PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brianna Kiesel had 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead Pittsburgh past No. 8 North Carolina 84-59 on Thursday night.
Monica Wignot added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Stasha Carey scored 17 for the Panthers (11-4, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) as they beat a ranked opponent for the first time in nearly four years.
Allisha Gray led North Carolina (14-2, 1-1) with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Stephanie Mavunga, the reigning conference player of the week, scored 12.
Pittsburgh took the lead 5 minutes into the game on Wignot’s 3-pointer and never trailed again.
The Panthers led 27-26 before ending the first half on a 13-4 run that gave them a 40-30 lead at the break. Kiesel hit a step-back jumper as the shot clock expired with seconds left in the half to give Pitt the double-digit lead.
Pittsburgh opened the second half on a 14-4 run and extended its lead to 24 points.
North Carolina responded with a 17-4 spurt that cut the Tar Heels’ deficit to 11 with less than seven minutes to play, but they came no closer as the Panthers pushed the margin back up to 23 in the final minutes.
The Panthers nearly beat No. 7 Louisville on Sunday. They led for most of the game and held a two-point edge with 3 minutes to play before the Cardinals closed on an 8-0 run for a 63-57 victory.
Pitt held North Carolina to 30.8 percent shooting while hitting on 38.7 percent of its own attempts.
North Carolina: The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Tar Heels.
Pittsburgh: The victory matched Pittsburgh’s win over No. 8 Maryland on Dec. 7, 2008, for the highest-ranked opponent the Panthers have ever beaten. It was also their first victory over a ranked team since beating No. 14 West Virginia on Feb. 5, 2011.
North Carolina hosts Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Pittsburgh plays at Florida State next Thursday.
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