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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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President Joe Biden speaks on Friday at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mill 19 to tout his administration’s investment in infrastructure.
President Biden set to visit Pittsburgh this afternoon
By Brian Sherry, Contributing Editor • 1:05 pm
Satire | A better use for editorial space
By Anna Ehlers, Contributing Editor • 1:06 am

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President Joe Biden speaks on Friday at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mill 19 to tout his administration’s investment in infrastructure.
President Biden set to visit Pittsburgh this afternoon
By Brian Sherry, Contributing Editor • 1:05 pm
Satire | A better use for editorial space
By Anna Ehlers, Contributing Editor • 1:06 am

Pitt women’s basketball loses to Duke 69-38

First-year+guard+Jasmine+Timmerson+%283%29+passes+during+Thursdays+game+against+Duke+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Hannah Levine | Staff Photographer
First-year guard Jasmine Timmerson (3) passes during Thursday’s game against Duke in the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt women’s basketball (7-15, 1-8 ACC) hoped to win its first home game of 2024 against Duke (14-7, 6-4 ACC) Thursday night at the Petersen Event Center.

The Panthers fought valiantly on defense, forcing 17 Blue Devil turnovers. But Pitt’s field goal percentage and turnovers are what ultimately led to a 69-38 loss. Head Coach Tory Verdi attributed the loss to the team’s lack of execution.

“We were either nervous or scared,” Verdi said. “We’ve executed better against anyone else.”

Pitt went into the first quarter in a tenacious man-to-man defense, giving the No. 1 defensive team in the ACC a taste of their own medicine. Pitt protected the paint and, as a result, most of Duke’s points in the first quarter resulted from three-pointers. The Panthers held the Blue Devils to three points in the game’s first four minutes. 

Offensively, the Panthers were sloppy and struggled to get points on the board. They went 1-for-6 and ended the first quarter with eight turnovers. After a timeout, senior forward Liatu King put the first Pitt point on the board on the free-throw line, making it 4-1 with 4:44 remaining. Sophomore guard Aislin Malcolm found the lane on the next drive and made it a 5-3 game. 

Pitt’s momentum was cut after another turnover, resulting in a Blue Devil three-pointer to extend their lead 8-3. The Panthers finished out the first quarter with more turnovers, resulting in a nine-point deficit. 

The second quarter opened with a battle at the free-throw line. Pitt’s first foul resulted in Blue Devil points. Duke extended their lead 16-3. 

Duke committed a three-point shooting foul on graduate student forward Jala Jordan to which she sank all three. Finally, King committed the final foul of the two-minute stint and the Blue Devils advanced 18-8. 

With 7:15 remaining in the second quarter, Blue Devils sophomore guard Taina Mair got a rebound and found Duke first-year guard Jadyn Donovan wide open down the court.  King hunted Donovan down, which resulted in a missed layup. In return, King made a break of her own and sank an and-one layup. King followed this up with a turnaround jumper to bring the Panthers’ deficit to 21-15.

The last four minutes of the half were ugly for the Panthers. The Panthers ended the second quarter with five turnovers and Duke went on an 8-0 run to close out the half. Pitt junior forward Rapuluchi Ayodele picked up her fourth foul with 1:07 remaining.

Jordan broke the Duke run with a three-pointer in the last eight seconds, ending the half 31-18. 

The Panthers ended the first half with 13 turnovers and a 13-point deficit. 17 of Duke’s points resulted from Pitt’s turnovers. 

The Panthers’ struggle to score persisted in the third quarter. The Blue Devils continued to extend their lead after junior guard Reagan Richardson made her 11th point on the three-point line. This caused a Pitt timeout with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter.

King came out of the timeout and picked up her ninth point and seventh rebound of the game. With 4:17 to go, sophomore guard Marley Washenitz put her first points on the board with a turnaround jumper, chipping away at Duke’s 43-26 lead. 

With three seconds left, King stole the ball and made a last-second layup, ending the quarter just under a 20-point deficit at 47-29. 

The fourth quarter started with back-to-back fouls. Washenitz picked up her third and fourth fouls in the first three minutes and King picked up her third. The Blue Devils capitalized on the Panthers’ defensive miscues.

With just over five minutes remaining in the contest, Washenitz fouled out and left the game with three points and two rebounds. The Blue Devils sank their free throws and extended their lead to 58-36. 

The game ended with an 11-0 Duke run to defeat the Panthers.

Pitt returns to the court on the road Sunday to face No. 14 Notre Dame for the second time this season.

About the Contributor
Sara Meyer, Staff Writer
Sara Meyer is a staff writer for the sports desk at The Pitt News. She is a part of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences class of 2026 and is double majoring in LCJS and politics and philosophy with a minor in economics. This is her second year writing for the sports desk as a staff writer.