The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

College

February 7, 2014

No. 10 Maryland women slam Pitt

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maybe the game film of Pittsburgh’s 94-46 loss to No. 10 Maryland will reveal an encouraging nugget or two for Panthers coach Suzie McConnell-Serio to share with her players.

In the wake of Thursday night’s lopsided defeat, however, McConnell-Serio found absolutely nothing good to say about her team’s performance.

“The bottom line is we just didn’t compete,” the coach declared. “They’re just across the board stronger, more athletic, more physical, quicker. I thought we could have done a better job in a lot of areas offensively and defensively. For whatever reason we just struggled at both ends of the floor, which was frustrating and disappointing at the same time.”

The Panthers led only once, 5-4 on a driving layup by Brianna Kiesel. Pittsburgh (10-13, 2-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) went scoreless for the next seven minutes while Maryland rang up 17 straight points. Lexi Brown contributed a jumper and a 3-pointer to the run as the Terrapins made nine of their first 12 field-goal attempts.

Chelsea Welch ended the Panthers’ drought with a 3-pointer, and Pittsburgh closed to 23-13 before Alyssa Thomas scored six points in a 13-2 spree that made it 36-15.

It never got better for Pittsburgh, which shot only 31 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 47-30. Sure, it was against the 10th-ranked team in the nation, but Maryland wasn’t entirely responsible for the Panthers’ inept outing.

“We go 5-of-15 from the free throw line. They have nothing to do with that,” McConnell-Serio said. “It just was a struggle.”

Loliya Briggs led Pittsburgh with 10 points.

Kiesel, who came in averaging 17.5 points a game, was limited to five on 2-for-8 shooting. It was the first time in 29 games she failed to score in double figures.

Thomas had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Maryland (18-4, 6-3) before sitting out the final 12 minutes.

 

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