Feb. 1, 2009
GAME 22: ROBERT MORRIS (15-7, 9-1 NEC) at #3 PITT (19-2, 7-2 Big East)
Monday, February 2, 2009 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 121 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
Rankings: Pitt: 3-AP, 3-ESPN; Robert Morris: unranked (as of Jan. 26, 2009).
Series: Pitt owns a 26-0 all-time record vs. Robert Morris. Pitt is 65-0 all-time vs. Northeast Conference members. Pitt and RMU meet for the first time in two seasons since a 67-53 win on Nov. 29, 2006. RMU Head Coach Mike Rice is a former Pitt assistant under Dixon (2006-07).
PITTSBURGH--No. 3 ranked Pitt (19-2, 7-2 Big East) hosts Robert Morris (15-7, 9-1 NEC) for its final non-conference game on Monday, Feb. 2 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
A win today would give Pitt its 20th victory on the year. It would mark Pitt's eighth straight 20-win season and 16th in school history. Jamie Dixon would become the first coach in school history to win 20-plus games in six straight years. Pitt is the only Big East program to win 20 overall games and 10-plus league games in each of the last seven seasons.
A win today would also give Pitt its third all-time undefeated non-conference slate. Pitt enters the game with an undefeated 12-0 non-conference record. Pitt also went undefeated in both 2003-04 (14-0) and 2005-06 (11-0).
Pitt's 19-2 record ties for the school's all-time fourth best record after 21 games played. Pitt went an undefeated 21-0 en route to the mythical national title in 1927-28, 20-1 both in Jamie Dixon's first year in 2003-04 and in 1929-30, 19-2 this year, 18-3 in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 1987-88, 17-4 in 2002-03 and 2007-08.
Pitt owns a 26-0 all-time record vs. Robert Morris. In addition, Pitt is a combined 65-0 all-time vs. Northeast Conference opponents. RMU is Pitt's second Northeast Conference opponent this year as it defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in the season opener 86-63. Robert Morris Head Coach Mike Rice is a former Pitt basketball assistant in 2006-07. His father served as the head coach at Duquesne.
The Panthers enter the game with a 7-2 Big East regular season record after defeating Notre Dame 93-80 on Saturday. DeJuan Blair totaled the ninth 20-20 performance in school history with 23 points and a career-high 22 rebounds in leading five players in double figures. Trailing by six points at halftime, Pitt scored the second half's first nine points to take control of the game. The Panthers outrebounded Notre Dame 49-30 and grabbed 22 offensive rebounds in the 13-point win. Pitt dropped a 67-57 loss at No. 21 Villanova on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at the Spectrum. The game marked the final college basketball event at the Wachovia Spectrum.
For the second time in the last six years, Pitt began a season with a 16-0 start. The 16-0 start ranks third among Pitt's all-time best men's basketball starts to a season. Pitt went 21-0 to win the mythical national title in 1927-28 and began the 2003-04 season with an 18-0 record in Head Coach Jamie Dixon's first season. Dixon has guided Pitt to 10-0 starts in each of his first six seasons as head coach. Additionally, Dixon has guided Pitt to six of the top-10 best starts to a season in school history.
Through its first 21 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-16.0 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-9.6 margin. The Panthers are also converting 47.3 percent (613-1297) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 38.7 percent shooting. Pitt has also held 19 of its 21 opponents to 70 points or less and 10 teams to 60 points or less.
Several Pitt players are ranked among national leaders in various statistical categories (as of Jan. 29, 2009). DeJuan Blair ranks fourth nationally in rebounding (12.4) and leads the nation in offensive rebounds with 6.1 orpg according to StatsLLC (Note: the NCAA does not rank top offensive rebounders). He is also ranked No. 21 in field goal percentage (59.2). Levance Fields ranks second nationally in both assist:turnover ratio (3.38) and assists per game (6.8), while Sam Young is rated 57th in scoring (18.6).
Robert Morris enters the game with a 15-7 overall record and 9-1 Northeast Conference slate. The Colonials are on a nine-game win streak. All nine wins are against NEC opponents. The Colonials are led by Jeremy Chappell's 16.7 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. Rob Robinson averages 11.1 points and Jimmy Langhurst 10.2 ppg.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
At 19-2, Pitt needs one more win to record its eighth straight 20-win season. Pitt is the only Big East school to win 20 overall games and 10-plus league games in each of the last seven seasons.
Pitt has won 15 straight home games and carries a 109-10 all-time record (.916 percentage) in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 65-1 record vs. non-conference opponents at the PEC.
Pitt is riding a school record 37-game win streak against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt is 26-0 all-time vs. Robert Morris and 65-0 all-time against Northeast Conference opponents.
A win today would give Pitt a perfect 13-0 non-conference record on the year. It would mark just the third time in school history that Pitt completed its non-conference schedule undefeated (14-0 in 2003-04 and 11-0 in 2005-06).