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March 10, 2011

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No. 3 Pitt vs. No. 19 Connecticut, March 10, 2011, New York, N.Y., Madison Square Garden


*With the loss, Big East regular season champion Pitt falls to 27-5 on the year.


*Named Madison Square Garden's "Team of the Decade," Pitt falls to 26-13 in the arena since 2000-01. Pitt has now claimed 14 of its last 21 games at the Garden. Pitt falls to 2-2 in games played at Madison Square Garden this year. It won two games to claim the 2K Sports Classic/Coaches vs. Cancer title in November (Maryland and Texas) and dropped a 60-59 loss to St. John's on Feb. 19. Since 2000-01, Pitt has won a league-best 19 games in the Big East Tournament, advanced to seven of the last 11 Big East Tournament title games and captured tourney titles in both 2003 and 2008.


*Connecticut outrebounded Pitt 32-25 on the day. Pitt entered the contest ranked No. 2 nationally in rebound margin. The last time Pitt was outrebounded by seven rebounds was at Villanova (-8, 36-28) on Feb. 12, 2011. Connecticut also grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. The last time a team finished with at least 17 offensive rebounds was Cincinnati on Feb. 5, 2011 with 23.


*For the third time in school history, Pitt entered the Big East Championship as the No. 1 seed (1988 and 2004).


*Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon falls to 11-7 in Big East Tournament games. He has guided Pitt to the 2008 championship and berths in four of his first eight seasons as head coach.


*Pitt hit a Big East Championship record 72.7 percent (8-11) from 3-point range in the game.


*The contest marked the second consecutive Big East Tournament that the No. 1 team dropped its first game of the tournament.


*The meeting was the seventh Big East Championship matchup between Pitt and Connecticut. The Panthers are now 3-4 all-time against the Huskies in Big East Tourney play. Pitt leads the all-time series with UConn, 30-29. The Panthers had won four-straight and five of the last six versus the Huskies prior to today's contest.


*Pitt shot 55.1 percent from the field, marking the 10th time this season the Panthers topped the 50 percent or better mark in a single game this season. It is the first time this season that Pitt lost a contest in which it shot 50 percent or better.


*The 25 rebounds collected by Pitt as a team were a season-low. The previous low was 28 (at Villanova, Feb. 12).


*The set-back marks the third-straight season the Panthers have been ousted in their first day of action in the Big East Tournament and first as a No. 1 seed.


*Junior Ashton Gibbs posted a career-high 27 point performance, topping his previous mark of 26 points (at St. John's, 2/19/11). His top two scoring games came at Madison Square Garden. Gibbs led the Panthers in the scoring column for the 14th time this season. The 27 points are the second-highest total by a Pitt player in a single game this season as Gilbert Brown had 28 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 18, 2010. Gibbs has now registered 20-or-more points in 11 games in 2010-11. Gibbs set a career-high with 10 made fields goals, breaking his previous high of nine. He converted on 10-13 field goals in the contest. The junior also matched a career-high with six three-pointers. Gibbs finished 6-of-7 from three point range versus the Huskies.


*Senior guard Brad Wannamaker finished with 17 points, marking his 48th career contest in double figures and 20th on the season. The double-digit outing is the first for Wannamaker since Louisville on Feb. 27 and the most points for the senior guard since at Villanova on Feb. 12 (21 points). Wanamaker was 6-of-6 from the free throw line, his seventh perfect outing of the season from the stripe.


*Nasir Robinson had 11 points, the 20th career game for the junior with 10+points.


*Dante Taylor paced the Panthers in rebounding for the fourth time this season (seven rebounds)-and for the first time since the American game on Dec. 22, 2010.



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