Pitt dusts Seton Hill in exhibition
Agnus Berenato admits that her schedule as a basketball coach has often meant missing activities and events in her children’s lives.
On Tuesday, she couldn’t help but be there for daughter Clare’s first college basketball game.
Berenato was the opposing coach.
The Pitt women’s team played its one and only exhibition game of the 2009-10 season at Petersen Events Center last night, hosting Division II Seton Hill. The Griffins kept it close for most of the first half, and even led for a while, until Pitt went ahead with six minutes to go and finished the half with a 10-point lead.
The second half was more what was expected from a team with two consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances, as Pitt cruised to a 91-60 win against the Greensburg school.
The Panthers open their season against North Florida at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Petersen Events Center.
Clare Berenato, an Oakland Catholic grad and freshman guard for Seton Hill, played 14 minutes. It was the first time Agnus Berenato ever coached against any of her five children, and both mother and daughter said before the game that on the court, it was going to be all business.
But when Clare Berenato made her first basket with seven minutes left in the game, it wasn’t business. Her mother wasn’t the coach on the other bench. She was Clare’s mother, throwing a fist in the air and cheering for her girl’s first points as a college player.
“I was really excited, I got really fired up when I realized it was her. It was a nice little move,” Berenato said. “At first I was like ‘damn, I can’t believe we’re letting that person score like that.’ Then, I saw it was Clare, and I was like, ‘Yeah!’ I’m really, really proud of her.
“Had she not been playing Pitt, I wouldn’t have seen it. I’ve missed a lot in their lives, all my kids.”
It was also the first game for Pitt point guard Jania Sims in nearly two years. Sims, a redshirt junior, missed all of last season with various leg injuries and missed the second half of her freshman year because of academic ineligibility.
Sims finished with 14 points, while junior Shayla Scott led the team with 20 points and eight rebounds.
“I was really excited,” Sims said. “Coach ‘B’ said to calm down and play my game. I think when tip-off came, I was settled down, but it felt good to be back.”
Karen Price is a former freelancer.