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The Pitt News

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Pitt Dance Marathon hosts its annual fashion show to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network
Pitt Dance Marathon hosts its annual fashion show to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network
By Quinn Cilea, Staff Writer • March 3, 2024

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Pitt Dance Marathon hosts its annual fashion show to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network
Pitt Dance Marathon hosts its annual fashion show to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network
By Quinn Cilea, Staff Writer • March 3, 2024

Pitt women’s basketball falls to NC State in blowout loss

Sophomore+guard+Aislin+Malcolm+%2820%29+looks+for+an+opening+during+Sunday+afternoon%E2%80%99s+game+against+NC+State+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Liam Sullivan | Staff Photographer
Sophomore guard Aislin Malcolm (20) looks for an opening during Sunday afternoon’s game against NC State in the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt women’s basketball came into Sunday’s contest against No. 3 NC State with high hopes. The Panthers hoped to pull off the impossible and come away with an upset at their annual Pink the Pete game at the Petersen Events Center. But Pitt ultimately walked away disappointed, as the Wolfpack cruised to a 84-47 win.

“Obviously not the performance we wanted to have today,” Pitt women’s basketball head coach Tory Verdi said.

Following a loss to Florida State, where the Panthers averaged 37.1% from the field and 16.7% from deep, the Panthers looked to bounce back. A win would give the Panthers their first top-10 win in program history, whereas a loss would continue the Panthers’ disastrous run in conference play. 

North Carolina State opened the scoring, with fifth-year forward Mimi Collins getting a quick lay-up to open the scoring. But junior guard Liatu King had the answer, with two low-percentage jump shots to make it a close game early. 

Pitt graduate student Jala Jordan also made a quick impact on the game, laying a shot under contact early on. 

Going into the first break, the Panthers trailed by five. Due to strong defensive efforts by the Panthers, Pitt held the powerful NC State offense to just 13 points through six minutes of play.

Following the break, the Panthers started to apply more pressure, shrinking the lead to as few as four. 

The Panthers’ pressure began to falter, however, as NC State adapted and grew the lead to nine by the end of the first quarter. 

Coming out of the first quarter, it all fell apart for the Panthers. Multiple turnovers and needless falls let the nine-point deficit build up to 17 by the time Verdi called a timeout.

First-year guard Aaryn Battle stopped the run with a jumper, followed by sophomore Marley Washenitz doing the same.  

One of the main reasons for the Panthers’ offensive struggles was NC State’s ability to shut down King. King, who averaged 19.2 points per game coming into the game, was constantly faced with immense pressure when the game was close. This led to zero first-half assists for King, who struggled to make the passes she usually can. 

After the Panthers broke up the Wolfpack’s 8-0 run, NC State quickly responded with a 14-0 run. This run largely put the game away during the first half.

Other than an early three-point made by Battle, Pitt’s offense continued to stagnate while NC State’s defense continued to dominate. 

The Panthers were unable to take advantage of a three-minute NC State scoring drought, and the lead remained an insurmountable 28 headed into the five-minute mark of the third quarter.  

Rebounding was another facet of the game that led to the Panthers’ demise. Through three quarters, the Panthers had a rebounding margin of -13. NC State was quicker to the glass each time, getting physical to recover the ball. The Panthers looked exhausted at best, completely lost at worst, on the court.

Overall, the Panthers failed to rise to the occasion. Their lack of performance in all parts of play throughout the season led to yet another blowout loss to add to the tally this season. 

Pitt women’s basketball continues its season on Feb. 15 against North Carolina. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

About the Contributor
Ari Meyer, Staff Writer