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Poor 3-point shooting dooms Panthers in road ACC loss - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Poor 3-point shooting dooms Panthers in road ACC loss

First-year+Kalista+Walters+scored+11+points+for+the+Panthers+in+Thursday+night%27s+game+against+University+of+Miami.++Dagmar+Seppala+%7C+Staff+Photographer
First-year Kalista Walters scored 11 points for the Panthers in Thursday night's game against University of Miami.  Dagmar Seppala | Staff Photographer

First-year Kalista Walters scored 11 points for the Panthers in Thursday night's game against University of Miami. Dagmar Seppala | Staff Photographer

First-year Kalista Walters scored 11 points for the Panthers in Thursday night's game against University of Miami. Dagmar Seppala | Staff Photographer

By Chris Puzia / Assistant Sports Editor

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It’s difficult to win a basketball game when the opposing team consistently connects from 3-point range, but that trouble magnifies when your own team struggles from deep as well.

Suzie McConnell-Serio’s Pitt women’s basketball squad experienced that two-pronged challenge with the long ball in another conference loss. Pitt (8-7, 0-2 ACC) dropped a road matchup at Miami (14-2, 2-1 ACC) 79-53 on Thursday night after missing 12 of its first 13 3-point attempts of the night.

Conversely, Miami shot 62 percent from deep, thanks to Adrienne Motley’s 4-4 clip. Tania Lamb hit Pitt’s first 3-pointer with 5:18 remaining in the game, when the Panthers already trailed by 33. Pitt finished shooting 20 percent from long and only 35 percent total.

Both teams started out shooting and holding onto the basketball poorly. Miami missed seven of nine shots in the first quarter, while Pitt picked up four early turnovers in a 2:30 span.

Miami’s full court pressure continued to stymie the Panthers, who did nothing to help themselves, either. Freshman Brenna Wise collected a rebound off a block, but she immediately traveled when trying to clear the ball and advance it.

The Hurricanes led after the first quarter, 13-12, though neither team looked particularly sharp. Miami shot only 28 percent, and the two teams combined for 13 turnovers.

But as the second quarter wore on, only one of those teams picked up its performance.

The Hurricanes made their next four 3-point attempts and opened up a 16-point lead with their long range accuracy. Pitt’s star sophomore forward Stasha Carey missed her first four shot attempts and finished 1-10 from the field.

Miami led 37-22 at halftime, behind Motley’s 12 points. Wise led the Panthers with seven points at the break.

From that point, Miami extended its lead with a 18-10 run to open the second half. Motley continued her efficient shooting with two more baskets, and Keyona Hayes made all seven of her shots to finish with 15 points.

Pitt’s turnovers directly contributed to the point disparity, as Miami outscored the visitors 24-6 in fast break points, taking Pitt’s live ball turnovers and capitalizing. The Panthers never led in the game.

Miami ended the third quarter on a 9-0 run in which Pitt did not score in the final 3:00.

Pitt’s freshman frontcourt of Kalista Walters and Wise carried the offense, combining for 24 points. Miami nearly saw a triple-double from Michelle Woods, who finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Pitt will seek its first conference win when it returns to the Petersen Events Center on Sunday to host North Carolina State at 2 p.m.

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Poor 3-point shooting dooms Panthers in road ACC loss