It was a team effort for the Pitt women’s basketball team, which used its superior size advantage to best Radford 82-63 in its season opener Wednesday night at the Petersen Events Center.
The 82 points represent Pitt’s most in a season opener under head coach Lance White.
Pitt (1-0) was paced by senior guard Jayla Everett’s 23 points, on 8-of-14 shooting and also was a +32 on the evening. Junior guard Emy Hayford scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
The Panthers also enjoyed significant advantaged with its rebounding, to the tune of a 58-23 nod and 27-5 on the offensive end. That effort saw all 11 Pitt players who saw the floor, grab at least one rebound.
Graduate student Mary Dunn made an immediate impact in her first game with Pitt, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 15 minutes, while sophomore guard Liatu King brought down 10 rebounds.
Radford (0-1) saw Ashley Tudor lead the way with 12 points, eight of which came from the free-throw line. Kyanna Morgan scored eight of her 11 points in the second half. Rachel LaLonde also achieved double figures with her 10 points.
Pitt outscored Radford 21-13 in the first quarter, despite the Highlanders shooting 41.7% from the field.
The Panthers shot 33.3% from the field, but also took 12 more shots than their opponent, aided by its offensive rebounding, which came from several different team members.
Pitt’s first-quarter advantage reached 10 points on a 10-2 run in which Hayford capitalized on a Radford turnover as King found her for a three-point basket.
It was much of the same in the second half, though Pitt’s defense was given an opportunity to shine, holding Radford without a field goal for 7:40 of the quarter, during which time, the Panthers went on a 12-2 scoring run.
Not all was pleasant for Pitt as Amber Brown picked up three fouls in the first half, and teammates Liatu King, Emy Hayford and Tracey Hueston each were whistled for two fouls.
Pitt led 37-22 at halftime.
Everett continued to find success in the third quarter as she converted field goals and also threw a quarterback pass to Hayford in transition for an open layup. The advantage remained fairly steady for the duration of the contest.
Pitt’s season will continue Friday night when it hosts Lafayette at 6 p.m.