PITTSBURGH — After overcoming a double-digit deficit, the Pitt women’s basketball team turned the game around and led by seven points, only to drop the advantage and the game, 85-79 to Delaware Sunday night at Petersen Events Center.
Junior guard Jayla Everett led Pitt (2-1) with 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field. Gabbie Green scored a season-high 13 points, 10 of which came in the first half.
Rita Igbokwe recorded her second career double-double amassing 11 points and 11 rebounds. Dayshanette Harris scored eight of her 11 points in the second half. Amber Brown also score seven points and added 11 rebounds.
Pitt recorded 24 turnovers as Delaware capitalized with a 25-2 points off turnovers advantage. Pitt was however able to have a 47-34 rebounding advantage.
Delaware (2-0) was led by Paris McBride’s 29 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Jasmine Dickey added 20 points on 8-of-22 shooting and also grabbed nine rebounds.
Pitt got off to a slow start as it was playing its first game in a week following their first-semester finals. Delaware was able to pick Pitt’s pocket early and often in the first half, ending up with eight steals and 12 for the game.
Delaware also was unafraid to activate a pressure defense trapping Pitt into some difficult decisions on the offensive end. Towards the end of the half, Pitt was able to move quicker and make crisper passes leading to higher-percentage shots.
Pitt had some inconsistencies on the offensive end, but also was plagued by foul trouble as Green picked up three first half fouls and Harris, Amber Brown, Sandrine Clesca and Cara Judkins had multiple whistles directed in their direction.
Everett also went down in pain at around the midway portion of the second quarter and slowly walked off the court with assistance of multiple Pitt trainers. She returned two minutes later.
Though Pitt trailed by 10 points in the early stages of the second quarter, it cut that deficit to one point at two different stages. Delaware was able to answer back and take a 40-37 halftime advantage.
Early on in the third quarter, Pitt sophomore guard Emy Hayford was looking for a clear play on the inbounds pass when she found Everett’s waiting hands. Once Everett possessed the ball, she quickly turned her body towards the basket and fired a shot which fell through the basket.
As Delaware coach Natasha Adair called a timeout, Everett turned her attention to the bench where she offered a little dance in celebration.
Everett’s basket was part of a 13-2 Pitt run that gave it a four-point lead.
The remainder of the quarter saw the teams pick up scoring and saw a 62-62 stalemate. Both teams continued to match each other shot-for-shot and stop-for-stop until the latter stages of the fourth quarter where Delaware was able to string makes and force Pitt into committing turnovers.
As time wound down, Pitt was unable to catch Delaware and got called for a technical foul after six players were on the court at once, which secured the setback.
The game concluded Pitt’s non-conference schedule, as the team will now transition to ACC play, which begins Thursday at Virginia Tech.