With Jayla Everett and Dayshanette Harris not playing for Pitt, sophomore guard Liatu King stepped up and led the Panthers (5-1) to a 72-60 win over Northwestern (4-2) at the U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam.
King had a career-high 23 points and a whopping 19 rebounds against the Wildcats. It was the second consecutive night that King had 19 rebounds, which is also a career-high. Pitt’s ability to get rebounds and second scoring chances was really the difference in the game. Pitt outrebounded Northwestern 49-27 and had 18 offensive rebounds compared to Northwestern’s 11. Seven of King’s 19 rebounds were offensive.
Pitt is now 1-1 in the Paradise Jam. The Panthers lost to Texas A&M yesterday, 57-46. Pitt plays South Dakota Saturday to wrap up its trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tipoff is at 5:45 p.m. and the game can be streamed on ESPN 3.
Pitt led Northwestern, 18-13, at the end of the first quarter. The Panthers went on an 8-0 run after Northwestern scored the first basket of the game. Seven different Panthers scored in the first quarter.
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_WBB) November 26, 2021
Pitt continued to control the game in the second quarter, but they turned the ball over 10 times, which allowed Northwestern to keep the margin close. Pitt led Northwestern, 31-24, at halftime, and guard Liatu King led the Panthers in scoring with eight points. King also had nine rebounds. Pitt dominated Northwestern on the glass in the first half, as they outrebounded the Wildcats, 27-11.
Pitt shot 39.3 percent from the field in the first half compared to Northwestern’s 29.4 shooting percentage. Forward Courtney Shaw led Northwestern in scoring with eight points. Along with struggling in the paint, the Wildcats also had a difficult time defending Pitt’s fastbreak in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats cut Pitt’s lead to 36-35, but guard Sandrine Clesca nailed a three-pointer to put the Panthers up 39-35 with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter. Northwestern turned the ball over five times at the end of the third quarter and Pitt went into the fourth quarter with a 51-44 lead.
Have yourself a night, @liatuking!
The sophomore is up to a career-high 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Panthers!
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_WBB) November 27, 2021
Pitt and King continued to dominant on the glass in the fourth quarter and they were able to pull away with a 12-point victory. Pitt finished the game shooting 40.8 percent from the field and was 3-of-8 from behind the arc (37.5%). Nine different Panthers scored in the game. Northwestern shot 33.8 percent from the field and made four out of 21 three-pointers (19.0%). Guard Jillian Brown was the leading scorer for Northwestern with 14 points.
Pitt turned the ball over 22 times in the game compared to Northwestern’s 12 turnovers. Along with shooting just above 40 percent from the field, the turnovers were really the only flaw for the Panthers from the game.
Everyone stepped up tonight despite missing some key pieces.
— Louie Spina (@Pitt_LouieSpina) November 27, 2021