The Pitt Women’s Basketball Team improved to 4-0 on the season following a 69-64 City Game victory over rival Duquesne.
Jayla Everett paced Pitt with her 18 points, her second time this season achieving high marks in this statistic for the Panthers. Duquesne’s defense held Everett to 6-of-18 shooting, with two of those being a two-point shot.
Amber Brown achieved double figures for the first time this season with her 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Liatu King added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Duquesne (1-3) was once again paced by Fatou Pouye, who scored all 17 of her points off the bench, while also grabbing six rebounds.
Megan McConnell added 14 points, her third consecutive contest in double figures, and Libby Bazelak contributed 11 points. Tess Myers sank two technical foul free throws at game’s end to achieve 11 points.
Duquesne assisted on 16 of its 22 made baskets.
The free-throw line proved crucial in the second half as Pitt was 12-for-22 and Duquesne 3-for-5.
Pouye benefitted from Pitt conceding several open first-quarter looks, which she buried to the tune of 12 points.
In one sequence, Pouye was looking to pass first, but when Pitt had covered both of her immediate options, she took the three, which fell through the net.
It was a more defensive-oriented second quarter as both teams endured a dry spell of three minutes.
When Duquesne would make an offensive miscue, McConnell was quick to put an arm around her teammate’s shoulder to encourage them. Duquesne maintained its vocality and edge on defense, while Pitt maintained its sets but appeared flustered offensively as the Dukes worked to get stops.
What could have been a turning point in a negative way for Pitt, ended up getting them back into the game.
After Pitt’s Liatu King failed two convert two shots from in the paint, Rita Igbokwe unsuccessfully battled Pouye for a rebound. Pouye had control of the ball first and Igbokwe was first assessed a foul and then official Shawn Goode blew his whistle for a technical foul after the forward threw the ball towards advertisements behind the basket.
Duquesne coach Dan Burt elected for Libby Bazelak to take the free throws and she missed both.
King would then take advantage of a thin Duquesne post as both Precious Johnson and Laia Sole were hampered with two fouls and those baskets seemed to open up a Pitt offense which took multiple leads.
The Dukes tried to regroup in a half which featured six ties and eight lead changes, and were able to take a lead, though Everett scored Pitt’s final eight points of the quarter and the contest was tied at 35 after 20 minutes.
In the third quarter, Johnson picked up two more early fouls giving her four, Sole picked up her third, and Tess Myers also had three fouls.
Pitt also were able to generate some aggression, earning trips to the free-throw line. Pitt was 8-for-10 from the line, while Duquesne missed both of its shots from the charity stripe.
Both teams continued to battle to find an advantage and Pitt appeared to find one when Brown converted a layup.
Myers would respond with a corner three-point basket, placing Duquesne up 50-48 at quarter’s end.
Everett opened the fourth quarter with a three-point basket as Pitt scored the frame’s opening eight points. Duquesne called a timeout after Emy Hayford baited the Dukes defense, successfully sent a no-look pass to Brown for an easy layup.
Shortly after, Johnson fouled out of the contest and Duquesne was struggling to put the ball in the basket, three times firing airballs on deep shots. Duquesne shot 31.3% from the field in the final quarter.
Pitt scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and Duquesne closed 1-for-4 on field goals as the Panthers created separation.
Duquesne will be back home Tuesday as it hosts Akron, while Pitt next plays three games in as many days at the Paradise Jam, with the first coming Thursday against Texas A&M.