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Dec. 17, 2011

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South Carolina State at No. 15 Pitt, December 17, 2011, Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

No. 15 Pitt 69, South Carolina State 55

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jaime Dixon:

Opening Statement:

“We did the things we normally like to do. We held them to under 40 percent, outrebounded them by 12 and kept our turnovers below 12. We did a lot of good things. I felt like we practiced well the last two days and that we would come out and click, but we didn’t make shots. We went five-for-23 and we are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. We had wide open looks. They really sagged and played the one-two-two. In retrospect, I wish we would have gone against that more in practice. We didn’t anticipate them doing that. They dared us to shoot and we didn’t shoot it well. I don’t know if we attacked it as well as we could of. That is something that I will take responsibility for.”

“I thought we did some good things. We got some very good minutes out of a number of guys. Lamar played very well. Isaiah played well. Dante and Nas got into some foul trouble early and we were able to get Malcolm Gilbert in there. Malcolm has continued to improve in practice. His back is continuing to improve. We are excited about where he is going to go here now.”

“I’m happy with what we did, but we just didn’t shoot it well. We defended well enough. Lamar was terrific, he was really patient and let things come to him. He made plays for other guys. Ashton is going to make shots in the next game. John Johnson gave us good minutes. J.J. Moore got minutes. We played him and Lamar together and I think that is something that we could do more.”

On Khem Birch leaving the team:

“Khem has left the team. There is pretty much nothing more that we can say. We wish him the best. I talked to him a number of times over the last couple days. That was his decision. We are moving forward.”

On Tray Woodall’s status:

“Tray is arguing with our training staff about when to start doing things. That is a good sign. He is going to do some skill work tomorrow.”

On Malcolm Gilbert getting some minutes tonight:

“He has been playing well. He is ready to play. I should have played him more. The game was just so slow. The game didn’t go as I anticipated it to. It was a low possession game. We have seen him progress in practice. The players have seen it and they have great confidence in him. His back feels better. We have to keep getting him better.”

On Talib Zanna pulling down 14 rebounds:

“I thought he was really good. In preseason, he was our best big guy. He has given us very good minutes. I am very comfortable with him. He is going to have some very big games.”

Quoting Pitt’s Lamar Patterson:

On the season so far and dealing with adversity:

“Every team goes through adversity. It will make us grow and mature.”

On his game coming along:

“I just feel like I can be aggressive and stay confident in myself. My teammates have confidence in me. I want to be out there making plays for everybody.”

On coming out fast in the second half:

“Coach gave us some little adjustments at halftime. We came out in the second half and made them.”

Quoting Pitt’s Nasir Robinson:

On Talib and the younger players stepping up:

“He played good. He has been working really hard. We need guys to step up. Malcolm did a good job tonight, too. We need our younger guys to step up.”

On Ashton having a tough night shooting:

“We know Ashton is going to get his shots. We just tell him to keep shooting. He is a shooter. That is his game and he has won a lot of games here playing like that.”

Quoting South Carolina State Head Coach Tim Carter

Opening Statement:

“I really thought we played as well as we could have with the exception of missing a number of pretty easy layups. I thought our zone defense was very effective. It decreased their touches on the inside. I thought down the stretch we didn’t make some plays, but they did and got good separation. They did a great job of getting second tips on us. Their length really hurt us, but I just expressed to our guys that the true definition of success is doing your absolute best, and I thought our guys really did their best tonight.”

On their success from the perimeter:

“Khalif Toombs, Aaron Martin and Brandon Riley are all good shooters, but we’ve just got to make sure the right guy is shooting the ball from the 3-point line. We knew that we would have to make our shots because when you go against a team who has guys 6’10” and above when our guys are around 6’7” it becomes more difficult to shoot inside.”

On predicting Ashton Gibbs’ performance tonight:

“We thought he would be more offensive minded, but I think our zone jolted him a little bit.”

Quoting Senior Guard Brandon Riley:

On the difference between their first half and second half performance:

“We were in our zone in the first half. The second half I don’t think they did anything to take me out of my zone, we just happened to miss a lot of key layups. I, myself, missed a lot of layups which was very frustrating as a senior.”

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