Jan. 10, 2012
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GAME 17: RUTGERS (9-7, 1-2 Big East) at PITT (11-5, 0-3 Big East)
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/ROOT Sports (Pittsburgh) (Mike Gleason and Dickey Simpkins; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat, Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-134 (Pitt feed); XM-N/A.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (227-65); Rutgers: Mike Rice, 2nd year at Rutgers (24-24), 5th year overall (97-55).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; ESPN-NR; Rutgers: AP-NR; ESPN-NR (as of Jan. 9, 2012).
Series: Pitt and Rutgers meet for the 47th time in series history. The series is deadlocked at 23-23 even though Pitt has claimed 12 of the series' last 14 meetings. Pitt owns a 12-9 record vs. Rutgers in home games and is 3-1 in games played at the Petersen Events Center.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (11-5, 0-3 Big East) plays its fourth Big East Conference contest when it hosts Rutgers (9-7, 1-2 Big East) for a Wednesday, Jan. 11 contest. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at Petersen Events Center.
Wednesday's contest will be produced by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh. Mike Gleason and Dickey Simpkins will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively while Bill Shissler will produce.
Pitt enters Wednesday's game with an 11-5 overall and 0-3 Big East record following an 84-81 loss at DePaul on Jan. 5. Five Panthers reached double figure scoring including Talib Zanna, who finished with a career-high 16 points on a perfect 8-8 field goal shooting night, Nasir Robinson (13 points), Ashton Gibbs (13), Lamar Patterson (10 points/nine rebounds) and John Johnson (10 points). Once again Pitt outrebounded DePaul 50-32.
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.
Rutgers enters Wednesday's game with a 9-7 overall record and 1-2 Big East record following a home win over Connecticut (67-60) on Jan. 7. Coached by former Pitt assistant coach Mike Rice (2006-07 season), the Scarlet Knights are led by Eli Carter (14.2 ppg.), Myles Mack (10.8 ppg.) and Gilvydas Biruta (10.5 ppg.). Pitt and Rutgers meet for the 47th time in series history. The series is tied at 23-23 but Pitt has won 12 of the last 14 meetings.
WEDNESDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
For the fourth straight week, Pitt leads the nation in rebound margin (plus-13.3).
Pitt is in its 10th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 156-15 record (.912) in the arena. Pitt also owns a 65-12 record vs. Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 62 of their last 67 home games.
Pitt has won 27 of its last 30 Big East Conference home games.
Following a loss, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 42-14 record.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (284-76, .789), league winning percentage (124-47, .725), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).