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Pitt women's basketball off to solid start despite depth issues

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I haven't gotten to much women's basketball this year, but with ACC play just around the corner, figured it was a good time to do an update.

Before the season began, head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio mentioned the team's lack of depth. First, there was the news that center Bubbles Anderson re-injured an ACL and would miss the entire year. Brittany Gordon also had a shoulder injury and would be out for an indefinite period of time (she still hasn't played yet this season). That left the Panthers with nine healthy players and it looked like it could be a long season.

But despite being shorthanded, the team is playing fairly well and is 8-3 on the season. That start, by the way, is the team's best since 2009-10.

Pitt lost the City Game to Duquesne, Princeton in their opener, and also dropped the game to their only ranked opponent, No. 23 James Madison. There have been bright spots, too, however. Most notably, Pitt has defeated their only two major-conference opponents, Michigan and Ohio State - the latter, on the road. And overall, the Panthers have won six of their past seven games.

Brianna Kiesel is having another big season and leads the team in scoring with 16 points per game. But she's had some help, too. Monica Wignot, a former volleyball player, has joined the team in part to the depth issues, and is having a big season. She has started all 11 games, leads the team in blocks, and is second in points per game (12.0) and field goal percentage.

There's no guarantee that the fast start will continue. Pitt was 6-4 through their first ten games last year and finished 11-20. Two years ago, they started 9-4, but finished 9-20. Still, it's great to see this year's team having so much success despite being shorthanded. There are some disappointing losses there, but overall, I think McConnell-Serio is doing a great job coaching this team.

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