points in the first quarter to contribute to Miami’s 27-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers surged in the second quarter. They jumped out to a 7-2 run thanks to midrange buckets from junior forward Danielle Garven and redshirt junior Yacine Diop and another 3-pointer from Gribble.
The Hurricanes outscored the Panthers 19-8 in the second quarter and led 48-35 at half with Davenport and Gray leading Miami. Davenport had six points on 3-3 shooting, and Gray added seven on 3-4 shooting to contribute to the Hurricanes’ 13-point lead.
Diop had a low-scoring first half for Pitt, shooting 2-8 from the field with five points in the half. The slow start was uncharacteristic for Diop, who leads the team this season with 15.6 points per game.
The Panthers struggled to create many offensive opportunities through the third quarter. As a team, Pitt shot 4-15 from the field, and Diop continued to struggle, shooting 1-6 from the field.
The Hurricanes went on a 17-8 run in the third quarter, ruining any chance of a Panther comeback. Senior forward Keyanna Harris took over as Miami’s best player in the quarter — scoring nine on 4-4 shooting and completing three assists — helping Miami to a 67-48 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Junior forward/center Emese Hof led Miami with five points in the quarter, and Davenport and Gray contributed six points combined to end the game as the top scorers with 20 and 17 points, respectively.
Pitt will look to end its three-game losing streak Monday as the team takes on Syracuse at the Petersen Events Center at 7 p.m.