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Jan. 30, 2011

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No. 2 Pitt 65, Rutgers 62, Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, N.J.


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon:


Opening comments:


“It was a great atmosphere, a great place to play. Rutgers is always a great place to play.  The student section did a great job, and I give them a hand for the energy and the atmosphere that they brought to place. This place has always been a great home court advantage for Rutgers.  We’ve been fortunate to get a lot of win here, but pretty much every single one was just like this. I really like how we made plays at the end; I really like how we made free throws at the end. I thought that we did what we wanted to do assignment wise defensively. Obviously it was a low scoring game, they did want they wanted to do defensively, and we did what we wanted to do defensively. At the end of the day we took care of the ball, we made free throws and we out rebounded them.”


On where Pittsburgh is as a team:


“We’re playing well and we’re getting some great performances, but I don’t think that we’re clicking like we should offensively yet. I think that they’re switching hurt us a little tonight. It was a physical game and we just stepped up and made big plays in a game that we did not shot it well. You’re not going to shoot it well every night, but we did the things that we wanted do like out rebound them.”


On how big was Ashton Gibbs three point shot at the end:


“In a game like this pretty much every shot we make is going to be big for us. It was big and we showed some patience.” 


Quoting Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice:


On the toughness of his team:


“We showed a lot of toughness, a lot of fight. Pitt keeps swinging, and they don’t stop. They’re as tough as they come as far as physicality and seeking out contact. What can I say, 28-for-35 from the free throw line is tough to beat.”


On his team:


“We had purpose and had toughness, but at times we got in our own way and didn’t find a way to win and Pitt did. They’re at a different stage; their guys found those simple plays, the winning plays.”


On what the plan was on the final possession:


“I wanted JB (James Beatty) to come around and shoot a three….They were face-guarding our main three point shooter, that’s very good scouting by them. That’s the small winning plays that sometimes people don’t recognize. I don’t know if James could have gotten the ball. Maybe I should have set a down screen to free it up, but it’s just what it was.”


On the last possession:


“The last possession, it’s about winning plays and understanding what you have to do to win a game like this. Somebody has to be put Ashton Gibbs and hit a big shot. I thought we had Dane Miller and Robert Lumpkins and some different guys step up and help us throughout the game. When it’s winning time in the BIG EAST somebody has to step up and take charge.”


On the improvement of his team:


“I think they’ve improved game-by-game. They have taken a better approach in practice and I think it’s showing in games….I told them you don’t get patted on the back anymore. This is the BIG EAST, you have to win games. They have to have that mentality, and I think I felt it a couple of times. There were times where I didn’t have to motivate or self-police in the huddle. The guys were getting on each other about offensive or defensive lapses and that’s part of maturing and improving as a team.”


On the environment at the Louis Brown Athletic Center:


“This is what I want the RAC to be like every single night.”


On the lift provided by Robert Lumpkins off the bench (12 points, three blocks in 17 minutes):


“He gave us a huge lift and again, Robert does those things in practice for us. He’s an offensive player. When we went small because our bigs weren’t giving us a whole lot, we made them chase us a little bit and Robert was pretty successful at that.”


Rutgers Senior Forward Jonathan Mitchell


On the loss:


“It hurts. This just goes to show you that we can play with anyone in the country when we come out and have the right attitude and the right mindset. This one hurts because we let this one slip away.”


On Pitt’s best player stepping up:


“You can write that. They’re the No. 2 team in the country. At the end of the day, they find ways to win. They did a great job down the stretch of making free throws and winning the game.”


On scratching and clawing to stay in the game:


‘That is our M.O. We did a pretty good job of doing that and it showed. We hung around and put ourselves in a position to win the game.”


On rebounding effort against No. 2 Pittsburgh:


“They’re bigger than us. They’re a little stronger than us. It hurt us because we are scrambling to help each other out and we are out of position sometimes. That’s when they get the second chance baskets. We had no choice but to foul.”


On Ashton Gibbs’ three at the end of the game:


“We were switching one through five.  Like I said, they’re a top-5 team in the country. They find ways to win games. They got it to their best player and he made a big shot.”


On depth and physicality of Pitt team:


“They’re extremely physical. I felt like Nasir Robinson was in my shorts all night. He did a great job of using his strength and using his body to stay attached to me. Maybe (they’re depth hurt us) because they’re rotating in and out. At the end of the day, the adrenaline you get from the crowd, you don’t really think about fatigue too much.”

Post Game Quotesheet

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