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Feb. 13, 2010

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


No. 5 West Virginia at No. 25 Pitt, February 12, 2010, Petersen Events Center

Pitt 98, West Virginia 95 (3OT)


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“I’m very proud of our guys. We found a way to win. We didn’t play great, but we played with a lot of heart and character. I’m proud of our university. I thought our students handled things well. It was a good win against a good team. I think the player that stood out for us was Travon Woodall. He was key for us tonight. He played well, which was big.  We battled. They are very good. I think that we can become very good and we will continue to work.”


On Travon Woodall’s play:


“He didn’t do anything flashy. He defended well, he played solid on offense. He didn’t force anything. He let things come to him. He’s a freshman, I think people forget that. Their freshmen hardly played. We want so much out of our young guys. Most teams aren’t playing their freshmen. He played very well, like a veteran. I’ve really been on him, pushing him. I think he can be very good. When he plays well we can get more rest for Brad, Jermaine and Ashton. I think that’s key. It gives us another ball handler and decision maker. We have a lot of guys playing many minutes for their first time, they will get better.”


On playing against West Virginia’s 1-3-1 zone:


“It changed our rebounding, obviously. We emphasized rebounding all week, and didn’t get it done until the end of the game. Our zone gave them rebounds too. I think that allowing offensive rebounds is a weakness of a zone defense. You can hurt a 1-3-1 with your rebounding. That’s what we did. It turned the tide in a big way. I’m very proud of our team. I hope that we can learn something and build from this.”


On what we learned from the game:


“I think that we can be really good. All we’ve heard is how young and inexperienced we are. I tell our guys that those things don’t matter. We need to play older than we are. Our freshmen need to not play like freshmen. That’s been our rallying cry and what we believe. We have to keep building. I think that this team more than any other can get better on February 12. That’s our mentality. We need to continue to develop and grow.”


On the atmosphere:


“I’m proud of our students and our fans. I think that our fans really like this group and have been surprised. Now they want more from us. We want more. I know we are better than how we played tonight. Our fans were terrific. I know how fortunate we are. I think that we represented the university very well tonight on national television. “


On the play of J.J. Richardson:


“We have different guys that can do different things. We are watching them grow. I think that they are developing quite nicely. J.J. is playing well. Dante Taylor is playing well. Gary McGhee is continuing to get better. All three are working hard to get better. All will be very good players for us.”


On how the team kept its composure when Brad Wannamaker and Jermaine Dixon fouled out:


“I think that we did a better job at keeping our composure than some of our fans did. When those guys went out, you had to wonder? We found a way. I think we used Gilbert Brown more. He came up big. He made some big plays down the stretch, which were key for us. We had almost everyone in foul trouble. I thought that we were going to run out of guys, but we found a way.”


On defending WVU’s Devin Ebanks:


“I think he was getting a lot of points off rebounds.  They started to go more to Da’Sean Butler in the post. I think we were fouling other guys more than him. They seemed to be at the foul line endlessly. We tried playing zone and that didn’t work. .We started to do better with our defense.”


On Pitt’s bench outscoring West Virginia 34-7:


“Gilbert Brown is one of our bench players who went in two or three minutes into the game. He’s going to score for us. We got six points out of Dante Taylor and J.J. Richardson. We need that. I think at times that is something that we have missed. I think that one of our strengths is our balance. Gilbert Brown and Brad Wannamaker combined for 40 points. That’s 40 more points than they scored last game. I think that stands out a bit.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown:


On the game:


“We didn’t think that we could top the win against Louisville, but we did.  For me, it was the greatest comeback Pitt win I’ve ever been a part of. It tops the game when Ronald Ramon hit the three-pointer at the buzzer.  Coach Dixon kept pushing us. At halftime, when we were going to win, even when we were down by six with a minute left. Coach just kept pushing and we believed we could do it and that’s what pushed us through.”


On Gary McGhee:


“There’s a presence down low with Gary McGhee. Tonight, he came up big for us. During the stretches when we were struggling, he needed to establish himself down low and when he can do that, he’s effective and contributes points and rebounds. Tonight, he came up big on the boards when we needed it.”


On the win:


“This type of win gives us an emotional and a confidence boost. Early on in Big East play, we were rolling off to a five win start and we believed that we could contend for a regular season Big East Championship. But, we hit a little bit of a slide and we battled through it. It shows a lot of character of how we fought in practice in order to get back to this point.”


Quoting Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs


On Travon Woodall:


“I thought that Travon was the key to the game tonight. He’s a creator and a playmaker. He came up by hitting some big shots and he moved the ball around and made plays.”


On his shots:


“I have confidence in every shot I take. I treat every shot the same. When I miss, I forget it and move on to the next one. Tonight, I just took what the defense gave me and I took advantage of making the open shots. I have to give credit to my teammates, we played well.”


Quoting Pitt’s Travon Woodall:


On his play:


“Playing a game like this gave me a confidence boost. I had confidence in myself earlier in the season, but then I wasn’t playing so well and it went down, but I have to give credit to my teammates, they kept my confidence up in practice. I just went out there and gave it my all. We love playing together and this win shows that.”


On his defense against bigger players:


“It’s not about my size. Brandin Knight told me if I didn’t box out that I was going to be in trouble and I didn’t want that. I have a lot of heart and I battled through the tough match-ups, but most importantly, I did what was need in order for us to get the win.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On West Virginia’s turnover late in the game:


“I continued to play and I got the ball. I was close to being out of bounds, so I threw the ball, luckily it went to a teammate and they were able to get the ball over to Ashton, who drilled the three.”


On Pitt being outrebounded:


“Throughout the game we were being outrebounded and we could sense it. Later in the game, we started boxing out more and we were controlling the boards, especially in the overtimes. That was what we needed to get our game back on track.”


On the win:


“We weren’t tired going down the stretch, it was just adrenaline for us, and we love playing. For us, we were just playing in a classic hard fought game and we came out with the win. It gives us confidence. Jermaine Dixon fouled out at the end of regulation and on the bench, he was gave us the confidence boost to win. He’s the heart and soul of this team. We put trust and faith in one another.”


Quoting West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins


On the game:


“We did the same thing at the Seton Hall game. We played pretty well in overtime but when you have the ball and you’re up five points, you’re supposed to win.”


On momentum swings during the game:


“We went to the line and missed free throws and fumbled around.  You have to give Pitt credit. Jamie has a good team. They didn’t fold, but they had a lot of help from us.”


On bouncing back after a tough overtime loss:


“You go back to work. We have to get ready for Providence next. As bad as we were at the free throw line during regulation, we shot well in overtime. I don’t think free throws are a problem.”

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