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Jan. 25, 2012

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Providence at Pitt, January 25, 2012, Petersen Events Center

Pitt 86, Providence 74

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“First off, I thought our crowd was terrific again. I’m excited for them and for our guys because our guys worked so hard this week putting in extra time. They came in before practice, came in the morning and it’s good for the guys to be rewarded. It was good to see us take care of the ball and to have Tray (Woodall) come out and play like he did. It’s pretty amazing considering how long he’s been out, but 17 points and nine assists really says a lot. Council is a really good player and we talked and talked about him, but we still had trouble keeping him out of the lane. I’m really happy for our guys and we have to get ready for tomorrow. We have room to improve and we know that, but this is something we can build off of.”

On the play of Tray Woodall:

“It’s amazing he’s back and playing to this level so quickly. Eight weeks is eight weeks, but he was tremendous and I thought his play spread. Hopefully it will continue to spread when we get back to work tomorrow.”

On Ashton Gibbs’ hot shooting at the end of the first half:

“That was obviously good to see. He hit some tough shots, but they were off good passes. It’s just about taking good shots early, getting confident and in a rhythm and then that carries through. Putting up good shots early is critical, especially for shooters.”

On ending the eight game losing streak:

“We were focused on tonight and now we’re focusing on tomorrow. Obviously, we wanted a better record at this point, but we had to go through some things. What’s in the past is in the past. All we can control is what we put forth the rest of the way.”

Quoting Pitt’s Tray Woodall

On his return after his injury:

“I have a great group of guys that was able to find me in open areas so I could knock down my shot.  I had legs early.  My team did a great job of getting open and giving me the opportunity to get assists. Overall it was a great team victory and great to get a win under our belt.”

On how comfortable he felt as opposed to Saturday against Louisville:

“On Saturday I felt comfortable.  It was my first game and I didn’t have enough legs under me.  Tonight I went out there and played basketball.  I didn’t worry about my legs.  My teammates put me in great positions to knock down shots.”

On Ashton Gibbs’s shooting streak at the end of the 1st half:

“It was great to see him knock down shots early and see the rest of the team knocking down shots too.  We shot the ball well from the 3-point line.”

On keeping the lead:

“At halftime we talked about maintaining the lead and putting in more defensive effort to sustain the lead.”

Quoting Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs

On his shooting streak at the end of the 1st half:

“I was taking what the defense gave me.  I was feeling it.  Once one shot went in I felt good and continued to take the rest of the shots.  They gave me open opportunities and I took advantage of them.  My teammates did a good job of finding me and setting screens as well.  Talib Zanna set screens and Tray Woodall found me a lot.  It was definitely a team effort.  Take advantage of the opportunities that the defense gives you.”

On the team’s offense:

“We did a good job of moving the ball and moving without the ball as well and passing.  It’s something that we know we are capable of doing and have to continue to do.”

On having Tray Woodall back:

“There is definitely more space.  He is an extra playmaker.  At the same time he is a scoring option too so the defense has to respect him.  It opens up opportunities for me.  It’s great to have him back.  The best is yet to come from him and his team.”

On the losing streak:

“We have to hold our heads high now but we have to move on.   We have to prepare for practice tomorrow to get ready for Georgetown Saturday and carry everything over.”

On missing his first couple of shots:

“I took advantage of what the defense gave me and my teammates found me.  I kept shooting and they finally started falling.  As a shooter you have to stay confident no matter if the shot goes in or not.”

Quoting Pitt’s Nasir Robinson

On offensive rebounding:

“We wanted to protect the glass.  We hit the glass every game.”

On getting the win:

“It feels good to finally get the win.  We’re going to take the win and keep working in practice to get ready for Georgetown. We’re going to keep working and take it game by game.”

Quoting Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley

Opening Statement:

“We are not going to win too many games.  Our young men are continuing to battle. We are not going to win many games giving up 80-plus points to anybody in our league.  We improved defensively.  I give credit to Pitt for winning at home. Woodall makes a big difference for them.  They shot well from beyond the three point arc.  That was due to our lack of recognition.  Half of it was due to them making shots.  We are two teams (Providence and Pitt) trying to find an identity in our league, this year at least.  We came up short.  My team fought.  We will continue to fight and try to look forward to our next game.  I credit Pittsburgh.  They did a good job.  I look forward to playing in our next game.

On Providence’s declining defense:

“That would be an understatement.  We are sprinting back.  It could be a lot of different things, a lack of detail, a lack of focus, we are going through scouting and maybe our guys are tired.  I’m not seeing a team determined to get stops.  I’m seeing a team trying to outscore people.  We are not talented enough yet but we will be.  We have to fight what we are going through.”

On Ashton Gibbs’ shooting spree:

“It was the game.  That was the game.  There was a four minute stretch where he made two or three threes.  I credit him.  He did a good job.  That was the game.”

On switching his starting five:

“No we have to be more physical.  We wanted to try to have a more physical line up in the game.  When you play Pittsburgh you have to play against their physicality.  That was the biggest reason for that, try to be bigger.”

On Tray Woodall’s performance:

“Anytime you play at home, no.  He is a Big East player.  He is on a very good team.  I am not surprised when people make shots when they have played in games.  If you are on the court, I expect you to be a good player.”

On having Tray Woodall back:

“They are a different team.  Everyone is in their roles.  Everyone is in their comfort zones.  Even watching them (Pitt) on tape and then watching them play, they are a good basketball team when he is on the floor.”

Quoting Providence guard Bryce Cotton

On Providence’s lack of defense:

“We need to focus.  We need to concentrate more and take practice and what we go through more seriously.”

On Pitt’s shooting beyond the arc:

“That is what happens in basketball when you have defensive breakdowns.  You get punished for it.”

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