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Men's Basketball Opens Progressive Legends Classic Play Against Howard on Sunday

Josh Newkirk has seen his first collegiate action in each of Pitt's first two games.

Josh Newkirk has seen his first collegiate action in each of Pitt's first two games.

Nov. 15, 2013

DIGITAL GAME PROGRAM: Legends Classic (Howard, Lehigh, Texas Tech, Stanford/Houston) | 

Game Notes |  Game Day Central |  Pitt-Howard Live Stats |  Watch Live on ESPN3.com |  2013-14 Media Guide |  Howard Basketball | 

GAME 3: HOWARD (2-1, 0-0 MEAC) at PITT (2-0, 0-0 ACC)

Sunday, November 17, 2013 • 5 p.m. ET

Petersen Events Center (12,508) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

MEDIA INFORMATION

Television: ESPN3.com (Tim Neverett and Curtis Aiken; Producer: Bill Shissler).

Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel N/A (Pitt feed), XM-N/A (Pitt feed).

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

Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (264-86); Howard: Kevin Nickelberry, 4th year at Howard (9-25); 4th year overall (108-127).


 

 

Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; Howard: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.

Series: Pitt and Howard meet for the fifth overall time in men's basketball and for the second time in as many years with Pitt holding a 4-0 advantage. Howard and Pitt last met on Nov. 27, 2012, a 70-46 Panthers win at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt is a combined 25-0 vs. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents.

 

GAME PREVIEW

PITTSBURGH--Pitt (2-0) plays its third game of its 107th overall season and inaugural year in the Atlantic Conference on Sunday, Nov. 17 when it hosts Howard (2-1 in 2013-14, 7-24 overall/4-12 MEAC in 2012-13) for a Progressive Legends Classic contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. ET.

The contest will be televised on ESPN3.com with Tim Neverett and former Pitt player Curtis Aiken providing play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. Bill Shissler will handle production.

The game marks the first of Pitt's four Progressive Legends Classic games: Howard (Nov. 17) and Lehigh (Nov. 20) at the Petersen Events Center and vs. Texas Tech (Nov. 25) and either Stanford or Houston (Nov. 26) in Brooklyn, N.Y. The final two games, championship and consolation rounds will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Pitt is competing in its second Legends Classic as the Panthers claimed the 2008 title at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. by defeating both Texas Tech (80-67) and Washington State (57-43). Sam Young was named 2008 Legends Classic Tournament MVP, while DeJuan Blair earned all-tournament honors.

Pitt enters the Legends Classic with a 2-0 record following consecutive wins over Fresno State (75-54) and Savannah State (88-55). Against Fresno State, Pitt used a plus-23 (48-25) rebounding advantage, outscored the Bulldogs 52-14 in the paint and used a 13-0 run to close out the first half in registering a 21-point win. Talib Zanna notched his seventh career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Cameron Wright tied a career-high with 13 points as Pitt rolled to its second win.

Pitt opened its 2013-14 season with an 88-55 home win over Savannah State on Nov. 8 at the Petersen Events Center. With tenacious defensive intensity, Pitt opened up a 19-2 lead just six minutes into the game and held Savannah State to just 13 first half points and 4-23 shooting (17.4 percent) in building a 40-13 halftime lead. Six Pitt players reached double figure scoring including junior Rutgers transfer Derrick Randall, who registered collegiate bests of 12 points and 12 rebounds (nine offensive). In his first game at Pitt, Randall made the start at center in place of Talib Zanna. James Robinson finished with 13 points, Durand Johnson came off the bench with 12 points (3-6 3FG), Lamar Patterson contributed 11 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, Josh Newkirk hit 3-3 3-pointers and finished with 11 points in his freshman debut and Cameron Wright added 10 points. Freshman Michael Young scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds in his collegiate debut. Pitt won its 17th consecutive season opener, captured its 23rd in its last 24 season openers and Jamie Dixon improved to a perfect 11-0 on opening night.

Pitt enters Sunday's game after having won 11 consecutive non-conference home games. Pitt owns a 103-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 124 of its last 128 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. Since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002, Pitt owns a 52-2 record in November non-conference games and a 49-2 record in December games.

Earlier, Pitt claimed each of its two exhibition games vs. UC San Diego (72-59 on Oct. 25) and Slippery Rock (96-60 on Nov. 1). With the two exhibition wins, Pitt has won 30 consecutive exhibition games dating back to a Nov. 10, 1988 loss to Marathon Oil. Head coach Jamie Dixon is a perfect 22-0 in exhibition games since he became head coach in 2003-04 and the Panthers improved to 20-0 in exhibition contests since the NCAA cleared other NCAA Division II and III schools for competition.

Howard enters the game with a 2-1 record following a 77-57 loss at Old Dominion. The Bison are coached by Kevin Nickelberry.

In mid-October, Pitt was picked by Atlantic Coast Conference media members to finish sixth among 15 schools.

Pitt has won 94 of its last 132 overall games, 99 of its last 138, 243 of its last 323 contests, 107 of its last 161 league regular season games and 144 of its last 156 non-conference games.

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

•Pitt plays its third game of its 107th season of men's basketball on Sunday when it hosts Howard.

•Pitt is in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 182-22 record (.892) in the arena. The Panthers have won 88 of their last 100 home games and 37 of their last 47 conference home games.

•Pitt owns a 103-3 record and .971 winning percentage vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. On an 11-game non-conference home win streak, the Panthers have also won 124 of their last 128 home games against regular season non-conference home opponents.

•When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 12 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (321-96, .769), league winning percentage (141-63, .691), homecourt winning percentage (.892) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).

The Last Meeting
Howard46
Pittsburgh70
November 27, 2012
Petersen Events Center
Patterson, Woodall Lift Men's Basketball Past Howard, 70-46
Lamar Patterson and Tray Woodall scored 15 points each and Pittsburgh pulled away from Howard in the second half for a 70-46 victory on Tuesday night.