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No. 9 Men's Basketball Hosts No. 12 Georgetown on Wednesday




Jan. 18, 2010

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GAME 18: #12 GEORGETOWN (13-3, 4-2 Big East) at #9 PITT (15-2, 5-0 Big East)

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 • 7 p.m. ET

Petersen Events Center (12,508) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

MEDIA INFORMATION


 

 

Television: ESPN-U (Dan McLaughlin and Tim Welsh; Producer: Todd Jones).

Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970-AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Sirius 153 (Pitt feed); XM 203 (Pitt feed).

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.

The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (178-47); Georgetown: John Thompson III, 6th year at GU (129-54), 10th year overall (197-96).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-9; ESPN-11; Georgetown: AP-12; ESPN-14.

 

Series: Pitt and Georgetown meet for the 73rd time with Georgetown holding a 39-33 advantage. Pitt has won each of the last three meetings and is 3-1 vs. the Hoyas at the Petersen Events Center. The two teams have met in two of the last three Big East Tournament Finals.

GAME PREVIEW

 

PITTSBURGH--No. 9 Pitt (15-2, 5-0 Big East) plays its sixth Big East Conference regular season game when it hosts No. 12 Georgetown (13-3, 4-2 Big East) for a Wednesday, Jan. 20 contest. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at the Petersen Events Center.

 

The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN-U with Dan McLaughlin and Tim Welsh handling play-by-play and color analyst duties respectively. Todd Jones will handle production.

 

Both No. 9/11 Pitt and No. 12/14 Georgetown enter the contest with national rankings. The contest marks the 13th all-time game where two nationally ranked teams will meet in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt is 10-2 in those contests.

 

Pitt is currently on an eight-game win streak and has won 11 of its last 12 contests. Additionally, Pitt is in the midst of one of its most difficult schedule stretches in years. For the first time since it joined the Big East Conference in 1982, Pitt won three consecutive back-to-back-to-back road games at No. 5 Syracuse (87-72), at Cincinnati (74-71) and at No. 16 Connecticut (67-57). It defeated Louisville 82-77 in overtime on Jan. 13 and now will play No. 12 Georgetown at home.

 

A win vs. Georgetown would give Pitt its first-ever 6-0 start to a Big East regular season. Pitt's 5-0 start ties a program record for best start in Big East play. Pitt was also 5-0 in both 2002-03 and 2006-07. See chart page 4.

 

For only the seventh game this year, Pitt will have its roster entirely intact with the return of its two most experienced players-Gilbert Brown (academic suspension) and Jermaine Dixon (right foot fracture). Since both players have returned to the floor against Ohio on Dec. 22, 2009, Pitt owns a perfect 6-0 record. Since the duo's return, Brown and Dixon have combined to average 20.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while Pitt has seen an increase in offensive production as it has averaged 74.0 points per game, shot 47.2 percent (152-322) from the floor and 45.1 percent from three point range. Dixon sat out the season's first eight games after suffering a broken right foot in August. Entering the season, Pitt returned just one starter (Dixon) and six letterwinners from its 2008-09 squad. Through its first 10 games, Pitt started five players that had accumulated just one previous career start. Dixon made his return vs. Indiana after sitting out the first eight games while recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

 

Pitt is 5-0 in Big East play after defeating Louisville 82-77 in overtime on Saturday. Nasir Robinson registered his second career double-double with career-highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds and Brad Wanamaker scored a career-high 20 points in leading the Panthers. Pitt forced overtime after battling back from a five-point deficit as Wanamaker nailed a 3-pointer and hit two game-tying free throws with one second left. Pitt defeated Louisville for the first time at the Petersen Events Center and entered the contest with an 0-2 home record vs. the Cardinals since they joined the Big East in 2005-06.

 

Prior to Saturday, Pitt won its third straight road game, a 67-57 decision at No. 15 Connecticut on January 13. Nasir Robinson's driving layup sparked a 9-2 run that gave the Panthers a cushion going into the game's final two minutes. Pitt outrebounded the host Huskies 26-13 in the second half, Ashton Gibbs (3-5 3FG) and Brad Wanamaker (9-10 FT) each scored 19 points and Gilbert Brown added 11. Pitt converted a season-high 85.0 percent (17-20) of its free throw attempts.

 

As part of its three-game road swing, Pitt also defeated Cincinnati, 74-71, on Jan. 4. Gilbert Brown scored 13 of his career-high 17 points in the second half, Ashton Gibbs finished with 19 points (10-11 FTM) and Jermaine Dixon added 10 as the Panthers held off the Bearcats. Pitt also defeated No. 5 Syracuse on January 2, 82-72. The game featured the Big East's best defensive team (Pitt) and the league's best offensive team (Syracuse). Pitt scored a season-high 82 points and limited Syracuse to 15 points below its season average in registering the victory. Pitt outscored SU 55-42 in the second half alone. Ashton Gibbs scored a game-high 24 points on 6-9 3-point shooting, Jermaine Dixon registered a career-high 21 points (3-8 3FG), Brad Wanamaker contributed 12 points (10-14 FT) and Dante Taylor added 10 points as Pitt claimed its 12th contest out of its last 15 matchups against the Orange and won its fifth straight over SU at the Carrier Dome.

 

Even though it plays one more non-conference game (vs. Robert Morris on Feb. 8), Pitt concluded its non-conference portion of its schedule with 10 wins for the ninth consecutive season.

 

Georgetown enters the contest ranked No. 11 nationally with a 13-3 overall and 4-2 Big East record. The Hoyas are led by Austin Freeman (15.9 ppg., 45.9 3FG%), Greg Monroe (14.9 ppg., 10.1 rpg), Chris Wright (14.3 ppg., 2.7 rpg) and Jason Clark (10.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg). Georgetown has defeated St. John's, DePaul, Connecticut and Seton Hall and lost to Villanova and Marquette in Big East play. Georgetown and Pitt have met in two of the last three Big East Championship Finals (2007 and 2008). Pitt has defeated the Hoyas in three straight matchups and is 3-1 vs. GU at the Petersen Events Center.

 

At home, Pitt currently owns the nation's second longest home win streak at 31 games, is 10-0 on the year and owns a 46-game win streak against non-conference opponents. It also is 51-9 vs. Big East opponents at the Petersen Events Center.

 

Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 125-10 all-time record and .926 winning percentage. The .926 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best home court records over the last seven years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 56 of its last 65 Big East home games and is 51-9 against Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center. Only one opponent (Louisville) has defeated the Panthers two times in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 74-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 95 of its last 96 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. In addition, Pitt concluded the 2008-09 regular season with an undefeated 19-0 home record, its fourth all-time undefeated year at home. Pitt also was undefeated in 2002-03 (16-0), 1973-74 (13-0) and 1974-75 (10-0).

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•Pitt enters the contest on an eight-game win streak and has won 11 of its last 12.

 

•At 5-0, Pitt is off to a school-record tying best start in Big East play. Pitt also began the 2002-03 and 2006-07 seasons with a 5-0 record. Pitt has never started 6-0.

 

•Pitt is 6-0 since veterans Jermaine Dixon (right foot injury) and Gilbert Brown (academic suspension) both returned to the floor. Pitt played its first 10 games with a starting five that combined for one career start prior to the season opener.

 

•Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 125-10 overall record (.926 winning percentage) and 51-9 record vs. Big East opponents in the arena.

 

•Pitt has won 31 straight home games, a streak which ranks as the nation's second longest current win streak (Kansas, 52). It also ranks second among the school's all-time longest home win streaks. Additionally, Pitt won a Petersen Events Center record 34-games to open the arena from 2002-04.