No. 8 Wolfpack mauls Pitt, 63-34


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Senior forward Kauai Bradley (5) led the team with eight points during Pitt’s 34-63 loss to NC State Thursday evening.

By Dominic Campbell, Staff Writer

In a game which set a historically low scoring mark for the program, Pitt women’s basketball lost its second straight ACC game to No. 8 NC State, 63-34, on the road Thursday night.

The Panthers’ (9-7 overall, 0-2 ACC) 34 points established the lowest total they’ve ever scored in an ACC game. It’s the lowest they’ve scored since Jan. 16, 2013, against St. John’s, back when Pitt was in the Big East conference, when they lost 61-32. It’s also the second straight game Pitt scored under 50 points, as they were held to just 44 in a 56-point loss to No. 1 Notre Dame last time out.

Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter, with NC State leading Pitt just 13-6 at its conclusion. The Panthers shot an ugly 3-15 overall and 0-4 from 3-point range as they forced many contested shots against a tough Wolfpack defense. Junior guard Jasmine Whitney couldn’t find her shot, missing the mark on all three attempts. Only senior forward Kauai Bradley, sophomore center Cara Judkins and senior forward Danielle Garven made a bucket in the first quarter.

The Wolfpack similarly struggled to score, shooting 5-14 from the field and 3-8 from behind the arc. Their 3-pointers came from three different players — graduate guard Kiara Leslie, sophomore guard Kai Crutchfield and junior guard Aislinn Konig, who made a 3-pointer for her 49th consecutive game.

NC State took over in the second quarter and pulled away from Pitt to end the half 35-16. They shook off their first-quarter dust to shoot a scorching 8-12 from the field and 2-4 from 3-point range. Leslie dominated in the quarter, scoring nine points and creating four assists for her team.

Meanwhile, Pitt continued their offensive mishaps in the second quarter with a poor 2-9, or 22.2 percent, shooting mark, going 1-5 from 3-point range. Sophomore guard Kyla Nelson’s 3-pointer and a layup from Bradley were the only two field goals made in the quarter. The only saving grace was Whitney shooting 5-6 from the free throw line.

The most glaring stat from the first half was the Panthers having just one assist, compared to seven from the Wolfpack.

Things somehow got even worse for Pitt in the third quarter, as the Panthers shot 2-16, or 12.5 percent, from the field. The Panthers didn’t score their first points until a 3-pointer from senior guard Cassidy Walsh at the 3:47 mark, which made it 42-19 to NC State. She also made the only other shot in the quarter from mid-range, making her Pitt’s only player to score in the third.

In comparison to their monstrous second quarter, the Wolfpack also had trouble scoring in the third, shooting 4-11, or 36.4 percent, overall and 2-6 from 3-point range. First-year center Elissa Cunane led the team with four points, while Konig and Crutchfield each made 3-pointers, giving NC State a comfortable 47-21 lead going into the fourth.

In the final quarter, both teams performed fairly equally. Pitt shot 5-14 and NC State 5-15 from the field, with NC State scoring only three more points, 16-13.

Bradley and Judkins scored four points and got some help from first-year guard Ismini Prapa and Nelson, who both contributed baskets.

DD Rogers led the Wolfpack with four points in the quarter, bringing her into double digits with 10 for the game. Konig and Crutchfield again made 3-pointers, with sophomore forward Kayla Jones joining them in the sharpshooting display.  

Garven and Whitney had almost no success this game, as Whitney went 0-10 from the field and Garven 1-7. Walsh, who also started in the game, shot 0-9 outside of the two shots she made in the third quarter. Also, no player finished in double digits, with Bradley’s eight points making her the team’s lead scorer. It was also Pitt’s lowest shooting percentage in a game this season at 22.2 percent.

Pitt will look to get its first ACC win next time out against Boston College, Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center. That contest will be the first of a four-game homestand for the Panthers.