Pitt Women's Basketball Hits the Road for Syracuse :: Panthers and Orange Tip at 2 p.m., Contest is the Big East Game of the Week Pitt Women's Basketball Hits the Road for Syracuse

Feb. 15, 2013

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GAME 24: PITT (9-14, 0-10 Big East) at No. 23/21 SYRACUSE (20-3, 8-2 Big East)
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 • 2 p.m.
Syracuse, N.Y. Carrier Dome

Social Media:
Twitter, @PittWomensHoops, live updates courtside.
Facebook: Like Pitt Women's Basketball.
On the Air (Radio):  WJAS 1320 (live and streamed on website); George Von Benko, Jennifer Tuscano
On the Air (TV): Big East Game of the Week
Talent: Bob Picozzi, LaChina Robinson
Will Air Live:
SportsNet New York (SNY); Comcast Charter Sports; Cox Sports TV, Rhode Island; Time Warner Cable, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo; Cox Sports TV, LA-FLA-TX-AR-MS-GA-OK-VA; Full Court/ESPN3.com
ESPN 3 link
: http://es.pn/wbb-PITTvsCUSE
Tape Delay:
Root Pittsburgh (6:30 p.m., Sat; Mid-Atlantic Network 11:30 p.m.)
Live Stats:
http://www.sidearmstats.com/syracuse/wbball/scoreboard.aspx
Series Info
: SU leads, 30-19
Big East Regular Season:
SU leads, 28-18
Current Streak:
SU W3
Home:
Series tied at 12-12
Away:
SU leads 16-7
Neutral:
SU leads 2-0
Last Meeting:
Jan. 7, 2012, SU 83, Pitt 60, Pittsburgh
Last Meeting in Syracuse: 
Jan. 26, 2011, Syracuse 69, Pitt 60
First Meeting:
Jan. 30, 1980, Pitt 83, Syracuse 65, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Storylines & Notables:
• 15 of the last 24 meetings have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
• Pitt has posted season-highs in fouls against SU the past two seasons.
Brianna Kiesel hails from Utica, N.Y. - just 57 miles from the SU campus.
• Both teams join the ACC next season where they will be travel partners for the 2013-14 season.

Head Coaches:
Pitt: Agnus Berenato (Mount St. Mary's, 1980); 444-406/29th season overall; 161-142/10th at Pitt
Syracuse: Jeff Walz (Northern Kentucky, 1995); 137-60/6th season overall and at Louisville

Pitt Stat Leaders:
Asia Logan, Jr., F, 15.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg,  .454 FG%*missed L'ville game
Brianna Kiesel, So., G,  14.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.0 apg
Ashlee Anderson, Jr.-RS, G, 7.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Loliya Briggs, Fr.-RS, G, 6.7 ppg, 2.7 rpgg

Syracuse Stat Leaders:
• Kayla Alexander, Sr., C, 17.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 75 blocks (1st Big East/6th in NCAA)
• Elashier Hall,  Sr., G, 10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2,3 apg, 50 steals
• Carmen Tyson-Thomas, Sr., G, 10.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 42 steals
• Brittany Sykes, G, Fr., 9.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Last Game Out
Pitt dropped a 78-45 contest to No. 11 Louisville in Big East women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center.  Sophomore Brianna Kiesel paced the Panthers (9-14, 0-10 Big East) with 14 points.

Junior Shoni Schimmel posted a game-high 22 points for the Cardinals (20-4, 8-2 Big East), one of five UofL players in double figures.

The Panthers found themselves playing catch-up from the start.  The Cardinals scored their first two field goals less than a minute into the game before Kiesel stopped the run with a 3-pointer. Louisville used a 10-2 run with baskets by four different players - while forcing five Pitt turnovers over the same span -  to take a 14-5 lead with 15:11 showing.

The Panthers closed to seven points after a pair of free throws by Kiesel with 13:27 remaining in the first half, but would get no closer the remainder of the game. The stagnant first half saw the Panthers commit 12 turnovers – resulting in 13 UofL points as Pitt trailed 39-20 at intermission.

The Cardinals opened the second half on a 13-3 run as the Panthers failed to score a field goal until the 15:23 mark of the period. Pitt committed a season-high 26 turnovers.

About Pitt
The Panthers are 9-14 on the season and 0-10 in the Big East, having dropped their past 10-straight. Pitt is the only team without a win in league play after Cincinnati narrowly defeated Marquette on Wednesday evening.

Junior Asia Logan has paced the team in scoring since the second game of the season, averaging 15.3 points (8th in the Big East). Logan is also leading the team in rebounding with 7.2 boards a game - seventh in the Big East East. She is one of four players to be ranked in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding  (Alexander from SU is, as well). She has missed two games this season with injury. Logan has

Sophomore Brianna Kiesel - a native of upstate New York who grew up just 55 minutes from Syracuse - is second on team in scoring (14.5 ppg), ranked 12th in the Big East. She is averaging 17.8 points over the past six games with two 20+ games in the mix over the span. Kiesel has tallied double figures in 18 games - a team-high - and 38 times over her career. She is leading the team in free throw percentage,  steals, (1.4), assists (3.0), minutes (35.9, 4th in BE), field goal attempts and free throws made (3.5 per game). Kiesel never played at the Carrier Dome in high school (she attended Proctor where she is the all-time scoring leader), but did attend camp at SU. She is expected to have a large following at the game.

The Panthers finished the non-conference slate with a 9-4 mark. Pitt is ninth in scoring offense and 11th in scoring D among Big East leaders. The free throw percentage, as high as fifth this season, has dropped to 12th in Big East stats (.679) - last at 15th in league games (.611).

Pitt and SU will be rival partners next year in each school’s first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).  

About Syracuse
The Orange are ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll this week. SU has its best record (20-3) in program history through its first 23 games and its best conference mark (8-2) in over a quarter of a century. The team fields five seniors and nine upperclassmen in total.

Center Kayla Alexander is pacing the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and in rebounding (8.5 rpg). She is second and third respectively, in the two categories in the Big East. She is also first in the league in blocked shots (3.3 per game), sixth in the NCAA.

Alexander - the program’s all-time scoring leader - has racked up nine double-doubles on the season (second in the league) and has more double-doubles over her career (28) than any other Big East player. She and freshman Brianna Butler (7.9 ppg, team-high 42 3-pointers) are the only two players to have started all 23 games for SU this season.

Senior Elashier Hall is second in scoring and rebounding (10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg). Senior Carmen Tyson-Thomas is averaging 10.1 points per game. One of the team’s most consistent performers comes off the bench - junior Rachel Coffey. She is second in three-pointers (28) and is dishing out 4.7 assists a game (in just 20 minutes on the court a contest, an assist every 5.3 minutes.).

As was the case when the teams let last year, the Orange average the second most trips to the free throw line (21.8) in the Big East. SU is third in free throw accuracy, shooting at a 72.3 percent clip (3rd in Big East).  SU is ranked second in the league in field goal percentage defense (.346) and third in scoring offense (74.8), scoring more than 18 points a game than its opponents.  They are ranked first in offensive boards, collecting 18.3 a game.

Today’s game is just the third home game for the Orange in the past eight (8) games.

Series Info
Pitt and Syracuse are facing off on the hardcourt this afternoon for the 50th time in program history. The Panthers trail, 30-19 in head-to-head meetings with the Orange. Twenty-one (21) of the previous 49 showdowns have been decided by eight points or fewer and 34 contests by no fewer than a 12-point differential.

Of the past nine meetings, the largest margin of victory was last year’s 80-63 win by SU in Pittsburgh.  Six of the past nine final scores show a 10-point or less difference at the end of 40 minutes. Pitt won four-straight in the series (2005-09) until Syracuse posted an 87-80 overtime win at the Petersen Events Center on Feb. 2, 2010 to start a three-game win streak.  

Last season the Panthers were whistled for 25 fouls versus the Orange  -the second highest total of the season, while in 2011 Pitt had the most fouls in 31 games versus SU (24).

Last Meeting
Pitt dropped an 83-60 contest to SU on Jan. 7, 2012 in the team’s last showdown.  Ashlee Ahderson led Pitt scorers with 14 points.The Orange set Petersen Events Center record in free throws made (34) and attempted (38). Iasia Hemingway had 33 points for SU, the most by an Orange player in series history. She also was 15-of-16 from the charity stripe - both PEC records.

Last Time in Syracuse
Pitt dropped a physical battle to Syracuse, falling 69-60 at the Carrier Dome on Jan. 26, 2011. Shayla Scott led Panthers scorers with 16 points, 12 of those coming in the first half.  The Orange missed 10 of their first 13 field goal opportunities, but trailed by just a point early at 7-6 thanks to trips to the free throw line. The Cuse outscored Pitt the remainder of the half to take a 37-32 advantage into the locker room.

The Orange increased their lead to start the second stanza on a triple from Erica Morrow to make it 40-32. Two straight buckets from Anderson and Cole cut the deficit to four at 40-36, but SU hit a three on its next trip down the court to make it a seven-point game.  The Panthers endured an over five-minute scoring drought as the Orange capitalized, moving ahead by double digits for the first time in the contest.

The Panthers were out-rebounded, 50-36, in the contest. Syracuse had four players tally double figures, led by Morrow with 17 points.

Pitt had more field goals (24) than Syracuse (22) the last time these teams met in upstate NY and converted the same number of three-point buckets (5). The difference in the final tally were free throws which saw the Orange make 20-of-29, while the Panthers converted just 7-of-8.

What A Win Means ...
A Pitt win over Syracuse would be the ..
• first in Big East play since March 4, 2011 in the Big East Championship in Hartford, Conn. – a 63-60 win over USF.
• first regular season Big East win since Feb. 15, 2011 –a 60-57 victory over Providence at the Petersen Events Center.
•  the first road win in Big East regular season play since at West Virginia on Feb. 5, 2011 (60-53).
The Panthers have lost 30-straight regular season league games and have fallen in 28-straight Big East contests overall (includes tournament which was the last win in Big East play on March 4, 2011).

50 Minutes
The Panthers played just the third double overtime game in program history and the first in 28 years on Feb. 6 as Pitt dropped a 85-83 decision at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers second double OT game was last played on Jan. 2, 1985 - also against Providence (71-69 loss).

The Panthers grabbed 68 rebounds in the game, marking a Petersen Events Center record (previous high of 61 set in 2008). Pitt also took 92 shots versus Providence - the most recorded by a Big East team this season.

Still Young
The Panthers fielded the youngest team in Division I in the 2011-12 season - this season Pitt is still one of the youngest teams in the land with no seniors, two redshirt juniors, two juniors four sophomores (including a walk-on). one red-shirt freshman and four freshmen (three playing this season).

Versus Ranked Opponents
Pitt is 15-143 all-time against ranked opponents. Eight of those 15 wins have come since 2006. The Panthers beat No. 14/15 West Virginia, 60-53 on Feb. 5, 2011 - their first over a ranked foe since 2009.  On Feb. 3, 2009, Pitt posted an 82-70 victory against No. 19 Notre Dame. The last time the Panthers defeated two ranked opponents during the same season was 2008-09. In addition to Notre Dame, Pitt bested No. 8 Maryland on Dec. 7, 2008- the highest ranked opponent it has ever beaten.  SU is the third ranked opponent Pitt has faced this season.

Last Go-Round
Pitt began its last season in the Big East on Jan. 5 at Seton Hall. Under head coach Agnus Berenato, the Panthers are 4-6 in Big East Conference openers. Overall, Pitt moved to 12-19 in Big East openers. This season marks the final Big East campaign  for Pitt. They join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning July 1, 2013 (along with Syracuse)