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West Virginia Basketball |
GAME 25: #5 WEST VIRGINIA (19-4, 8-3 Big East) at #25 PITT (18-6, 7-4 Big East)
Friday, February 12, 2010 9 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Doris Burke, Sidelines: Allen Hopkins; Producer: Steve Ackels).
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970-AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Sirius 90 (Pitt feed); Sirius 122 (WVU feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (181-51); West Virginia: Bob Huggins, 3rd year at WVU (68-27), 28th year overall (658-238).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-25; ESPN-23; West Virginia: AP-5; ESPN-4.
Series: Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 180th time in series history. WVU owns a 95-84 advantage in the series even though Pitt has claimed 12 of the series' last 18 games. Pitt has won each of the last four matchups at the Petersen Events Center and eight of the last nine at home.
No. 25 Pitt (18-6, 7-4 Big East) hosts No. 5 West Virginia (19-4, 8-3 Big East) on Friday, February 12 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. ET.
The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN with Dave Pasch, Doris Burke and Allen Hopkins (sidelines) calling action. Steve Ackels will handle production.
A Pitt win would pull the Panthers into a three-way tie for third place in the Big East Conference standings with WVU and Georgetown. Pitt and West Virginia meet for the second time this season. West Virginia claimed a 70-51 victory against Pitt on Feb. 3 in Morgantown. The two programs meet for the 180th time with WVU owning a 95-84 historical advantage. The two schools enter the matchup nationally ranked for only the fifth game in series history. Pitt has claimed each of the last four contests played at the Petersen Events Center and eight of the last nine matchups played in Pittsburgh.
West Virginia enters the game ranked No. 5/4 in both polls. Pitt owns a 5-0 record vs. top-5 ranked teams played at the Petersen Events Center and is 10-4 vs. top-25 teams in the arena since it opened in 2002-03.
Riding a two-game win streak and three-game home win streak, Pitt enters the matchup after having won 11 of its last 15 games and 15 of its last 20 contests. Earlier this year, Pitt 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 played its final non-conference game on Monday as it defeated Robert Morris 77-53 behind 20 points from Ashton Gibbs, 18 from Jermaine Dixon and a double-double from Brad Wanamaker. Pitt improved to 28-0 all-time vs. the Colonials and 68-0 all-time vs. Northeast Conference opponents.
Pitt is 7-4 in Big East play after defeating Seton Hall 83-58 on Saturday. The 25-point win tied for Pitt's largest of the year and its 83 points marked a team season-high. Five Panthers reached double figure scoring for the first time this season. Gilbert Brown scored a game-high 23 points (9-14 FG), while Jermaine Dixon (15), Brad Wanamaker (13), Gary McGhee (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Ashton Gibbs (11) all reached double figure scoring. Pitt took control of the game with a 9-0 second half run on account of three 3-pointers on three straight possessions. The win concluded a two-game losing streak.
Pitt dropped a 70-51 loss at No. 6 West Virginia on Wednesday. Pitt trailed by two points (43-41) with 12:51 to go, but WVU went on a 13-3 run to take control. Pitt shot a season-low 30 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 45-31. Freshman J.J. Richardson provided a spark with a nine-point performance off the bench, Jermaine Dixon finished with 13 points and Ashton Gibbs 11.
West Virginia (19-4, 8-3 Big East) enters the game after losing an 82-75 decision to Villanova on Monday night in Morgantown. Coached by Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers have won six of their last seven contests. WVU is led by Da'Sean Butler (17.1 ppg./6.0 rpg.), Kevin Jones (14.0 ppg./7.6 rpg.), Devin Ebanks (11.2 ppg./8.6 rpg.) and Darryl Bryant (10.5 ppg.).
At home, Pitt recently concluded a 31-game home win streak and is 13-1 on the year. It also is 53-10 vs. Big East opponents at the Petersen Events Center. In addition, Pitt owns a 46-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns a 75-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 96 of its last 97 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 128-11 all-time record and .921 winning percentage. The .921 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best home court records over the last eight years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 58 of its last 68 Big East home games. Only two opponents (Louisville and Georgetown) have defeated the Panthers two times in the Petersen Events Center.
With its 11-2 final non-conference record this year, Pitt has claimed 10 or more non-conference games for the ninth consecutive season.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 180th time. For only the fifth time in the series, both teams enter a Backyard Brawl Basketball game ranked among the nation's top-25. At home, Pitt has defeated WVU in eight of the last nine games and has won four straight vs. the Mountaineers at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt is 5-0 vs. top-5 ranked teams and 10-4 vs. top-25 teams in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center, carries a 128-11 overall record (.921 winning percentage) and is 53-10 all-time vs. Big East opponents in the arena. Pitt is 13-1 at home this season.
Pitt has won 34 of its last 35 home games. Pitt recently completed a 31-game home win streak, which ranks as the second longest in school history and second longest in Petersen Events Center history. Pitt won 34 straight to open the arena.