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Pitt Women's Basketball

Pitt Women’s Make One Three-Pointer in 68-66 OT Loss To Ball State

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PITTSBURGH — It was a rough night shooting for Pitt women’s basketball (6-4), as they made only one three-pointer in the 68-66 overtime loss to Ball State (7-2). The team was boosted by strong performances from a career-night for Amber Brown, but ultimately couldn’t recover from their three-point woes.

“I thought we took some rushed shots,” said head coach Lance White on the team’s three-point shooting. “We got to be a rhythm team that shoots shots that are open. We just couldn’t find the bucket and you got to.”

Things started out strong for Pitt in the first quarter as they proceeded to take a 12-2 lead in just the first four minutes of the game, shooting 4-for-5 during this stretch alongside a pair of free throws. That was the only stretch of scoring in the first quarter for Pitt, as they then shot 0-for-8 in the last six minutes and turned the ball over six times.

Ball State, meanwhile, took advantage of the Pitt miscues and went on a 14-0 run. Overall, they shot 6-for-15 (40%) in the first quarter, numbers that weren’t significantly better than Pitt’s overall stat line of 4-for-11 (36.4%) and despite having the same number of turnovers (six) and being out rebounded 11-6, they entered the second quarter with a slight 16-12 lead.

“I thought at the very first of the game, we did exactly what we needed to do,” said White. “And then in the next four minutes or so, we couldn’t score. We missed a lot of bunnies and easy possessions that you have to knock down to keep the momentum.”

The quarter was controlled by bigs for both teams as Pitt’s Liatu King (eight) and Ball State’s Thema Dis Agustsdottir (seven) had more than half of the game’s 28 points. Both had played almost the full quarter, with only King sitting out for approximately one minute of action. The bigs shining in the first quarter set the tone for the game, with multiple forwards from both teams shining one the day.

In the second quarter, Pitt was able to take their second lead of the game at 19-18 after starting the quarter on a 6-2 run. The two teams traded shots after that though, and Ball State was able to retake the lead before halftime at 29-26. It was all bigs in the first half, with King leading the scoring with 13 points and Brown almost having a double-double with six points and seven rebounds. Agustsdotti led Ball State in scoring with 11.

“I try to come into every game with just ‘what can I do to help the team’,” said Brown. “That’s kind of just my mindset, whatever the team needs me to do.”

The third quarter was all Ball State as they extended their lead to as much as 13 (43-30) after an 8-0 run midway through the quarter. Pitt never getting within a basket of the MAC school but did bring the margin back down to four points (47-43) right before the end of the third quarter. Two Ball State three-pointers however gave them a 10-point lead (53-43) going into the fourth quarter.

Three-point shooting was something that Pitt struggled with all game. While not known as a three-point threat of a team, they only had a 36.4% percentage heading into today’s game, Pitt didn’t make a single three-pointer in the first three quarters. They went 0-for-11 from three-point range in those quarters including 0-for-7 in the third quarter alone. They didn’t make their first three-pointer until early in the fourth quarter when Maliyah Johnson connected from the left corner.

Despite only connecting on a single three-pointer, Pitt was able to go on a 10-0 run in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. This tied things up at 53-53. Brown was big in the quarter for Pitt as she shot 8-for-8 with five rebounds in the quarter. She finished with an incredible stat line of 20 points and 17 rebounds. Neither team was able to gain a footing in the fourth quarter and the game entered overtime tied 60-60.

“I think I always have to do more,” said Brown. “I always want to do more, so I put my teammates in a better position so it takes the stress off of them and they can just play. I don’t mind.”

In overtime, Pitt jumped out to a 64-60 lead off of baskets from Brown and King who were the top performers on the day, King finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Ball State though would go on a 7-0 run to take a 67-64 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Ball State finished the day with a 68-66 victory.

Pitt moves to 6-4 on the year and drop a tough loss right before conference play starts. Pitt’s next game will be against Louisville this upcoming Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at home.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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