PITTSBURGH, PA. - After a close battle at "The Pete" on Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Panthers (5-3) came out on top against the Holy Cross Crusaders (2-6) in their first-ever matchup by a score of 56-50.
The Panthers trailed the Crusaders 23-24 going into halftime and during the third period, they widened the gap to a 9-point margin. But by the start of the fourth, they were down by only a basket from the arc. With the help of guard Brittany Gordon and forward Brenna Wise, Pitt outscored Holy Cross 21-9 during the fourth period alone helping the Panthers to claim victory.
Wise posted 14 points and 9 rebounds on the night. Guard Aysia Bugg and forward Kalista Walters added 12 points each and 10 rebounds combined. Although the Panthers came out on top, Pitt head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said there were many mistakes made tonight.
"I think it was an offensive struggle today for us in a lot of ways," McConnell-Serio said. "We weren't taking care of the basketball. We know we have a lot of work to do on both ends of the floor."
Pittsburgh went 2-15 on 3-point FGA with 20 turnovers while Holy Cross went 6-22 at the arc in addition to giving up the ball 14 times.
Holy Cross's Raquel Scott, who had a game-high of 23 points in her last game against Vermont, was out tonight due to an ACL injury. Lisa Mifsud added 14 points, and Infiniti Thomas-Waheed stepped up and contributed 13 points and four rebounds. However, the Crusaders couldn't hold the Panthers back during the second half of the game.
"I was very proud of the effort during the second half defensively," said McConnell-Serio. "Being able to dig deep and find a way to win this game today."
This was the first matchup the Panthers have held at home since November 20. They will have a quick break before they host Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.