Jan. 10, 2014
GAME 16: WAKE FOREST (11-4, 1-1 ACC) at PITT (14-1, 2-0 ACC)
Saturday, January 11, 2014 Noon ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ACC Network/WTAE-TV (Tim Brant and Dan Bonner; Producer: Rob Reichley).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 132 (Pitt feed), XM-Channel 193 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (276-87); Wake Forest: Jeff Bezdelik, 4th year at WF (46-64), 11th year overall (156-169).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; Wake Forest: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and Wake Forest meet for the first time in school history. Interestingly, Wake Forest is the only ACC school that Pitt has never faced in men's basketball. The Panthers (2,605) and Demon Deacons (2,604) have combined to play 5,209 all-time games. Of the six BCS level conferences, there are only nine schools that Pitt has never played in men's basketball: Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State, Missouri, Oregon, Southern Cal, SMU, TCU and Wake Forest.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (14-1, 2-0 ACC) plays its third Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball game at home when it hosts Wake Forest (11-4, 1-1 ACC) for a Saturday, January 11 contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at noon ET.
The game will be nationally televised by the ACC Television Network and broadcast locally in the Pittsburgh area on WTAE Channel 4. Tim Brant (play-by-play) and Pittsburgh native Dan Bonner (color analysis) will make the call. Rob Reichley will handle production. The broadcast can also be viewed on 36 affiliates across the United States.
Pitt has won its 14 games by an average of 18.0 points per game, all 14 wins have come by nine or more points and 11 of its 14 are by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 76.9 points per game, converting 48.3 percent (408-844) of field goals, 34.2 percent (75-219) of 3-point field goals and an amazing school-record pace of 73.6 percent (262-356) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-8.6 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 58.9 points per game and yielding a 39.2 percent (315-803) field goal percentage. Fourteen of Pitt's 15 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and nine have been limited to 60 points or less.
Through two Atlantic Coast Conference games, Pitt has outscored its two opponents (Maryland and NC State) by a plus-16.0 margin. Pitt is shooting 50.5 percent (55-109) and 45.5 percent (10-22) from 3-point range. Interestingly the Panthers have averaged 10.5 steals per game.
Pitt is a perfect 10-0 at home this year, on a 12-game home win streak and 19-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns a 110-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 131 of its last 135 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Pitt hosts Wake Forest after defeating Maryland by 20 points (79-59) on Monday, Jan. 6. Durand Johnson sparked the Panthers with a career-high 17 point performance and Lamar Patterson led Pitt with 19 points. The duo combined for 36 points and 14-20 shooting. Pitt used an 11-2 run in the first half's final 5:42 to take control of the game. Pitt shot 55 percent (16-29) in the second half alone.
In registering a 74-62 victory at North Carolina State on Saturday, Jan. 4 in Raleigh, N.C., the Panthers battled all the way back from an early 17-2 first half deficit to win by 12 points. In the second half, Pitt used 63 percent shooting (17-27) and hit 11-13 free throws in taking control. During a decisive seven-minute stretch after halftime, Pitt converted on 12 of its 13 possessions and outscored NC State 24-6. Patterson led Pitt with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Talib Zanna added 15 points and nine rebounds and freshman Michael Young contributed a career-high 13 points. Patterson (17) and Zanna (nine) combined to score 26 of their 37 points in the second half.
Wake Forest (11-4, 1-1 ACC) is led primarily by three players: Codi Miller-McIntyre (15.9 ppg., 3.3 rpg.), Devin Thomas (10.7 ppg./8.9 rpg.) and Travis McKie (10.2 ppg.). Reserve Coron Williams (10.3 ppg.), a Robert Morris transfer, makes his Pittsburgh homecoming. The Demon Deacons are coming off a 74-51 loss at Virginia on Wednesday and a 73-67 home win vs. North Carolina on Jan. 5.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt (2-0 ACC) plays its second-ever Atlantic Coast Conference home game when it hosts Wake Forest on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 13-0 record vs. previous ACC teams and a 29-10 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse, Notre Dame).
With its 14-1 record, Pitt has currently amassed the second most wins in the ACC.
With a 10-0 home record and currently on an 12-game home win streak, Pitt is in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 190-22 record (.896) in the arena. The Panthers have won 96 of their last 108 home games and 39 of their last 49 conference home games.
When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (333-97, .774), league winning percentage (143-63, .694), homecourt winning percentage (.896) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).