Panthers outdo the Hokies in Virginia, 58-49

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Panthers outdo the Hokies in Virginia, 58-49

Brenna Wise was the Panthers' second leading scorer Sunday afternoon. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Brenna Wise was the Panthers' second leading scorer Sunday afternoon. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Brenna Wise was the Panthers' second leading scorer Sunday afternoon. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Brenna Wise was the Panthers' second leading scorer Sunday afternoon. Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

By Logan Hitchcock /Staff Writer

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The Pitt women’s basketball team has found a home on the road.

The Panthers (11-14, 3-9 ACC), won their third consecutive conference game on the road in Blacksburg, Virginia, Sunday, defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies (15-10, 3-9 ACC) 58-49.

After a few minutes of empty possessions to begin the game, Pitt got on the board when sophomore Yacine Diop connected on a 3-point basket with 7:11 remaining in the first quarter. Diop followed with another basket on the following Panther possession, giving Pitt a 5-4 lead.

Shortly after Diop made her second basket, Pitt extended the lead to 7-4 with a layup from freshman Brenna Wise. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Wise’s field goal would be their last of the quarter before settling for three free throws in the final 5:39 of the first quarter.

The Hokies took advantage of Pitt’s inability to score first quarter, climbing out of the three-point hole and eventually taking the lead on a Hannah Young 3-point basket.

Senior forward Young added a free throw right before a final basket from Virginia Tech gave the Hokies a four-point lead heading into the second quarter.

Pitt’s offensive struggles carried over into the second quarter, where again it only connected on three field goals in 10 minutes. The team’s first field goal came trailing by six, when Wise again got to the basket and drew a foul, adding the free throw for a conventional 3-point play.

Trailing by three, fellow freshman Kalista Walters brought the Panthers within two with 4:47 remaining in the quarter. After Walter’s layup though, the Hokies began to pull away, using a 6-0 run to pull ahead by eight points.

Pitt added a triple from junior Fred Potvin and a pair of free throws from Aysia Bugg before the end of the quarter, but it couldn’t get much closer and went into halftime trailing by seven points.

Opening the second half, the Panthers were desperate for some efficient offense early in the third quarter. After an opening possession turnover, the Panthers finally started clicking, connecting on their first five field goal attempts in the second half.

Wise led the charge, adding two of five field goals to help Pitt erase a seven-point deficit and tie the game at 30-30 with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter. Following the media timeout, the Hokies stopped the bleeding as Young once again added a jumper to give them the lead.

The lead wouldn’t last for long though, as Pitt forward Stasha Carey added a 3-point play on the following possession to bring the Panthers ahead for the first time since the early minutes of the first quarter.

Pitt’s Potvin would add a pair of free throws before Young once again tied the game with a jumper of her own. Tied at 35, the Panthers finished the final 1:26 of the first quarter on a 6-2 run — using four more free throws and a Carey layup to carry a four-point lead into the game’s final quarter.

Needing to hang on for 10 more minutes, the Panthers clung to their four-point lead, matching Virginia Tech’s score in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

A few possessions later,  Stasha Carey followed a steal with a made layup and Fred Potvin again connected from deep with 7:30 remaining — extending Pitt’s four-point lead.

Pitt held its seven-point lead until the final media timeout of the game with 5:09 remaining. Over the next three minutes though, Virginia Tech carved out a small 6-2 run, forcing head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio to call a timeout with 1:41 remaining.

After the timeout, Pitt battled back to defend its lead when sophomore Aysia Bugg connected on her first basket of the game. When Pitt earned a defensive stop on the next possession, the Hokies were forced to foul in order to try to get back in the game.

On its next three possessions, Pitt drained two free throws and pulled away from the Hokies for good.

Pitt had four starters finish with double digits in scoring, led by Fred Potvin who poured in 14 points. Brenna Wise finished with 12 points, while Carey and Bugg both had 10 points.

The Panthers will play next on Thursday when they travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels (14-13, 4-8 ACC).

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