Pitt battled with No. 14 Maryland early on but fell behind in the third quarter and eventually suffered a blowout loss, 87-63 in the final game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Sunday.
The Panthers (5-2) lose their second straight game after they lost to the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday. They finish the Fort Myers Tip-Off with a 1-2 record, as they defeated the Towson Tigers in the opening match on Friday.
The loss to the Terrapins (6-2) is the 46th straight loss to a ranked team for the Panthers. That losing streak started with a loss to No. 7 Tennessee in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The loss also makes the Panthers 1-10 all-time against the Terrapins, with the only win coming at the Petersen Events Center in 2008.
Pitt kept it close in the first half and played solidly defensively. First-year guard Avery “Ace” Strickland hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 left in the second quarter to cut it to three points for Pitt, the closest Pitt came the rest of the way.
The Terrapins executed offensively far more effectively in the third quarter, as they separated themselves from the Panthers. They shot 10-17 from the floor, but an impressive 6-for-7 from 3-point range and a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.
Maryland senior guard Abby Meyers shot perfectly in the third quarter making all three of her shots, including two from behind the arc, and all four free throws for a team-high 12 points. Senior guard/forward Brinae Alexander shot 3-for-4 from deep and sophomore guard Shyanne Sellers made a 3-pointer and all four of her foul shots.
Pitt gave up 12 points off second chance opportunities and many points off some poor defense in the game. For a team that prides itself in their effort and defensive intensity, there were times that Pitt looked lost against Maryland, particularly in the second half. Maryland players passed the ball around with ease and played a fast-paced game that allowed them to score in the paint or pass it out for a 3-pointer.
The Terrapins outscored the Panthers 18-16 in the fourth quarter and finished off with the 24-point win.
Sophomore forward Maliyah Johnson led Pitt with 11 points, her second time scoring the most points in a game this season. Graduate guard Channise Lewis transferred from Maryland to Pitt last season. She scored nine points and dished out a team-high five assists in her first game against her former team.
The Panthers shot 36.4% from the field and committed 18 turnovers in the loss, which the Terrapins scored 22 points off of.
Pitt returns home for their next game against Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.