Jan. 29, 2012
GAME 22: PITT (13-9, 2-7 Big East) at WEST VIRGINIA (15-7, 5-4 Big East)
Monday, January 30, 2012 7 p.m. ET
WVU Coliseum (14,000) Morgantown, W.Va.
Television: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas; Producer Bo Garrett).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-91 (WVU feed); XM-91 (WVU feed).
National Radio: IMG College Radio (Brock Bowling and John Celestand).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (229-69); West Virginia: Bob Huggins, 5th year at WVU (116-49), 30th year overall (706-260).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; ESPN-NR; West Virginia: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV.
Series: Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 183rd time in series history. West Virginia holds a 95-87 lead in the series which began in 1904. Pitt has claimed 16 of the series' last 23 matchups. With four wins, Jamie Dixon has won more games at WVU Coliseum than any other Pitt coach in school history. Pitt is 29-61 all-time vs. West Virginia in games played in Morgantown.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--Riding a two-game win streak, Pitt travels to West Virginia (15-7, 5-4 Big East) for a Monday, Jan. 30 contest in Morgantown. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at WVU Coliseum.
Scheduled for ESPN's "Big Monday" promotion, the contest will air nationally on ESPN with Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas calling action. Bo Garrett will produce.
Pitt enters the game riding a two-game win streak following back-to-back 12-point home wins over Providence (86-74) and No. 9 ranked Georgetown (72-60) respectively. The difference has been the return of point guard Tray Woodall (groin/abdominal strain). With Woodall, Pitt has showed its typical efficient offense. Combining the last two games, Pitt shot 50.4 percent (57-113), 42.4 percent from 3-point range (14-33), 81.1 percent from the free throw line (30-37) and averaged 79.0 points per game. In its previous eight contests, all losses, the Panthers shot 39.3 percent (177-450), 25.3 percent from 3-point range (37-146), 64.4 percent from the free throw line (87-135) and averaged only 59.8 points per game.
Against Georgetown on Saturday, Pitt used a 13-0 first half run to secure an 11-point halftime lead en route to its victory. For the seventh time this year, Pitt shot over 50 percent, hitting on 52.1 percent (25-48) of its field goal attempts. Nasir Robinson scored a season-high 23 points on a perfect 9-9 shooting night, Lamar Patterson contributed career-highs of 18 points and seven assists and Ashton Gibbs added 13 points in the win. Pitt improved to 12-0 all-time vs. top-10 nationally ranked teams in the Petersen Events Center.
With an 86-74 win over Providence on Wednesday, Jan. 25, Pitt snapped an eight-game losing streak. Ashton Gibbs hit four 3-pointers over a two-minute first half stretch to give the Panthers a 15-point halftime lead. He finished with a team-high 22 points (5-11 3FG), Tray Woodall added 17 points, hit 4-4 3-pointers and dished out nine assists, Nasir Robinson scored 14 points with six rebounds and Lamar Patterson grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to go along with nine points. It marked Woodall's second appearance back after being sidelined for 11 of Pitt's 12 games with a groin/abdominal strain. Pitt shot 49.2 percent (32-65) from the floor and limited Providence to 42.2 percent shooting.
This season, Pitt has had a variety of players play through and sidelined with injuries including Woodall who sat out 11 of 12 games with a groin/abdominal strain, Dante Taylor (concussion), Ashton Gibbs (ankle), Cameron Wright (finger), Nasir Robinson (knee surgery before the season). Because of the injuries, 11 different Pitt players have started and the Panthers have had seven different starting lineup combinations.
MONDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is on a two-game win streak just three games after point guard Tray Woodall's return from injury. With Woodall sidelined, Pitt was 5-7 and had a seven-game losing streak.
Jamie Dixon has won more games at WVU Coliseum than any other Pitt coach in school history. He is 4-4 in the venue.
Pitt has won 24 of its last 36 road games and owns the Big East's best road record (52-36) over the last 11 seasons.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has been the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (286-80, .781), league winning percentage (126-51, .712), 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).