GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Pitt women's basketball team's first trip to the ACC tournament was a short one, as the Panthers lost, 72-58, to Wake Forest (15-15) in the first round tonight.
The Panthers’ season came to an end largely at the hands of Wake Forest forward Dearica Hamby, who finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds, both game highs.
Pitt (11-20) played the Demon Deacons close in the first half, but couldn’t keep pace in the second. Wake Forest went on a 14-2 run early in the second half to extend its lead, and the Panthers never seriously threatened.
The closest they came was when Brianna Kiesel's layup with 7:38 left cut the Demon Deacons’ lead to 58-49, but Hamby responded with a putback off her own missed layup to restore Wake Forest’s double-digit lead.
Forward Asia Logan led Pitt players with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Kiesel added 12 and five.
The Panthers trailed 36-30 at halftime, and never led in the first half. Wake Forest jumped out to a 8-0 lead, including five from Hamby.
Asia Logan eventually tied the game for Pitt with a three-point play with 5:14 left in the half to make it 20-20.
As Pitt started collapsing on defense to take away Hamby, though, that left point guard Chelsea Douglas open for long range shots.
With the score tied 24-24, the Demon Deacons ripped off a 10-0 run highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Douglas, who had 15 points in the first half. Pitt scored the final four points of the half to make it a six-point game at the break.
The loss ends Suzie McConnell-Serio’s first year as Pitt’s head coach.
Sam Werner: email@example.com and Twitter @SWernerPG