PITTSBURGH — The Pitt women’s basketball team is off to its best start in 12 years after a 67-51 victory over Coppin State Tuesday at the Petersen Events Center.
Amber Brown led all scorers with her career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Brown added six rebounds to her final stat line.
Liatu King recorded her fourth 10-plus rebounding effort, with her 15 in 23 minutes of work, while Jayla Everett swished 15 points for Pitt (8-2).
For the fourth time this season, all 12 Pitt players to see the court grabbed at least one rebound.
Coppin State (4-4) saw Jaia Alexander score 16 points and grab nine rebounds. Aliyah Lawson scored 14 points and dished out six assists and Jalynda Salley skied for 10 rebounds.
It was a tough first quarter for both teams as neither was consistently able to put the ball in the basket.
Coppin State did not make a two-point shot in the period and shot 18.8% from the field. Pitt did not fare much better with its 26.7% mark.
Pitt was able to take a 9-3 lead after a second-chance opportunity led Mary Dunn to bury a corner three-point shot and that was when Lawson started to get into a rhythm from deep.
Lawson buried three trifectas and was responsible for all of her team’s first-quarter scoring.
After one quarter of play, the teams were tied at nine.
Though Pitt led by four points early on in the second quarter, Coppin State went on a 5-0 mini run, capped off by a Mossi Staples three-point basket, which placed the Eagles in front for the first time.
Everett was quick to respond with a triple of her own, but soon after picked up a foul, her second of the evening, meaning as was the case in the Virgin Islands, Pitt would be playing the remainder of its half without one of its leaders.
Pitt committed 10 first-half turnovers, but the miscues did not prove overly penal as Coppin State turned the errors into seven points.
A Brown jumper with 56 seconds remaining in the first half, proved to be the difference on the scoreboard as Pitt was in front 26-24 after 20 minutes.
Coppin State had a fast start to the third quarter, scoring the period’s first six points. The Eagles, which used six players, played with a sense of urgency coming out of the locker room against a Pitt team which to that point had utilized 11 players.
Down four, Pitt called a timeout, substituting Tracey Hueston in for the first time. Hueston made an immediate impact finding Everett for a Pitt basket and after grabbing a rebound, Dayshanette Harris went on the attack, converting an and-one play, which placed her team back in front.
When Everett found Rita Igbokwe in the post, Pitt led by three points, but then the defense began to falter.
Hueston picked up two fouls and Pitt converted multiple turnovers, which allowed Coppin State to run its offense with a shorter court.
Pitt trailed by four points just over halfway into the period, when the team began to raise its level of play.
Everett buried two three-point shots and Brown got to the free-throw line as she scored Pitt’s final seven points, and nine overall points in the quarter.
Pitt led 49-43 after three quarters.
Brown maintained her aggression in the fourth quarter, although Coppin State did make timely shots to stay in the contest.
Coppin State was held scoreless for the last 5:10 of regulation as Pitt closed the contest on a 10-0 run. Pitt also shot 46.9% from the field in the second half.
Pitt begins ACC play Friday evening against #2 NC State, a 6 p.m. contest held at the Petersen Events Center.