PITTSBURGH (AP) — Maddy Westbeld and Sonia Citron scored 13 points each and No. 10 Notre Dame used a huge first-quarter push to race by Pittsburgh 83-43 on Sunday.
The Fighting Irish (22-4, 13-3 ACC) went on an 18-3 burst over the final 6:47 of the opening frame to build a 16-point lead that the Panthers (10-17, 3-13) never really threatened.
Ten days after avoiding an upset at home against Pitt and three days after Olivia Miles hit a game-winning jumper at the buzzer to top Louisville, the Fighting Irish made sure no such heroics were necessary this time around.
Miles got off to a rough start, missing seven of her first eight shots before recovering a bit in this second half to finish with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Miles’ teammates had little trouble picking up the slack. Citron knocked down all three 3-pointers she took in the first half and Notre Dame’s defense suffocated the Panthers when it mattered.
Pitt shot just 28% (16 of 57) from the field overall and missed 10 straight shots in the first quarter as Notre Dame took control. Amber Brown led the Panthers with 13 points but Pitt’s bid for its first three-game winning streak in ACC play since 2015 vanished quickly.
The Panthers’ 43 points were a season low and 21 below their average coming in.
Notre Dame: The Irish avoided any sense of a letdown after the close call against the Cardinals and will head into the final week of the regular season with a chance at winning the ACC regular season title.
Pitt: The Panthers have shown progress after a miserable start in conference play but were overwhelmed early by the Irish, a step back considering how well Pitt played in South Bend in a 69-63 loss to the Irish on Feb. 9.
The Irish could tick up a spot in the poll on Monday after No. 9 Duke lost this week, though it’s uncertain how much Notre Dame be rewarded for winning a pair of games it was expected to win.
Pitt honored former star Jennifer Bruce by retiring Bruce’s No. 12 at halftime. Bruce scored 2,295 points during her career with the Panthers from 1981-85, the second-highest total in program history.
Bruce is the second women’s player to have her number retired by the Panthers. Pitt retired all-time leading scorer Lorri Johnson’s No. 24 in 2019.
Notre Dame: Hosts Georgia Tech on Thursday night in its home finale before a rematch against Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center next Sunday.
Pitt: Welcomes Syracuse to the Petersen Events Center on Thursday before finishing up the regular season at N.C. State next Sunday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25