Pittsburgh, Pa - Senior Chelsea Cole (Lumberton, N.J.) tallied 15 points and 13 rebounds to help lead Pitt women's basketball to a 78-58 victory over Youngstown State on Friday at the Petersen Evens Center. Cole recorded her seventh double-double in her last eight outings.
The contest marked the second-straight year the Panthers held `School Day', opening its doors to middle school children throughout the Pittsburgh area.
Senior Brittaney Thomas (Montgomery, Ala.) paced Pitt (1-0) with 18 points while backcourt classmate Jania Sims (Newark, N.J.) had 16 points, 12 of those coming in second half. Senior Taneisha Harrison (Bowie, Md.) chipped in 14 points and six boards.
After a slow first half, Pitt found momentum in the second stanza. With the contest knotted at 46-46 with 16:20 to play, the Panthers erupted for the game's next 17 points. Sims and Thomas ignited the run with six points each while Harrison assisted on three of the eight field goals over the seven-minute span.
Cole closed the 17-0 spurt with a short jumper in the paint to make it 63-46 with 9:11 remaining.
The Penguins whittled the lead to 15 on the next possession, but could get no closer the rest of the way. Cole and Thomas answered with back-to-back buckets to push ahead, 67-52. The Panthers led by as many as 25.
In the first half, Pitt miscues allowed Youngstown State to keep the contest close. The Penguins scored 16 points off of 12 Panthers' first half turnovers. After Pitt went ahead, 15-9, YSU used a 10-3 run to take its first lead at 19-18 with 10:30 showing. Brandi Brown, who led all scorers with 20 points, had two 3-pointers over the span.
Shayla Scott (Monroeville, Pa.) had nine points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Panthers. The senior guard was on pace to record Pitt's first triple double since 2002, but foul trouble drew her to the bench in the second half.
With the victory, Pitt improves to 27-10 all-time in season openers.