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GAME ONE: MOUNT ST. MARY'S (8-21, 6-12 NEC in 2011-12) at PITT (22-17, 5-13 Big East in 2011-12)
Friday, November 9, 2012 6 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN3.com (Tim Neverett and Darrin Horn; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Jim Colony, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). KDKA-AM, 1020-AM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-N/A (Pitt feed); N/A (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 14th year at Pitt, 10th year as head coach (238-77); Mount St. Mary's: Jamion Christian, 1st year at MSM (0-0), 1st year overall (0-0).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV; Mount St. Mary's: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Mount St. Mary's meet for the fifth time in series history. Pitt holds a 4-0 advantage in a series that dates back to 1912. Pitt plays MSM for the second time in four years. The last meeting was played on December 19, 2009, a 66-48 Pitt win at Petersen Events Center. Pitt owns a 70-1 all-time record vs. opponents from the Northeast Conference.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (22-17 overall/5-13 Big East in 2011-12) opens its 106th season of men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 9 when it hosts Mount St. Mary's (8-21/6-12 NEC in 2011-12) at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised on ESPN3.com with Tim Neverett and Darrin Horn handling play-by-play and color analyst duties respectively. Bill Shissler will manage production. 93.7 The Fan will air its afternoon radio show live from the Petersen Events Center Lobby between 2-5 p.m. featuring Jon Seibel, Joe Starkey and Josh Miller.
A win over Mount St. Mary's would give Pitt its 16th consecutive season opening victory since the 1997 season. Pitt enters the contest with a 72-33 all-time record in its 105 season openers dating back to the 1905-06 season. It has won 21 of its last 22 season openers and Jamie Dixon is a perfect 9-0 on opening night.
Pitt enters the 2012-13 season with a 91-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt has also won 112 of its last 116 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. Since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002, Pitt owns a 44-1 record in November non-conference games and a 43-1 record in December non-conference matchups.
In its two exhibition games against Indiana, Pa. and Hawaii-Hilo, Pitt's starting lineup featured two freshmen-center Steven Adams and guard James Robinson. Should the duo both start on Friday evening, it would mark the first time that Pitt started two freshmen in a game since January 6, 2004 when it started Chris Taft and guard Antonio Graves, who filled in for injured starter Carl Krauser.
Pitt claimed each of its two exhibition contests against Indiana, Pa. (69-54) and Hawaii-Hilo (77-45). With the two victories, Pitt has now won 28 consecutive exhibition games dating back to a Nov. 10, 1998 loss to Marathon Oil. Head Coach Jamie Dixon is a perfect 20-0 in exhibition games since he became head coach in 2003-04 and the Panthers improved to 18-0 in exhibition contests since the NCAA cleared other NCAA Division schools for competition. Combining Pitt's two exhibition games, the Panthers averaged 73.0 points per game, shot 44.7 percent (55-123) from the floor and outrebounded their opponents 37.5-29.5. Pitt also committed just 17 turnovers and forced its two opponents into 48. The Panthers uncharacteristically also registered 27 steals in the two games.
J.J. Moore led Pitt in both scoring (13.5 ppg.) and field goal percentage (.818, 9-11). Tray Woodall contributed 11.0 points per game and 7.5 assists, Dante Taylor led Pitt with 8.5 rebounds per game and averaged 8.5 points and Talib Zanna averaged 8.5 points.
Mount St. Mary's finished 8-21 and 6-12 in the Northeast Conference in 2011-12. The Mountaineers have a new coach in Jamion Christian.
Pitt returns three starters-Woodall, Taylor and Lamar Patterson-and seven of its top-10 scorers from a 2011-12 team that captured the College Basketball Invitational and finished 22-17 overall.
FRIDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt opens its 106th season of men's basketball on Friday night when it hosts Mount St. Mary's for a non-conference matchup.
Pitt begins its 11th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 164-19 record (.896) in the arena. The Panthers have won 70 of their last 79 home games and 31 of their last 38 home Big East games.
Pitt owns a 91-3 record and .968 winning percentage vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 112 of their last 116 home games against regular season non conference opponents.
Over the last 11 seasons, Pitt has been the Big East Conference's leader in overall winning percentage (295-87, .772), league winning percentage (129-57, .694), Big East Championships (six), Big East Tournament wins (20) and NCAA Tournament appearances (10 of 11).