Looking to get back to winning ways after a blowout loss to NC State at home in their last game, Pitt was once again completely outmatched, getting dominated by No. 21 Notre Dame in a 85-59 loss on Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, I.N.
The Panthers (8-4, 0-2 ACC) struggled to take care of the basketball, turning the ball over a season-high 27 times, leading to 33 easy points for the Fighting Irish (10-2, 2-0 ACC). This loss also marks the first time that the Panthers have lost back-to-back games this season.
Notre Dame began the game on a 10-0 run, but Pitt managed to keep the game close, taking a 10-7 advantage into the second quarter to keep the lead at 7, 17-10.
After a layup from sophomore guard Taisha Exanor and a 3-pointer by junior guard Dayshanette Harris, the Panthers were within two and looked to take the game into their hands by getting the lead.
The Fighting Irish quickly made sure that wouldn’t be the case, going on a 13-2 run and then outscoring the Panthers, 12-7, to take a 42-24 lead into halftime.
Pitt did come out well in the third quarter, with a 15-10 advantage to cut the lead to 13 with 5:46 remaining, and forcing Notre Dame to take a quick timeout. Senior guard Jayla Everett was vital in this good start, as she made three 3-pointers to lead the Panthers.
Once again, the Fighting Irish put all hopes for a Panthers’ comeback to rest as they went on a 21-4 run to end the quarter up by 30, 73-43. 11 of the Panthers’ 27 turnovers came in the third quarter.
The Panthers did outscore the Fighting Irish in the fourth quarter, 16-12, but by that point, both teams had put in their reserves and the end result of the game was clear.
Notre Dame were led by first-year guard Olivia Miles, who had a team high and career high in points, assists and steals, with 21 points, 11 assists and 6 steals.
This game was also the first start by Harris, who has been harboring an injury that has delayed her from starting and playing more minutes full time. She scored seven points, grabbed eight rebounds and made six assists, but also had four turnovers against the Fighting Irish.
Pitt will take on Holy Cross this Wednesday, December 22nd, at 12:00 p.m., which will finish off their non-conference schedule before they go fully into ACC play.