Robinson helps Marquette win fifth straight conference opener

MILWAUKEE -- Angel Robinson scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half as Marquette upset Pittsburgh (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) 66-55 on Saturday night in the Big East opener for both teams.

Lauren Thomas-Johnson added 16 and tied her career high with four 3s as Marquette (10-4) won its fifth straight conference opener.

Jania Sims led Pittsburgh (11-3) with 20 points and Sophronia Sallard added 11 for the Panthers. Taneisha Harrison, the Panthers' scoring leader with an average of 14.5 points, went scoreless and fouled out with 31.8 seconds to play.

Leading by four, Marquette opened the second half with a 12-3 run sparked by Robinson's six points. She capped the run with a driving layup off a turnover and gave the Golden Eagles a 47-32 lead with 9:27 to play. Shawnice Wilson's layup snapped the surge at 9:03 and gave the Panthers their first points in more than seven minutes, but Jocelyn Mellen and Paige Fiedorowicz each scored to put Marquette back ahead by 14.

Sims' 3-pointer with 2:14 to play made it 56-47, but Thomas-Johnson, who was fouled as Pittsburgh pressed the inbound play, sank both free throws to push the lead back to 11.

Sims cut it to nine with a basket in close with 1:01 to go, but Marquette made six free throws down the stretch.

Chelsea Cole grabbed 21 rebounds for Pittsburgh and tied the career high she set Dec. 29 against Duquesne.

Marquette outscored the taller frontline of the Panthers 16-8 in the paint, but it took Thomas-Johnson's 14 points, including 12 on 4 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc, to help the Golden Eagles build a 33-29 lead over Pittsburgh at the half. Marquette never led by more than seven as Sims' 12 points kept Pittsburgh close.

Marquette outshot Pittsburgh by 42.9 percent to 26.8.