Feb. 20, 2009
DePAUL (8-18, 0-13 Big East) at #4 PITT (24-2, 11-2 Big East)
Saturday, February 21, 2009 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (John Sanders and Dave Kaplan; Prod.: Bill Shissler).Television Clearance List: New York City (SportsnetNY), Chicago, Ill. (WWME), Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh), Baltimore-Washington, D.C. (MASN), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), Providence-New England (Cox-NE), Rochester, Mason City, Austin, Iowa (MediaCom).
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 123 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (156-42); DePaul: Jerry Wainwright, 4th year at DePaul (51-66), 15th year overall (237-310).
Rankings: Pitt: 4-AP, 4-ESPN; DePaul: unranked.
Series: Pitt and DePaul meet for the sixth time in series history. Pitt owns a 4-1 all-time record vs. the Blue Demons. Since DePaul joined the Big East in 2005-06, Pitt is 4-0 vs. the Blue Demons. Pitt owns an 18-8 record vs. schools that joined the league in 2005-06.
PITTSBURGH--Riding a six-game win streak and five-game league win streak, No. 4 ranked Pitt (24-2, 11-2 Big East) returns home to take on DePaul (8-18, 0-13 Big East) Saturday night at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET. Pitt has five more Big East regular season games remaining.
The Pitt-DePaul contest will be broadcast on ESPN Regional and on FSN Pittsburgh locally with John Sanders and Dave Kaplan calling action. Bill Shissler will handle production.
Pitt has won 20 or more overall games and 10 or more league games for the eighth consecutive season. Jamie Dixon became 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 eight seasons.
Pitt's 24-2 record ties for the school's all-time best record after 26 games played. Pitt also began 24-2 in two different seasons in both Jamie Dixon's first year in 2003-04 and in 1929-30. Pitt was 22-4 in 2006-07, 1987-88 and 2002-03, 21-5 in 2005-06 and 20-6 in 2007-08. A sidenote: Pitt finished an undefeated 21-0 en route to the mythical national title in 1927-28.
Through its first 26 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-15.9 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-10.1 margin. The Panthers are also converting 48.2 percent (765-1586) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 40.4 percent shooting. Pitt has also held 23 of its 26 opponents to 70 points or less and 11 teams to 60 points or less. Pitt is ranked among the nation's top-10 teams in five statistical categories (as of Feb. 15, 2009). As a team, Pitt ranks second nationally in rebound margin (9.8), ranks second in assist:turnover ratio (1.58), fourth in both assists per game (18.2) and winning percentage (91.7) and fifth in scoring margin (16.2). The Panthers also ranked 11th in turnovers per game (11.5) and 14th in field goal percentage (48.6).
Several Pitt players are also ranked among national leaders in various statistical categories (as of Feb. 15, 2009). Levance Fields leads the nation in assist:turnover ratio (4.15) and ranks second in assists per game (7.6). DeJuan Blair ranks fifth nationally in rebounding (12.3) and leads the nation in offensive rebounds with 5.6 orpg according to StatsLLC (Note: the NCAA does not rank top offensive rebounders). He is also ranked No. 18 in field goal percentage (60.0). Sam Young is rated 76th in scoring (17.9).
Following a loss at No. 21 Villanova (Jan. 28), Pitt has bounced back with six consecutive wins. Pitt registered its first-ever victory over the nation's No. 1 ranked team with a 76-68 win over Connecticut on Monday. Pitt improved to 1-13 all-time vs. No. 1 ranked teams. DeJuan Blair finished with his second 20-20 performance of the year with 22 points and a career-high 23 rebounds and Sam Young scored a game-high 25 points in the win in Hartford. Levance Fields scored all of his 10 points down the stretch and hit two key 3-pointers to lead Pitt to the win. Pitt also defeated Cincinnati 85-69 on Feb. 14. Levance Fields finished with the fifth double-double of his career (11 points and 13 assists) along with no turnovers as Pitt tied a school record with a 67.4 field goal percentage (31-46) in the win. Sam Young led Pitt with 18 points, DeJuan Blair added 17 points, Jermaine Dixon finished with 14 and Gilbert Brown had 12.
DePaul and Pitt meet for the second time this season and sixth time in series history. Pitt is 4-1 all-time vs. the Blue Demons. The Panthers have claimed each of the last four consecutive games against the Blue Demons including a 92-69 win over DePaul in Chicago on Feb. 7. Pitt owns an 18-8 record vs. schools that joined the Big East Conference in 2005-06.
DePaul is led by Dar Tucker (18.4 ppg.), Mac Koshwal (13.5 ppg./10.0 rpg.) and Will Walker (12.7 ppg.).
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt has won 18 straight home games and carries a 112-10 all-time record (.918 percentage) in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 46-9 record vs. Big East opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt is also an undefeated 16-0 at home this year.
At 24-2 and 11-2, Pitt is the only Big East school to win 20 overall games and 10-plus league games in each of the last eight seasons. Dixon is the only Pitt coach in school history to win 20 or more overall games in six straight seasons.
Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon (156-42) is coaching in his 199th career game. His 200th career game will be at Providence on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
DeJuan Blair became the first player in school history to register two 20-20 performances in the same season.
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