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Jan. 1, 2012

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Cincinnati at No. 22 Pitt, January 1, 2012, Petersen Events Center

Cincinnati 66, No. 22 Pitt 63

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“We are disappointed with the outcome. Give Cincinnati credit, they made the shots. Even though we outrebounded them by a big number, it still seemed that we weren’t getting the rebounds we needed to get and the 15 offensive rebounds they got I think prolonged a lot of their possessions and hurt us in the long run. Our guys are playing hard, we worked hard this week and they are obviously disappointed.  They put their hearts out there this week in getting ready and just came up short. We have to keep battling, keep their heads and we have to get ready for the next one. We can’t make excuses. We need to find a way, we have the guys to get it done and we need to go forward and do that. That was the message I gave them in the locker room.”

On turnovers:

“Turnovers in the first half really hurt us. I think they got some transition baskets out of that. I emphasized being more aggressive in the second half and I think we did a good job attacking the press later on. Loose balls hurt us, not strong enough with the ball, not getting a rebound in our half-court offense; those are the things that really stood out. We didn’t make threes. I think we had a number of good looks we didn’t knock down and that caught up with us as well. I didn’t think we would have problems with the zone. We have seen a lot of zone and practiced against it, we just haven’t played well against it.”

On forced shots at the end of the game:

“Not good possessions, no question about it. I thought we got really good looks to start the game and in the second half we got to the lane but didn’t finish. We need to get to the basket more and get other guys shots.”

On missing Tray Woodall in late game situations:

“I think you need a guy like him the entire game. John Johnson had the ability to get in the lane at the end of the game and I thought we ran a good play to get him in the lane.  It’s tough putting a freshman in that situation but that is what we have and that is who we are right now. John Johnson did some good things, he had five assists and got some other guys shots. I think he’ll get better because of it.”

Quoting Pitt senior Ashton Gibbs:

On his ankle injury:

“It’s feeling alright. I just need to suck it up. It is what it is.”

On Pitt’s shooting struggles in recent games:

“Nothing has really happened. We’re just missing shots and not taking advantage of our opportunities. It’s something we just have to get in the gym and do. Shoot after practice, before practice. We need to get better and take advantage of what the defense is giving us. I think our defense is so-so at times, a little inconsistent. Today, we played decent defense. We didn’t get a lot of loose balls and rebounds and of course, [had] turnovers.”

On how Pitt has been able to win in different ways in the past and what is missing this year:

“We’ve just been missing shots. Not taking advantage of opportunities, and turnovers, especially today. We had too many turnovers and they capitalized on them. We made too many mistakes and they took advantage of them. That’s something we have to do.”

On moving forward:

“We’re still confident. It’s one loss. At the end of the day, we’ve lost three in a row now.  We need to practice harder and get back to it. We will be fine. No struggle, no rewards.  That’s something I always live by. We’re going through a struggle right now. At the end of the day, we can’t hang our heads. We need to have faith. This team is capable of winning and beating anybody.”

On what he can do as a senior to help motivate the team:

“We need to try to do a better job of being more vocal. There’s only so much you can do. At the end of the day, we just have to play harder. Today, Cincinnati just wanted it a little bit more. We need to go back to the drawing board and see what we did wrong and learn from that. As leaders, tell everybody to follow our lead, because we are going to try to get this right.”

Quoting Pitt senior Nasir Robinson:

On taking enough advantage of Cincinnati not having as much of an inside presence:

“I think we did a good job, attacking on the inside. We could have done a better job on defense. We were scoring, we just couldn’t get stops.”

On Cincinnati forward, Justin Jackson, playing well inside:

“He wanted it more. He kept playing hard, he kept fighting, never gave up. He was getting the offensive rebounds for them and kicking them back out. He wanted it more than us tonight.”

On starting 0-2 in the Big East:

“We need to keep fighting, keep practicing hard. We can’t hang our heads. We need to move on to the next game. Try to learn from our mistakes. We had some good practices this week, but we didn’t execute on some things tonight.”

Quoting Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin:

Opening statement:

“We’re extremely excited to come and get our first win at Pitt. I give all the credit to my players. They’re playing is unbelievable right now. I’m just proud of my team. Extreme effort at all times.”

On their rebounding and turning over the ball:

“I told our guys that 40 deflections will get us a victory, so we were going to have to steal rebounds that we weren’t going to get because of our size. If we turned them over 17 times we’d win the game and that’s what we did.”

On whose effort tonight was the most commendable tonight:

“A big key for us was keeping Justin Jackson in the game. I told him that he needed to play at least 25 minutes tonight or else we weren’t going to win. He had to focus on not fouling out.”

Quoting Cincinnati’s Jaquon Parker :

On making an early statement with his shooting:

“I was feeling really confident after shoot around this morning, so I felt like I could contribute tonight as long as I put up shots.”

Quoting Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick:

On being outrebounded:

“We’re not really big down low, so we focused on turnovers.”

On going 6-0 without their suspended players:

“It will be great to have them back because they will make us a lot better. With us having them back, we’ll be able to grab a lot more rebounds.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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