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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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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
Chris Matthews: Inspiring language learners at home and abroad
By Anna Kuntz, Senior Staff Writer • April 22, 2024
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Pitt women’s basketball prepares for ACC Tournament

The+Pitt+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+bench+cheers+during+a+game+against+the+Syracuse+Orange+at+the+Petersen+Events+Center+on+Jan.+21.
Bronco York | Staff Photographer
The Pitt women’s basketball bench cheers during a game against the Syracuse Orange at the Petersen Events Center on Jan. 21.

Pitt women’s basketball (8-23, 2-16 ACC) added to its four-game losing streak with a loss at home to Boston College (13-18, 5-13 ACC) to close out its regular season. The Panthers now look ahead to the ACC Tournament, where they occupy the No. 15 seed and will take on the No. 10 seed Georgia Tech in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 6. 

This is the third consecutive year that the Panthers have held the last seed in the ACC tournament. They will now look to steal a first-round win, which is something they haven’t done since 2020. The Panthers will have to make some changes and improvements if they want a shot at taking on the No. 7 seed Duke in the second round. 

Utilizing Liatu King

Senior forward Liatu King proved herself as an instrumental player for the Panthers all season. King averages 18.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Pitt’s offense has worked through King all season long, and she has become the team’s go-to player. 

King just earned her 18th double-double of the season in the last game against Boston College. She has scored in the double digits in 29 out of the 31 games this season and has established herself as a threat that other teams must try to contain when challenging the Panthers. 

King has demonstrated her success at creating her own opportunities and shots this season, but the Panther guards will need to look to feed her the ball as much as possible in the matchup against Georgia Tech. 

Limiting turnovers

In the Panthers’ last two times out against Boston College and Miami, turnovers proved a crucial contributing aspect to their demise. Against Miami, the Panthers lost the ball 22 times, giving the Hurricanes 18 points off turnovers. 

The Panthers tallied 28 total turnovers in their last game against Boston College. These turnovers gave the Eagles countless opportunities, allowing the Eagles to cash in on 30 points. 

Earlier this season against Georgia Tech, the Panthers lost by only 10 points with a score of 68-58. The Panthers will have to work on taking care of the ball and limiting their turnovers if they want a shot at making an appearance in the second round of the tournament. 

Finding other key players

Georgia Tech will likely come in with a game plan revolving around shutting down King. If the Panthers want the chance to take on Duke in the second round, they will need to find other players to rely on to push them towards the second round. 

Junior guard Bella Perkins established herself as a key player off the bench for the Panthers over the last couple of games. Over the last five games, Perkins has averaged 11.8 points, including draining four crucial three-pointers in the Panthers’ win over Clemson.

Perkins could also see new minutes on Wednesday due to sophomore starting guard Marley Washenitz leaving the Boston College game with an apparent leg injury. Washenitz did not return to the game, and if she is sidelined for the Georgia Tech matchup, Perkins will need to continue to bring momentum to the Panthers. 

The Panthers and the Yellow Jackets are set to tip off on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Coverage will air on the ACC Network.