Nov. 26, 2011
GAME 6: ROBERT MORRIS (4-1) at #17 PITT (4-1)
Sunday, November 27, 2011 5 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: Pitt Panthers Television, SportsnetNY, ESPN3 (Jeff Hathhorn and Curtis Aiken; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Jim Colony and Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-91; XM-91 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (220-61); Robert Morris: Andrew Toole, 2nd year at RMU (22-15), 2nd year overall (22-15).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-17; ESPN-16; Robert Morris: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Robert Morris meet for the 30th time in series history. Pitt holds a 29-0 advantage in the series dating back to January 18, 1978. The Panthers are a perfect 8-0 vs. the Colonials at the Petersen Events Center. In addition, Pitt is 68-0 all-time vs. Northeast Conference schools. RMU is the first of three NEC opponents on Pitt's schedule. On December 20 and 23 respectively, the Panthers play St. Francis, Pa. (28-0) and Wagner (1-0).
PITTSBURGH--No. 17 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt (4-1) plays its final Philly HoopGroup Classic game when it hosts Robert Morris (4-1) on Sunday at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. ET. Should Pitt win the contest, it would claim the Philly HoopGroup title with a perfect 4-0 record. RMU is 2-1 in Philly HoopGroup play.
The contest will be broadcast live on Pitt Panthers Television in Pittsburgh (Comcast Channel 188 or 210). Jeff Hathhorn and Curtis Aiken will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively.
Pitt is coming off a 20-point (78-58) Friday win over Penn in a contest played at the Philadelphia Palestra. Played in front of a pro-Pitt crowd, Pitt shot 58.5 percent (31-53) from the floor as four Panthers reached double figure scoring: Ashton Gibbs (16), Khem Birch (15 points/10 rebounds), Nasir Robinson (14) and J.J. Moore (12). Birch and Moore were making their first career starts as Pitt was without Dante Taylor (injured) and Lamar Patterson (suspension). Birch registered his first career double-double and surpassed nearly all of his career highs, while Moore played a career-high 31 minutes in the win. The contest marked Pitt's first appearance in the famed Palestra since Jan. 18, 1986. Pitt improved to 7-14 all-time in the Palestra and defeated Penn for the second straight season.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Pitt defeated LaSalle, 73-69. Four Panthers reached double figure scoring including Nasir Robinson (17), Ashton Gibbs (14), Tray Woodall (12) and Dante Taylor (11). Pitt blocked nine shots, shot 58.3 percent from 3-point range (7-12), shot 49.1 percent from the floor (26-53) and outrebounded LaSalle 42-24 in registering the win. The nine blocked shots were Pitt's most since it blocked 11 vs. Duquesne on Dec. 1, 2010. Pitt also committed 21 turnovers, its highest output since it tallied 23 at Providence on Jan. 4, 2011. With the win, Jamie Dixon improved to 41-11 in games following a loss. Pitt has now won 108 of its last 110 home games against regular season non-conference opponents and is 87-2 vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.
Robert Morris enters Sunday's contest with an identical 4-1 record. Coached by Andrew Toole, the Colonials are coming off a 51-44 Palestra win over LaSalle. That contest was played prior to Pitt's game vs. Penn. RMU's one loss is to Penn (66-60) and its wins include Rider, Saint Peter's and James Madison. The Colonials are led by guards Velton Jones (19.4 ppg.) and Coron Williams (13.4 ppg.).
Pitt owns a 29-0 record against Robert Morris and a 68-0 all-time record vs. Northeast Conference opponents. Since the 2002-03 season and the opening of the Petersen Events Center, Pitt has defeated Robert Morris by a combined 22.5 points per game margin (639-459 in eight games).
SUNDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
A win Sunday would give Pitt the Philly HoopGroup Classic title with a 4-0 record.
Pitt is in its 10th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 152-13 record (.921) in the arena. Pitt also owns an 87-2 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 58 of their last 61 home games.
Pitt has won 59 of its last 60 games and 108 of its last 110 home games against non-conference opponents. Pitt is 43-1 in November non-conference games at the PEC.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (277-72, .794), league winning percentage (124-44, .740), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).
Pitt is one of only three programs nationally to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt).