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Pitt women’s basketball ousted from ACC Tournament in loss to Clemson

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Pitt players huddle during a break in play against Clemson in the 2023 ACC Tournament in Greensboro. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)
Pitt players huddle during a break in play against Clemson in the 2023 ACC Tournament in Greensboro. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Amber Brown scored 16 points, and Dayshanette Harris chipped in 12, but it wasn’t enough to extend Pitt’s women’s basketball’s stay at the ACC Tournament.

The 15th-seeded Panthers fell to 10th-seeded Clemson on Wednesday at the Greensboro Coliseum, 71-53, bringing Pitt’s 2022-23 season to an end.

Brown shot 5-of-12 from the floor and also had four rebounds and two assists. Harris added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. The senior duo were key parts of the magic Pitt captured in this tournament three years ago – when the Panthers beat Notre Dame – but they and their teammates couldn’t replicate that this week.

“You take the second quarter out of it today, and I thought we played pretty good basketball, but that second quarter we just couldn’t make a shot and couldn’t stop them,” fifth-year Pitt head coach Lance White said. “That pretty much sealed our fate for what we were able to do.”

Pitt closed the first quarter with a 16-14 lead, in large part thanks to Channise Lewis, who had six points in the opening 10 minutes. But then Clemson got rolling and opened the second quarter on a 17-4 run to take a commanding advantage. The Tigers went on to lead by as much as 18 points in the second quarter while Pitt shot just 1-of-18 from the floor in the period.

“I thought we got a little stagnant on offense and didn’t move it,” White said. “And I thought we still turned down some shots that we needed to shoot.”

The hole the Panthers dug themselves in the second quarter proved to be too deep to climb out of. Clemson grew its lead to 19 points in the third quarter and Pitt never got within two possessions of the lead.

Simply put, Clemson made more shots than the Panthers did. The Tigers shot 44% from 3-point land while Pitt made 24% of its shots from deep. Clemson tallied 22 assists on 26 made baskets while Pitt had 10 dimes on 19 buckets. And Clemson turned 17 offensive rebounds in 26 second-chance points.

“Today, in the second quarter, I just think we let offense faze us,” Brown said. “Clemson went on a run. They couldn’t miss in the second, it felt like.”

Brown is set to graduate in April with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She told Pittsburgh Sports Now that she isn’t sure yet if she’ll use her fifth year of eligibility.

Clemson was powered by a season-high 19 points and seven rebounds from Hannah Hank. The Tigers move on to face seventh-seeded North Carolina on Thursday. Barring an insane and unlikely run in Greensboro, the Tigers will miss the NCAA Tournament and instead will likely compete in the WNIT.

“I just have so much respect for Lance and Pitt and how hard those guys play,” Clemson coach Amanda Butler said. “We knew it was going to be a tough, physical battle.”

Pitt, meanwhile, will head home after another season ended with disappointment to reassess and reevaluate. It was the eighth straight losing season for the Panthers and the third straight year they’ve lost on the first day of the ACC Tournament. Pitt was the only ACC team this season that garnered zero All-ACC honors.

“I’m so proud of this team, especially this group of seniors that have been so resilient all season long, to battle and fight,” White said. “We’re not defined by a record, but they’re going to be great young women in the world, and I’m really excited to be a part of their lives.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Kowboygoc
Kowboygoc
1 year ago

Heather needs to take a hard look at the direction that the women’s program is at. This program is horrible and brings the whole h2p down. Needs new direction. Needs better talent and the will to win. Something has got to change real fast. Embarrassing performances yet again.

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