Kiesel leads Pitt to blowout victory over Loyola (Md.)

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Kiesel leads Pitt to blowout victory over Loyola (Md.)

By Chris Puzia / Sports Editor

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Those who are more excited for the future of Pitt women’s basketball than for its current team roster might have to reconsider, after senior guard Brianna Kiesel again led the Panthers in scoring.

Pitt topped 70 points for the fourth time already this season on its way to an easy 84-46 win over Loyola (Md.) on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center.

Kiesel paced Pitt, scoring a game-high 21 points and making all three of her 3-point attempts.

The Panthers (4-2, 0-0 ACC) held the Greyhounds to only 29 percent shooting, while Pitt thrived behind the 3-point line. Sophomore guard Fred Potvin shot four of four from beyond the arc, and Pitt, as a team, shot 65 percent from 3-point range.

Pitt jumped out early, opening the game on a 12-0 run in the first three minutes. Midway through the first half, Pitt had a 24-point lead and had held Loyola to six points.

At halftime, the game already seemed over as Pitt had a 54-22 advantage. While Pitt did not know it at the time, those 54 points would prove to be enough to hold on for the win.

Sixteen of Kiesel’s points came in the first half, as the senior played all but two first-half minutes.

The early lead allowed head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio to play her entire team, and all nine Panthers who took the court played for at least 16 minutes in the game. Every Pitt player made at least two baskets in the game.

The Greyhounds (0-5) only had one double-digit scorer, junior guard Colleen Marshall, who scored 15 points.

Pitt held a decided advantage in the paint, as it outscored Loyola 42-22 in points in the paint. Loyola never led in the game, and none of its players shot over 50 percent in the contest.

After a layup by Pitt freshman forward Stasha Carey a couple minutes into the second half, the Greyhounds did not come within 30 points of the Panthers for the rest of the game.

Carey and graduate student forward Monica Wignot tied for the team lead with eight rebounds apiece.

But rebounds were actually one category in which Loyola held its own. The Greyhounds beat the Panthers in offensive rebounds 15-7, but could only convert it into nine second-chance points.

This bounce-back performance came after Pitt lost its first road game of the season at James Madison on Nov. 23, 80-64. Kiesel again led the team in scoring in the contest with 25 points, but her teammates supported her better in the win. Against James Madison, senior center Cora McManus was the only other double-digit scorer with 10 points.

Sunday showed a much more balanced scoring effort — four Panthers finished with more than 10 points. With a shallow rotation of players to use, McConnell-Serio will need to make sure one player does not carry the team in scoring, like Kiesel did against JMU, in order for the squad to succeed.

However, Pitt’s defense was still the highlight on Sunday. Although the Greyhounds have not won a game yet this season, McConnell-Serio will be happy to hold any opponent to such a poor shooting percentage like Pitt did.

Pitt next begins a short two-game road trip, traveling to take on Ohio State (4-3, 0-0 Big Ten) on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. After that, Pitt plays at Duquesne on Sunday in a cross-city matchup.


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