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Dec. 3, 2011

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No. 17 Pitt at Tennessee, Big East/SEC Challenge, Knoxville, Tenn.

No. 17 Pitt 61, Tennessee 56

Quoting Pitt Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening statement

“It was a good win, obviously. They don’t lose much down here, so we found a way. People had written us off without Tray (Woodall) being in there, but we’ve got to get these guys better. Our young guys are freshmen. I thought John (Johnson) played really well and I thought Cameron (Wright) played well. He didn’t make shots – he took some good ones – but he defended and that’s what we needed from him. He took care of the ball; that’s what we needed from him. And he took good shots, except maybe one, but that’s within the offense and within what we’re trying to do.”

On the win and the way Pitt played:

“I think we ground it out and that was good to see. We had to get stops down the stretch and that’s what we did. We fought through some adversity and some foul trouble early and made the right plays. So there were some very good performances by a lot of guys.”

On Ashton Gibbs making plays:

“We got the ball in his hands a lot. I hope we can get away from that – it’s too much and it’s too many minutes. It’s 38, but, again, we had to shift on the fly here. John (Johnson) will have to get some more point-guard play and maybe Isaiah (Epps). We’ve got to get him (Gibbs) off the ball a little bit. He came out with five rebounds and he did some other things, which we need to get from him on a consistent basis. He played with a lot of confidence and I think that spread to the team. I think that was the biggest thing. We’ve got who knows how many freshmen out there, and I think his confidence kind of spread to the team as the game went on and those young guys made some good plays.”

Quoting Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin

Opening Statement:

“I think the key to the game in a nutshell was offensive rebounding. Pitt did a good job attacking the glass. We¹ve got to do a better job there. They got 18 points off second chance offensive rebound. I thought the crowd was great for us. They had great energy, especially when we made that last run with a minute and a half left in the game. Cam Tatum did a great job. First double-double of his career was impressive. The goal in practice was to really crash the glass and rebound, and Tatum did a tremendous job of getting 10 defensive rebounds. In the second half, Pitt made their run. I can¹t remember exactly when they made that run but they got their heads up somewhat, and we couldn¹t make those stops on the ball-screen sequence on three or four possessions.”

On the play of Tennessee’s big men:

“I thought Kenny (Hall) had one of his better games of the season. He was assertive on both ends of the court. I thought he was aggressive. I thought he did a good job attacking the glass. I thought Dwight (Miller) and Yemi (Makanjuola) did a good job giving us a boost off the bench, which was good.”

On playing against Pitt and his tough schedule:

“I thought it was great for our guys to go against some of the best teams in the country. In the first seven games to play teams of this caliber, obviously we want to win these ballgames, but it¹s good for our guys because you have to learn how to move forward. I thought our guys really battled and really defended for the most part, and that¹s what I¹m used to seeing on the defensive side of the ball. A physical, aggressive game. It¹s rare to see two physical teams defending at that level and not as many fouls being called, and I thought the officials did a good job of allowing us to play. I thought they were calling it right. It was one of those fun games that I really like being a part of. Unfortunately we came up short.”

On Trae Golden's jumpball turnover with less than 30 seconds remaining:

“We run a flat series where he¹s attacking off the dribble, which is great for us. Unfortunately, he got the jumpball call. We wanted him to really attack off the bounce and Ashton Gibbs did a good job of getting his hands on the ball.”

On opposing teams getting many offensive rebounds two games in a row:

“I think you can say whatever you want, but you have to give Oakland credit for winning the game. If you want say fatigue in legs and OK, I¹ll buy that. But in this game and in this situation to give up 17 offensive rebounds and the way you give them up, you¹re right next to your man and they¹re getting the ball. It¹s one case when you're helping and chasing a guy and they shoot it up and get the rebound. If you¹re standing right next to a guy and they¹re getting the rebound, it¹s just effort and putting a body on somebody. That¹s what we talk about all the time. That¹s the bottom line. I thought Nasir Robinson did a great job dominating the game on the offensive glass.”

On Kenny Hall¹s game:

“I thought he did a good job of being assertive in the first half. I thought he did a solid job in the second half. It was just a physical game. Once again, not a lot of shots being made on the first attempt. In the second half, it was just a case of them getting the offensive rebound. Ashton Gibbs made a couple plays but going 7-for-21, I¹ll take that any day of the week.”

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