Backyard Brawl Returns to Women's Hoops

West Virginia’s women’s basketball team has joined the list of Mountaineers programs adding Pittsburgh back to the schedule in the coming years.

On Thursday, WVU athletics director Shane Lyons announced that the Backyard Brawl will return to the Coliseum for the upcoming season, with the first meeting coming on Dec. 7, 2017.

It’s great to have Pitt back on the schedule,” WVU women’s basketball coach Mike Carey said. “It has always been a rivalry and we always had tremendous games. It’s great to get it going again. We’re excited about it and I am sure Coach [Suzie] McConnell-Serio is excited about it as well. This will be fantastic for the fans, student-athletes and women’s basketball.”

McConnell-Serio took over as the Panthers head coach in the 2013-14 season, so she has yet to coach in a Backyard Brawl, but as a Pittsburgh native, she welcomes the return of an old program rivalry.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, the Pitt-WVU games were always monumental in terms of intensity,” McConnell-Serio said in a statement. “Mike Carey is a fantastic coach and competing against his high-caliber program will do great things for us in terms of ACC preparation and beyond.”

The two teams have played a total of 44 games in a series that dates back to 1975, with WVU owning a 26-18 advantage, including winning each of the last three meetings and five of the final six as members of the Big East Conference.

“Since I returned to West Virginia University as athletic director, my goal has been to reconnect our teams with our natural rivals,” Lyons said. “This is a great opportunity for both West Virginia and Pitt to renew a fantastic women’s basketball rivalry. I want to thank Pitt Athletic Director Heather Lyke, Coach McConnell-Serio and coach Mike Carey for renewing this exciting rivalry. We look forward to hosting the Panthers here at the WVU Coliseum this December.”

Pitt finished the 2016-17 season with a 13-17 overall record, going 4-12 in ACC play, while the Mountaineers went 24-11 and claimed its first Big 12 conference tournament championship.

The Backyard Brawl will move to Pittsburgh in the 2018-19 season with a specific date yet to be announced.

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