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Feb. 29, 2012

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St. John's at Pitt, February 29, 2012, Petersen Events Center

Pitt 89, St. John's 69

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon:

Opening Statement:

"We really wanted to play well for our seniors tonight. We felt it was our last time with them playing here and I'm happy we played so well. I was really happy with how we attacked their match-up zone which has given a lot of team's trouble. We got shots up and they started going in. We moved the ball well, as well as we've moved it for the full 40 minutes and that led to good shots consistently. I can only count one or two shots that I thought were questionable. That was great to see and it was a continuation from Sunday's game against Louisville. I feel like we're playing as good of basketball as we've played all year. We're just going to go forward here and get ready for Saturday at UConn. We got a lot of good performances tonight. Travon Woodall played well in the minutes that he was out there, Talib Zanna, J.J. Moore, Lamar Patterson, Nasir Robinson and Dante Taylor obviously, basically a lot of good performances. Malcolm Gilbert gave us good minutes when he was in there, so I was really happy with our overall production. Pretty much everyone that was out there, including John Johnson and Cameron Wright, gave us good minutes. Good team performance against a team that was playing very good basketball. It's a good sign that we're playing better at this point in the year. We also had everyone at practice the last couple of days and that's something that hasn't happened often this year."

On why he feels this is the best basketball Pitt has played all year:

"I thought we just defended really well today. They shot a pretty high percentage, but a lot of those were real tough looks. I thought Green and Harrison both hit a lot of tough runners and some long threes. We've battled through some things, we've battled through injuries, but again we had all our guys out there these last days of practice. Trayvon has been banged up and Nas has battled through more than anyone should have to. He's a warrior and he's playing hard. I think we're playing good basketball."

On getting Ashton Gibbs open looks:

"We just moved the ball a lot better today. I thought we did that for 40 minutes. This was a different zone than what we faced in our last game. He did less things off the dribble, he caught and shot. That's something we've really been emphasizing with him. We practiced against the match-up zone and that paid off."

On the high shooting percentage:

"No question it was about the shot selection. Patience is what we've been preaching. I thought we showed patience in our last game and patience was key again today. We recognized the open guy and made the right pass more so tonight."

Quoting Pitt's Nasir Robinson:

On building momentum for the last game against Connecticut:

"Tonight was a really good start. We did a good job sharing the ball and getting a lot of guys the ball. We also had a lot of guy get double digits. It was a good start for us."

Quoting Pitt's Ashton Gibbs:

On looking toward the Big East tournament:

"We still have one more game left. We need to worry about Connecticut on Saturday and then go from there. Tonight was definitely a good start.  It started on defense and then carried over from there.

On tonight's win compared to the struggles experienced from losses this season:

"We have to do a better job with being consistent. I think it's the key and now we have to keep it up. It starts in practice and then carries over into the games. We had a great week of practice the past couple of days so it carried over in tonight's game. Even after losing to Louisville, Coach Dixon was stressing that we need to still play well and we played well in practice. We looked at the positive side of it and not the negative and tonight we got the win."

On his overall experience at Pitt:

"There are definitely a lot of memories and we have had a lot of great teams. This was a tough year. There are still a lot of good memories especially with winning the Big East last year. It starts with the fans and that is one of the reasons why I came here to the University of Pittsburgh. The fans always support the Pitt Panthers and the one thing I have to give credit to is the Oakland Zoo. That is one of the reasons we have been good for so long so I give credit to them."

Quoting Pitt's Dante Taylor:

On being aggressive under the basket:

"I tried to come into tonight's game and carry over from what I did in the last game. I wanted to do whatever I could do to help the team out. I was able to help the team out with rebounding. I tried coming into this game with confidence and then hopefully it will carry over to the next game and the tournament."

Quoting Pitt's J.J. Moore:

On gaining more confidence:

"It starts with my teammate and I feed off of them. They tell me to keep shooting and they have continued to say that through the past couple of games. I have been in the gym more working on my shot. My teammates have confidence in me and I have confidence in myself."

Quoting St. John's Phil Greene:

On losing Moe Harkless:

"We lose a big key in our offense, defense, and team.  Moe is one of our leaders and we need him out there.  It was unfortunate that he got hurt tonight but we had to play without him.

On attacking the rim more:

"Tonight I was out there playing.  I was just going with it.  Coach did tell me to keep attacking because he needed me to score tonight.

Quoting St. John's D'Angelo Harrison:

On setting a freshman record:

"It's a tremendous accomplishment to set a new freshman scoring record, but I'd rather get a win for our team every night. Any guy on our team is capable of getting a record like that. We're young but we know our job is far from over and our journey is just beginning, so I hope this leads to more wins for  St. John's and a sophomore scoring record next year."

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