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GAME 3: NORTH FLORIDA (13-18, 8-12 A-Sun 2009-10) at #5 PITT (2-0, 0-0 Big East)
Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 4 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (John Sanders and Bob Wenzel; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Television Clearances: Pittsburgh (FSN-Pittsburgh), New York City (SportsnetNY), Washington, D.C.-Baltimore (MASN), Connecticut (SNY-Connecticut), Providence, R.I. (Cox-New England), Kansas City, Mo. (Metro-KC), ESPN Full Court, ESPN3.com.
Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 93.7 The Fan (93.7-FM-KDKA). Satellite Radio: Not Available.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (190-54); North Florida: Matthew Driscoll, 2nd year at UNF (13-18), 6th year overall (39-95).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-5; ESPN-4. North Florida: AP-NR; ESPN: NR.
Series: Pitt and North Florida meet for the first time in series history. Pitt meets an Atlantic Sun opponent for the seventh time in school history. The Panthers own a 5-1 record vs. Atlantic Sun foes (Belmont 1-0, East Tennessee State 1-0, Jacksonville 2-1, Stetson 1-0). The last time Pitt played an A-Sun team was Belmont on November 25, 2008, a 74-60 win.
PITTSBURGH--No. 5 ranked Pitt (2-0) plays its third game of the year on Saturday, Nov. 13 when it hosts Atlantic Sun opponent North Florida (13-18, 8-12 A-Sun in 2009-10) at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. ET.
The contest will be televised by ESPN Regional and aired locally on FSN Pittsburgh with John Sanders (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (color analyst) making the call. Bill Shissler will handle production.
A win against North Florida would give Pitt its 50th consecutive home win over a non-conference opponent. That streak is a school record. Pitt has also won 98 of its last 99 home games against regular season non-conference opponents and is 77-1 vs. non-conference competition at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt opens its season with two straight wins including a 97-54 win against Illinois-Chicago on Thursday. Ashton Gibbs paced Pitt with 24 points (5-10 3FG), Brad Wanamaker added 17 points (7-8 FG) with nine assists, Gilbert Brown contributed 12 and Travon Woodall 10 for the Panthers who shot 70 percent (21-30) in the second half. Pitt's 83-75 season opening win over Rhode Island on Monday night gave Pitt its 15th consecutive season opening victory since the 1997 season. Pitt improves to 71-33 all-time in its 104 season openers dating back to the 1905-06 season. It has won 20 of its last 21 season openers and Jamie Dixon is a perfect 8-0 on opening night. Wanamaker led all scorers with 24 points and eight assists, Gibbs finished the night with 22 points and Talib Zanna added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the win.
Pitt returns four starters and seven of its top eight scorers from a 2009-10 team that finished 25-9 overall, ranked second in the Big East regular season with a 13-5 record, advanced to its ninth straight NCAA Tournament and earned a No. 3 seed upon entering the tourney. Last year's squad entered its season picked to finish ninth by the Big East league coaches. Pitt lost only one starter (Jermaine Dixon) from last year's team and returns 86 percent of its scoring, 88 percent of its rebounding and 84 percent of minutes played.
North Florida returns all five starters from last year's 13-18 team. Head Coach Matthew Driscoll is a Pittsburgh, Pa. native as he has served as head coach at LaRoche College from 1993-97, Senaca Valley High School (1991-93) and Butler County Community College (1990-91). Driscoll is also a Slippery Rock University graduate. The Ospreys will play at Florida State on Friday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m. the evening before playing the Panthers.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its ninth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 134-11 record (.924 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 77-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 40 of their last 41 home games.
Pitt is riding a 49-game home win streak against non-conference opponents. Pitt has won 98 of its last 99 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Over the last nine seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (245-65, .790), league winning percentage (109-41, .727), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).
Pitt is one of only three programs to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last nine seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas, Pitt).