Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Agnus Berenato gave UConn Huskies assistant women's basketball coach Shea Ralph her start in college coaching. I'm sure Berenato wishes she never left.
It's been a long while since the Panthers have won a Big East game. And on Tuesday night, the UConn women extended that Big East losing streak to 34 games with a 76-36 win in front of 9,428 in the XL Center regular season finale in Hartford, CT.
The Huskies improve to 26-2 (13-1 Big East) while the Panthers fall to 9-18 (0-14).
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis once again the led way for the Huskies with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds to go along with five assists. Breanna Stewart's improvement from her slump continued as she had 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four blocked shots and three steals.
Stefanie Dolson added 14 points and seven rebounds while Kelly Faris had 11 points and fell one rebound short of a double-double with nine. Bria Hartley led the Huskies with six assists.
Despite shooting 4-of-22, Brianna Kiesel led the Panthers with 11 points and six rebounds. Asia Logan was the only other member of Pitt to hit double-digits with 10 points.
This was a sloppy game at the start as both teams had trouble holding on to the ball.
Pitt kept it close early on as they held an 8-7 lead before nine straight points by the Huskies allowed them to take control. With a 24-11 lead later in the half, they closed out the half on a 13-2 run.
It was more of the same in the second half.
Honestly, despite the 40 point difference in the score, this wasn't UConn's best game.
As I had said both teams were sloppy and normally while UConn does commit turnovers, they usually take care better of the ball. Maybe it was playing down to their opponent. You could see the frustration on Geno Auriemma's face.
But as things settled down, UConn got into a nice rhythm. Stewart continued to play more aggressively. You can really tell she's been working her tail off in practice. She's used to being the dominant player but this is a whole nother level of basketball.
This could be the last time these two teams meet with Pitt leaving for the ACC along with Syracuse next year. I'm pretty sure Pitt is just happy with that not having to face UConn anymore.
The Huskies finish out their season with two road games.
The first one comes on Saturday at high noon when they travel to Tampa, FL for a matchup with the South Florida Bulls.
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Pittsburgh Panthers @ UConn Huskies 2.26.13 box score
Here are the postgame quotes from UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.
Here are UConn's postgame notes.
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photo credit: john woike – hartford courant (no. 6 in gallery)