The Pitt women’s basketball team visited Notre Dame, the No. 2 team in the nation, on Thursday night for the first ACC game of the Lance White era, and it was met with disastrous results, as the team suffered a 100-44 loss. It was the first time the Panthers gave up 100 points since Jan. 26, 2014, when they lost 111-67 o No. 3 Duke.
By the end of the first half, Pitt trailed Notre Dame 60-14. The Panthers’ 14 first-half points were the second-fewest the Fighting Irish ever allowed in ACC play. The only time they held a team to fewer points in a half was against Virginia Tech on Jan. 24, 2016. However, the Hokies were at least able to defend better than the Panthers, holding the Irish to a relatively respectable 80 points in that game. With Thursday’s loss, Pitt’s all-time record against Notre Dame dropped down to 3-27.
Junior guard Jasmine Whitney was Pitt’s top offensive contributor against Notre Dame, as she chipped in four assists and nine points despite an abysmal 3-for-15 shooting performance. Senior forward Kauai Bradley added eight points, two rebounds and an assist in a more efficient outing, and senior center Kalista Walters had nine rebounds and four points. However, no Pitt player was able to post a double-figure point total in the matchup.
Conversely, the Notre Dame trio of Marina Mabrey, Arike Ogunbowale and Jackie Young all had 16 points or more on the night, and none of them made less than 50 percent of their shots. That was an important factor in the lopsided outcome, as the Irish converted on 52 percent of their 65 shots as a team, while Pitt was only able to make 27 percent of its 64 shots from the field in the contest.
Despite the loss, the Panthers are still 9-6 overall and seem likely to improve on last year’s 10-20 record. With that said, the start of the ACC schedule has been a troublesome point for Pitt, which hasn’t logged more than four wins in conference play since the 2014-15 season. In that campaign, the Panthers went 9-7 in the ACC and 20-12 overall under former Pitt head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio.
Pitt will delve deeper into its conference slate next Thursday, as the Panthers will head to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face a currently undefeated NC State team.