The Cavaliers shot 27% from the floor and lost their sixth-straight game to the Pitt Panthers, who were previously winless in ACC play
Last season, a victory over the Pitt Panthers was one of just two victories Virginia picked up in ACC play as the Cavaliers went 2-14 and 5-22 in the final season of Tina Thompson's tenure at UVA. On Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, the Panthers flipped the script.
Although the Panthers came into the game winless in conference play at 0-11 in the ACC, they were able to take advantage of an ice-cold shooting performance from the Cavaliers, who suffered their sixth-straight loss as Virginia fell at Pittsburgh 60-51 on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center.
Camryn Taylor, London Clarkson, and Taylor Valladay got things going for the Cavaliers early in the game, with Taylor leading with four points to give Virginia a 9-5 lead. From there, Pitt responded with a 9-0 run until Taylor Valladay hit her second three of the afternoon. After scoring a career-high 30 points against Pitt last season, Valladay was looking for the ball early. After the end of the first quarter, Pitt led 16-12.
In the first minutes of the second quarter, Virginia forced three Pitt turnovers and Taylor Valladay and Yonta Vaughn scored to propel the Cavaliers on a 5-0 run. However, Pitt’s Channise Lewis buried two straight three-pointers in response, forcing UVA to call a timeout after trailing 22-17.
The Cavaliers missed seven field goals in a row, allowing Pitt to jump out to its largest lead at 29-22 heading into halftime. The Hoos were 3/16 (19%) from the field in the second quarter.
Despite outrebounding the Panthers 29-19 in the first half, Virginia shot just 7/32 (22%) from the floor, while Pitt was 9/29 (31%) from the field and 6/17 (35%) from three. Additionally, Pitt had 19 bench points in the first half, while Virginia had zero.
McKenna Dale executed a four-point play in the third quarter to cut the deficit to three. On the next possession, Dale drained another three-pointer, capping a personal 7-0 run to tie the game at 31.
In response, Dayshanette Harris had an even more impressive run, scoring ten-straight points to give Pitt a 43-31 lead. Harris scored 12 of her 14 points in the third quarter, and 12 out of her team’s 18 points in the period. The Panthers led 46-37 going into the fourth quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, Pitt had 31 bench points and Virginia had zero. With regular starter Sam Brunelle out with an injury, Virginia’s team depth had already taken a hit, but the lack of efficiency off the bench was apparent and costly.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers put together a 7-0 run to pull within five points, but that is the closest they would get. While Virginia shot a game-high 35% from the field in the fourth quarter, there was too much of a gap to close, and Pitt executed successfully from the free throw line, making 9/12 attempts in the fourth quarter.
Pitt earned a 60-51 win, marking its first conference win of the season (1-11) and giving the Panthers an 8-15 record overall. Meanwhile, Virginia fell to 14-10 on the season and 3-10 in the ACC. The Cavaliers have lost six games in a row and eight of their last nine.
Pitt had four players in double figures, led by Dayshanette Harris with 14. Camryn Taylor had 14 points and nine rebounds for Virginia.
Virginia returns home to face Louisville on Thursday night at JPJ, hoping to get the season back on track.
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