Yellow Jackets sting Panthers, 67-55


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Senior forward Danielle Garven (1) scored 14 points during Pitt’s 67-55 loss to Georgia Tech Thursday night.

By Dominic Campbell, Staff Writer

While they kept it close up until halfway through the third quarter, the Pitt women’s basketball team again couldn’t find a way to win in the ACC, losing this time 67-55 to Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

The Panthers (9-15 overall, 0-10 ACC) were within three points with about six minutes left in the third quarter before the Yellow Jackets (14-9, 4-6 ACC) broke away and got the win. This gives the Panthers their 16th consecutive ACC loss dating back to more than a year ago, and their eighth consecutive road loss.

The first quarter looked like an early rout, with Georgia Tech scoring five points in the first minute as sophomore Lorela Cubaj scored off an offensive rebound and sophomore guard Kierra Fletcher converted an and-one opportunity on the fast break off a Pitt turnover.

Instead of laying down, the Panthers fired right back with a 10-2 run. Senior forward Kauai Bradley started the outburst with a 3-pointer, then fellow senior forward Danielle Garven scored a layup off a Georgia Tech turnover. Sophomore Cara Judkins made a hookshot and senior guard Cassidy Walsh drained a 3-pointer to finish the run.

The rest of the quarter was all the Yellow Jackets, who ended the quarter on a 10-5 run. First-year forward Elizabeth Dixon scored six points to lead the run and both junior guard Chanin Scott and Cubaj scored on second-chance layups. For Pitt, Walsh hit another 3-pointer and a foul shot.

The Panthers jumped out of the gate and started another run, this time 10-3, to begin the second quarter. Sophomore forward Jaala Henry started the run with a driving layup, and Bradley also contributed two 3-pointers. For the Yellow Jackets, Dixon made a free throw and first-year guard Lotta-Maj Lahtinen scored a layup off a Pitt turnover.

Then Georgia Tech started a run of their own to end the quarter, 12-3, and took a slim 32-28 lead into halftime. Junior guard Francesca Pan knocked down a 3-pointer and also made three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt. Dixon scored three points off free throws, Fletcher made a layup and Scott scored off a putback.

The Panthers shot well in the second quarter, going 5-9 from the field and 2-4 from 3-point range, while the Yellow Jackets didn’t fare so well, shooting 4-16 and 1-6, respectively. Georgia Tech did shoot better at the foul line, going 6-7 against Pitt’s 1-6. Surprisingly, the Panthers did out-rebound the Yellow Jackets, 11-7, in the quarter.

Georgia Tech really blew the game wide open in the third quarter, leaving Pitt trailing for the rest of the game. It started close enough — Pitt trailed 43-40 with 6:06 remaining after Judkins converted an and-one down low.

But the Yellow Jackets took off on a 13-4 run to close the quarter, giving them a comfortable 56-44 lead heading into the fourth. Dixon was the primary catalyst, scoring seven points in the run, including two free throws and a layup off a Pitt turnover. Dixon was a force all game and ended as the leading scorer for Georgia Tech with 21 points.

The game slowed down in the fourth quarter as Georgia Tech attempted to run out the clock, and each team scored just 11 points. For the Yellow Jackets, Elizabeth Balogun led the way with a jumper, a layup and a free throw. Pitt junior guard Jasmine Whitney showed up in the fourth quarter with her first points, scoring seven off a 3-pointer and two layups. Garven made two jumpers in the quarter and led Pitt with 14 points on 6-11 shooting from the field.

Georgia Tech had such a tough time scoring at the end of the game as they didn’t make a field goal in the final six minutes of the game, but Pitt couldn’t catch Yellow Jackets. The game finished 67-55, leaving the Panthers winless in the ACC after 53 weeks.

The Panthers will be home on Sunday to take on No. 25 Miami in the 12th annual Pink the Pete game and hope to get their first ACC win.