Pitt Panthers Lose To Ranked James Madison


Nov 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Brianna Kiesel (3) brings the ball up the court against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 85-64. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Harrisonburg, Va. – The Pitt Panthers women’s basketball team (2-2) suffered an 80-64 road defeat to No. 23 James Madison (4-0) on Sunday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.

Brianna Kiesel scored a team-high 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting, but the Panthers fell victim to JMU’s leading scorer Precious Hall who tallied a career-high 34 points. Hall was 12-of-23 for the game and made five of her eight 3-point attempts.

The Dukes dominated the glass, out-rebounding Pitt 52-30. JMU’s Lauren Okafor did most of that damage as she pulled down 19 rebounds (to go along with 15 points). The Dukes’ point guard Angela Mickens almost notched a triple-double with 12 points, eight rebounds and 13 assists. Pitt’s Cora McManus was the only player in double-figures for the Panthers with 10 points. Monica Wignot had nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Kiesel scored the game’s first four points in emphatic fashion by nailing a 3-pointer and getting fouled in the act. Freshman Stasha Carey would then score the next five points for the Panthers as they led 9-8 at the first media timeout.

The fouls mounted early for Pitt as James Madison was in the bonus just six minutes into the game. The Dukes gained a 19-13 lead on a baseline jumper from Toia Giggetts and increased that lead to 25-17 on a Destiny Jones jumper with 9:23 remaining in the half, forcing a Pitt timeout.

From the timeout though, the Panthers outscored JMU 9-4 and Aysia Bugg’s steal and layup got Pitt within three at 29-26 with 5:31 left. But Pitt had a hard time containing Hall who had 18 points at the break, and her first 3-pointer with 1:34 left gave the Dukes their biggest lead of the half at 41-30.

Kiesel would make her second triple which made it 41-33 in favor of JMU and that would be the halftime score. Kiesel had 11 at the break to lead Pitt. Both Carey and Yacine Diop had three fouls in the first half.

The Panthers would make just one of its first 12 field goals to open the second half and JMU came out of the locker room on a 10-2 run to seize a 51-35 lead. The Panthers CONTINUED to struggle locating Precious Hall and her back-to-back triples gave JMU a 61-44 lead with 11:11 remaining.

Hall would score 14 consecutive JMU points, including her fifth triple of the day which gave the Dukes a 67-46 advantage with 8:27 left. Kiesel however, would try to mount a comeback for the Panthers by scoring eight straight Pitt points, and the Panthers cut the JMU lead to 71-58 with 3:08 remaining.

That would be as close as the Panthers would get however. JMU would convert down the stretch and ice the game for the 16 point victory.

Kiesel was 7-for-8 at the free throw line and her 25 point outing came off the heels of her 27-point effort against Michigan. She also added seven rebounds and three assists today.

The Panthers return to the Petersen Events Center next Wednesday, Nov. 26, to host Radford at 2 p.m.