Weekend sports recap: Wrestling, gymnastics claim victories as basketball struggles


Lucas Zheng | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt junior guard Dayshanette Harris (1) dribbles during Sunday’s game against Notre Dame at the Petersen Events Center.

By Brian Sherry, Staff Writer

As the spring semester gets underway, winter sports are beginning to heat up. This weekend featured key conference and non-conference matchups for several Pitt programs. Some teams rose to the occasion against their conference opponents while others fell. Here’s how each program fared:


The No. 18 wrestling team followed up its upset win over No. 6 Arizona State with another win against an ACC opponent in the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday night. The Panthers dominated the Cavaliers 25-10, marking their second consecutive win.

Virginia took an early 3-0 lead in the meet, as fifth-year senior No. 30 Jarod Verkleeren defeated Pitt redshirt junior Luke Kemerer 7-2 at 149 lb. But the Panthers quickly responded with two wins of their own, including a major decision from No. 13 fifth-year senior Jake Wentzel over Virginia’s No. 28 fifth-year senior Jake Keating at 165 lbs.

The meet once again turned in Virginia’s favor, as the Cavaliers earned two straight victories over the Panthers. But Pitt squashed Virginia’s hopes of an upset by winning five straight matches over the Cavaliers.

The key match of the night came at HWT when junior Jake Slinger upset No. 26 Quinn Miller of Virginia, 4-1.

No. 20 redshirt junior Cole Matthews closed out the night with a dominant 10-1 victory over Virginia’s sophomore Evan Buchanan at 141 lbs.

The team will face off against No. 10 Virginia Tech on Friday at the Fitzgerald Field House.


The Pitt women’s gynastic’s team traveled to Texas this weekend for a showdown against Texas Woman’s University. The Panthers picked up a 195.575-192.925 victory over the Pioneers, marking their second win on the year.

The Panthers also broke the school record for the beam event, earning a score of 49.200, surpassing the old record of 49.125.

First year Sidney Washington led the Panthers in scoring with 39.250 points, marking the highest all-around individual score for the team this season.

Other stand-out performances include first year Hallie Copperwheat, who led the Panthers’ record night in beam and junior Erin Hutchison, who earned a career high of 9.850 on the floor event. 

The team will travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, next Friday for a bout with the North Carolina Tarheels.

Men’s basketball

The men’s basketball team continued ACC conference play with a road trip to Clemson. The Panthers fell to the Tigers 75-48, marking their second consecutive conference loss.

The Tigers caught fire early, leading the Panthers 38-27 in the first half. The Tigers also dominated the second half of the game, scoring 37 points while Pitt notched just 21 points. The Panther offense fell flat in the second half, failing to score a field goal for nearly eight minutes.

Pitt also struggled to hold onto the ball, turning the ball over 20 times. Meanwhile, the Tigers capitalized on the Panther errors, scoring 23 points off Pitt turnovers.

Sophomore forward John Hugley led Pitt in scoring, with 15 points. On the opposite end of the court, four Clemson players put up double digits in points. Junior guard Al-Amir Dawes led Clemson in scoring, with 19 points.

The team will host ACC rival Syracuse on Tuesday night at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.

Women’s basketball

The women’s basketball team hosted the No. 19 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame for a conference matchup on Sunday. The Panthers fell to the Fighting Irish 77-63.

Neither team could gain the upper hand in the first half. The game remained tied at 39 at the end of the second period. But the Fighting Irish pulled ahead early in the second half, outscoring the Panthers 23-16 in the third quarter. The Panthers failed to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, managing to only score eight points with the game on the line.

Senior guard Jayla Everett led the Panthers in scoring with 15 points. Junior center Rita Igbokwe also had a stand-out performance with 13 rebounds. Meanwhile, Notre Dame fifth-year forward Maya Dodson notched 23 points to lead the Fighting Irish.

The team will travel to South Carolina on Thursday night for a game against the Clemson Tigers.