Jan. 4, 2012
GAME 16: PITT (11-4, 0-2 Big East) at DePAUL (9-4, 0-1 Big East)
Thursday, January 5, 2012 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT Allstate Arena (18,600) Rosemont, Ill.
Television: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch and Stephen Bardo; Producer: Bart Fox).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-94 (Pitt feed); XM-191 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (227-64); DePaul: Oliver Purnell, 2nd year at DePaul (10-28), 24th year overall (410-307).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV; DePaul: AP-NR; ESPN-NR (as of Jan. 2, 2012).
Series: Pitt and DePaul meet for the ninth time in series history with Pitt holding a 7-1 advantage. Pitt has won each of the last seven contests and is 7-0 vs. DePaul since the Blue Demons joined the Big East Conference in 2005-06. Pitt is 3-0 vs. DePaul at Allstate Arena. The series dates back to December 12, 1936.
CHICAGO--Pitt (11-4, 0-2 Big East) plays its third Big East Conference contest when it travels to Chicago, Ill. to play DePaul (9-4, 0-1 Big East) for a Thursday, Jan. 5 contest. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
Thursday's contest will be televised nationally by ESPN2. Dave Pasch and Stephen Bardo will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively while Bart Fox will produce.
Pitt enters Thursday's game with an 11-4 overall record and following three consecutive losses. Pitt has lost three straight games only three times under head coach Jamie Dixon. In his nine-year head coaching career, Dixon has never lost four straight games. It marks Pitt's first three-game losing streak since the 2007-08 season. Pitt went on to win the Big East Tournament title that year and advance to the NCAA Tournament. Pitt also dropped back-to-back home games for only the third time since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002-03.
Preseason top-25 Cincinnati defeated Pitt 66-63 on Sunday. Cincinnati hit 11 3-pointers and Pitt committed 17 turnovers in the contest. Nasir Robinson led the Panthers with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the year. Ashton Gibbs added 18 points and Lamar Patterson contributed 13.
Pitt concluded non-conference play with 10 or more wins for the 11th straight year. In the previous 12 seasons from 1988-2001, Pitt failed to win 10 non-conference games at least one time.
DePaul enters Thursday's game with a 9-4 overall and 0-1 Big East record under head coach Oliver Purnell. Cleveland Melvin (18.8 ppg./6.6 rpg.), Brandon Young (16.1 ppg./51.0 percent shooting) and Jeremiah Kelly (10.2 ppg.) lead the Blue Demons. DePaul dropped an 87-68 loss to Syracuse on Jan. 1 after winning five straight contests.
THURSDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
For the third straight week, Pitt leads the nation in rebound margin (plus-13.0).
Pitt has won 24 of its last 33 road games, completed the 2010-11 season with a school-best 7-2 Big East road slate and owns the Big East's best road record (52-33) over the last 11 seasons.
Following a loss, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 42-13 record. Dixon has lost three consecutive games only three times in his career.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (284-75, .791), league winning percentage (124-46, .729), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).
Pitt is one of only three programs nationally to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt).