Pitt falls to No. 25 Miami in 12th annual Pink the Pete game


Sarah Cutshall | Visual Editor

Sophomore center Cara Judkins (11) attempts a layup during Sunday’s Pink the Petersen game against Miami.

By Dominic Campbell, Staff Writer

With 2,495 fans in attendance to see the 12th annual Pink the Petersen game, the struggling Pitt women’s basketball team suffered its 11th straight loss Sunday to the No. 25 Miami Hurricanes, 65-51.

That makes 18 straight ACC losses for the Panthers (9-16 overall, 0-11 ACC) dating back to last season. It was also their fourth straight Pink the Petersen loss, with the team’s last victory coming in 2015. Despite the result, junior guard Jasmine Whitney was happy to see the fans who came out to support breast cancer survivors through the game of basketball.

“It’s a great atmosphere to see everyone there in their pink shirts and then us walking out the survivors,” Whitney said. “This game isn’t about us. It’s about all the survivors, all the people going through it, everyone else that’s there. It’s bigger than us, so it’s a fun game to play in.”

As part of the promotion, Pitt sported pink jerseys and handed pink T-shirts to those in attendance. A portion of the ticket sales went to Susan G. Komen Greater Pennsylvania, an organization dedicated to funding research and awareness for breast cancer. At halftime, more than 100 breast cancer survivors were honored at center court.

The first quarter was a close fight between both teams, but Miami took control first with a 9-3 run. Redshirt junior Beatrice Mompremier led the effort with two layups.

The Panthers responded with an 8-2 run to get things back within one. Whitney started it off with a mid-range jumper, sophomore center Cara Judkins made two layups and senior guard Cassidy Walsh made two free throws. Junior guard/forward Sarah Mortensen was the only Miami player to score during this time with a 3-pointer.

The quarter ended with a 7-7 draw for both teams, as Miami led 19-18 going into the second quarter. Mompremier continued to dominate for the Hurricanes with two free throws and a layup to give her eight in the quarter, and sophomore guard Kelsey Marshall contributed a 3-pointer. For the Panthers, Walsh converted an and-one opportunity and senior forward Danielle Garven made two jumpers to give her seven points in the quarter.

The second quarter was a complete disaster for the Panthers, as they had a tough time getting any good looks at the basket. Pitt scored just two points in the quarter, which didn’t come until Whitney made two free throws with 52 seconds remaining. The Panthers shot 0-11 from the field and 0-5 from 3-point range, making them 0-9 in the half from distance. Senior forward Kauai Bradley went 0-3 in the quarter and Garven was 0-2, including 0-2 from the free throw line.

Miami wasn’t much better, shooting 3-17 from the floor and 1-7 from the 3-point range. The Hurricanes’ only saving grace was a 6-8 shooting performance from the foul line, and that was good enough to take 32-20 lead going into halftime.

Pitt got back to scoring in the third quarter, but Miami kept control of the game. The Panthers started the quarter well enough, leading an 8-5 run to cut the lead to single digits with eight minutes remaining. Judkins’ layup 30 seconds into the third quarter was the first basket for the Panthers since Garven’s mid-range jumper with 23 seconds left in the first quarter.

Soon after, Miami went on an 11-2 run and took away any chance for Pitt to come back and win. The Hurricanes’ success came from three-point plays. This included two 3-pointers, from Marshall and sophomore guard Mykea Gray, followed by an and-one from Mompremier. First-year guard Jahsyni Knight made two free throws for the Panthers as the only player to score during the run.

The rest of the quarter was close, with Miami outscoring Pitt 6-5 down the stretch. But when the dust settled, the Hurricanes had a sizeable 19-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Pitt finally outscored the Hurricanes in the fourth, 16-11, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to threaten Miami’s lead. Both teams shot poorly in the quarter, with the Hurricanes shooting 3-13 and the Panthers 5-17 from the field.

Miami managed to maintain its advantage, even without scoring a field goal in the last 5:28 minutes of play. The top players in the quarter were redshirt senior forward Khaila Prather, who scored three points on a layup and a free throw, and Mompremier with two layups. Mompremier and senior forward Emese Hof both finished double-doubles as Mompremier had 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Hof had 11 points and 11 rebounds to demonstrate how dominant Miami was in the post.

“We were trying to send two [players] all of the time to double team them,” Pitt head coach Lance White said, “but again a lot of times they can rebound over the top of us, each of them had four offensive boards, I think they probably scored most of them. That’s an advantage for them … they did what they do extremely well and our counters to that weren’t good enough.”

For Pitt, Garven finished as the leading scorer with 13 points. Whitney also stuffed the stat sheet with nine points and a team-high eight rebounds and six assists. As a team, the Panthers were hampered by their inability to shoot the 3-pointer, going 2-19 from deep.

“I want our kids to shoot open shots. If we create and you’re open, you gotta shoot it and if that’s a three, shoot it,” White said. “You get a little space and you’re a 3-point shooter, you gotta shoot it … whenever they get tentative, then you miss shots.”

Pitt will look for its first ACC win against North Carolina this Thursday at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.