The Pittsburgh Panthers women’s basketball team got the monkey of their back with their first win of 2012 on Sunday. Against the Siena Saints on Tuesday the winning continued as the Panthers became aggressive and earned the win by a final score of 75-50.
Leading the way for the Panthers was Asia Logan, who had 16 points and has scored in double figures for all three games thus far. Mars, Pa., native Lily Grenci led Siena with 14 points.
“It was a great win,” Head Coach Agnus Berenato said. “I’m really excited about it. I’m proud of our team because we were able to come out and really embrace playing in the Field House. I love playing in here, it’s like a throwback. I thought that we really had a good team effort. I thought that Ashlee Anderson played really well. She shot 100 percent. I thought Asia Logan was amazing and I thought that the play of Brianna Kiesel was tremendous. She was the glue for us today and I thought she did a really great job.”
From the tip-off, there was a clear difference in the Panthers approach of play. The offense was moving quicker and more aggressively. Shots were falling, and in just a couple of minutes the Panthers had converted as many 3-pointers, two, as they had in their win Sunday against William & Mary.
“I think playing aggressively is so important,” Marquel Davis, who scored 12 points on her 20th birthday said. “For me, I really focus on defense and I think when the whole team focuses on defense, they create a lot of easier opportunities for our offense, so playing aggressive is a big key.”
The Panthers were led in the first half by Ashlee Anderson who scored 11 points. Brianna Kiesel and Asia Logan each added nine in the half. The Panthers shot 53.8 percent from the floor, while their defense shut down the Saints and limited them to 28.1 percent from the floor.
Up 39-26 at the half, it was almost an identical lead to the lead the Panthers could not maintain against Youngstown State, however this time Pitt was ready and pulled away from their opponent.
As the game wore on, the Panthers were able to play all of their active players, allowing Brianna Brizzi and Bridget Higgins to see the court.
“When we have everyone scoring, it makes the game a lot more fun,” Brianna Kiesel said.
Berenato noted that they weren’t just on the floor, but they were doing well on the defensive side of the ball.
“I want everyone to play every game it’s just sometimes it’s not possible,” Berenato said. “I think that our walkons give us so much every day. They worked harder than our regular players today because they were the scout team. They work so hard so I want them to play. I want them to get in games. They did a great job for us. They were defensive. They got up and down the floor and they gave good effort.”
At 2-1, the Panthers have played all three of their games and Berenato says it was intentional.
“There was a method to our madness,” Berenato said. “Last year we were on the road a lot and we were really really young so this year we said we are going to have home games that are back-to-back-to-back because later in the year when you play tournaments that’s how you play and the kids have to get used to focusing in on different scouts. It’s all about scouting and you only have one practice in between. To have three games in five days is hard for a veteran team but we’re trying to act like this is a veteran team. We’re trying to teach them how to grow up quickly.”
The Panthers are now 2-1 on the season and will face Wagner next Tuesday at 7 p.m. It is unknown at this moment if the game will be at the Petersen Events Center.