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No. 22 Men's Basketball Plays at No. 6 West Virginia on Wednesday




Feb. 2, 2010

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GAME 22: #22 PITT (16-5, 6-3 Big East) at #6 WEST VIRGINIA (17-3, 6-2 Big East)

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 • 7 p.m. ET

WVU Coliseum (14,000) • Morgantown, W.Va.

 

MEDIA INFORMATION


 

 

Television: ESPN-Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (John Sanders and Mark Adams; P: Bill Shissler).

 

Network Affiliates: Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh), New York-Connecticut-New Jersey (SportsnetNY), Denver, Colo. (Altitude), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), Providence, R.I. (Cox-NE).

Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970-AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Sirius 130 (WVU feed).

 

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

The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (179-50); West Virginia: Bob Huggins, 3rd year at WVU (66-26), 28th year overall (656-237).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-22; ESPN-21; West Virginia: AP-6; ESPN-6.

Series: Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 179th time in series history. WVU owns a 94-84 edge in the series even though Pitt has claimed 12 of the series' last 17 games and five of the last eight matchups played in Morgantown. Jamie Dixon is 3-3 vs. the Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum.

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

MORGANTOWN--No. 22 Pitt (16-5, 6-3 Big East) travels to Morgantown to play West Virginia (17-3, 6-2 Big East) for a Wednesday, Feb. 3 contest. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at WVU Coliseum.

 

The contest will be regionally televised on ESPN-Regional and aired locally on FSN Pittsburgh with John Sanders and Mark Adams handling play-by-play and color duties respectively. Bill Shissler will handle production.

 

With a 6-3 league record, Pitt's start in Big East play ranks tied for the seventh best start in school history. Pitt began the 2003-04 and 2006-07 seasons with 8-1 records and was 7-2 in 1986-87, 1987-88, 2002-03 and 2008-09.

 

Pitt owns the Big East's best road record over the last nine years with a 44-28 record (.611 winning percentage). Connecticut ranks second with a 42-27 slate. Pitt has claimed 11 of its last 15 road games, is 4-2 overall and 3-2 in league play on the road this year. West Virginia will be the third ranked team that Pitt will play on the road this year. It has already defeated No. 5 Syracuse and No. 15 Connecticut in road games this season. Since Jamie Dixon became head coach in 2003-04, Pitt is 6-4 vs. top-10 teams on the road.

 

Pitt enters the contest after having won nine of its last 12 games and 13 of its last 17 contests. It recently completed 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 concluded the stretch with a 74-66 home loss to Georgetown, which snapped the Panthers' 31-game home win streak.

 

Pitt is 6-3 in Big East play after dropping a 71-60 loss at South Florida on Sunday. Dominique Jones scored 37 points vs. the Panthers, who were playing without the services of defensive stopper Jermaine Dixon. Gilbert Brown scored a career-high 25 points to lead Pitt.

 

Pitt claimed a 63-53 home victory against St. John's on Jan. 28. Pitt sealed the win with a 9-1 run to close out the contest. Brad Wanamaker (16 points), Gary McGhee (10 points) and Ashton Gibbs (14 points) each scored key field goals down the stretch to fuel the win. Pitt shot 52 percent in the second half and defensively, held St. John's to 27 percent shooting in the second half.

 

With its 63-53 home win over St. John's, Pitt snapped a two-game losing streak. Pitt lost two straight games for the first time in 23 months and for the first time since February 21-24, 2008 when it lost to both Notre Dame and Louisville. Pitt has been extremely difficult to defeat two times in a row. Since Dixon became head coach, he has accumulated a 33-10 record in games played after losing a contest. Under Dixon, Pitt has lost three consecutive games only two times (Feb. 20-26, 2005 and Feb. 15-24, 2008) and two straight contests five times. Dixon owns a 5-2 record after dropping two straight games.

 

West Virginia (17-3, 6-2 Big East) enters the game ranked No. 6 nationally in both polls. It is the highest ranking for WVU upon entering a Pitt game since the Mountaineers entered the Feb. 24, 1982 contest ranked No. 6 in the AP poll. West Virginia is led by Da'Sean Butler (16.5 ppg./6.3 rpg.), Kevin Jones (14.2 ppg./7.7 rpg.), Devin Ebanks (11.3 ppg./8.2 rpg.) and Darryl Bryant (10.8 ppg.). West Virginia is on a four game win streak and 8-1 at home this year.

 

Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 179th time in series history as WVU holds an 84-94 all-time advantage. In games played at WVU Coliseum, West Virginia has defeated Pitt in 23 out of 31 all-time meetings. Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon has a 3-3 record in games played at WVU Coliseum, the best winning percentage and most wins for any Pitt coach in the facility. Pitt has won two of its last three games at WVU Coliseum. Since WVU joined the Big East, Pitt is 15-9 vs. the Mountaineers (9-2 at home and 6-7 in away games).

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 179th time in series history. Pitt has claimed 12 of the series' last 17 games. The Panthers have also won three of the last six matchups at WVU Coliseum.

 

•With a 3-3 record in games played at WVU Coliseum, Jamie Dixon has won more games in this arena than any other Pitt coach.

 

•For only the fourth time in the 178-game series, both No. 22 Pitt and No. 6 West Virginia enter a Basketball Backyard Brawl game ranked among the nation's top-25.

 

•Pitt is 4-2 on the road this year and has won 11 of its last 15 games away from home. Over the last nine seasons, Pitt owns the Big East's best road winning percentage (.611) with a 44-48 record. Connecticut is second at 42-27 (.609).

 

•Jermaine Dixon injured his right foot in the St. John's game. He did not play at USF. He is listed as day-to-day. It will be a game-time decision on whether he plays or not.