Nov. 30, 2009
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GAME 7: DUQUESNE (5-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) vs. PITT (5-1, 0-0 Big East)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 7 p.m. ET
City Game Mellon Arena (17,500) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: CBS College Sports (Dave Ryan and Pete Gillen; Producer: Andy Kosco). CBS College Sports is available on any dish network and in select markets nationwide.
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). XM Satellite Radio: N/A.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (168-46); Duquesne: Ron Everhart, 5th year at DU (53-46); 16th year overall (227-218).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV, Duquesne: not ranked.
Series: Pitt and Duquesne meet for the 78th time with Pitt holding a 46-31 advantage. Pitt owns a 20-14 record in 34 matchups at Mellon Arena. Pitt has won each of the last eight matchups by an average of 16.8 points per game. Pitt has also claimed 27 of the series' last 30 contests.
CITY GAME PREVIEW
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (5-1) and Duquesne (5-1) meet for the 78th all-time City Game Rivalry on Wednesday, December 2 at Mellon Arena. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. The game marks the final college basketball contest played at Mellon Arena.
The game will be televised nationally by CBS College Sports. Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Pete Gillen (analysis) will provide commentary. Andy Kosco will produce.
Pitt enters its seventh game of the year with a 5-1 record. The Panthers defeated Youngstown State, 72-56, on Saturday as the Panthers used a 10-0 run late in the game to take a commanding lead. Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker each contributed 14 points apiece and Gary McGhee (12 pts/10 reb.) while Nasir Robinson (10 pts./10 reb.) both notched double-doubles as Pitt won its 25th consecutive home game.
Prior to the YSU game, the youthful Panthers battled point-for-point with No. 3 Texas before dropping a 78-62 decision at the CBE Classic in Kansas City. The loss ended Pitt's 39-game November win streak dating back to the 2001 season. For the first 32 minutes, the youthful Panthers battled with the Longhorns, and even led at halftime, 34-32. Texas outscored Pitt 14-3 over a second half span to win. No. 3 ranked Texas represented the highest ranked opponent Pitt has played in November since Nov. 29, 1994 when it faced No. 2 North Carolina. The Panthers dropped to 2-3 all-time vs. top-5 teams in November.
Pitt and Duquesne meet for the 35th time at Mellon Arena and for the 78th time in series history. Pitt owns a 46-31 all-time record in the series and is 20-14 vs. the Dukes at Mellon Arena. Pitt has won 27 of the last 30 overall games against Duquesne. Pitt has claimed each of the last eight matchups by an average 16.8 points per game margin. A win on Wednesday would give Pitt its ninth straight win over Duquesne, which would tie the Panthers' series record for most consecutive wins over the Dukes. Pitt won nine straight games against Duquesne during a six-year stretch from Dec. 14, 1982-Dec. 19, 1988.
Since 1961, Pitt has also enjoyed a successful tradition at Mellon Arena. Pitt has played in a total of 112 games at Mellon/Civic Arena, including some of the most attended contests in Pittsburgh city and state of Pennsylvania history. Pitt has topped the 16,000 mark 15 times at Mellon Arena including its all-time best crowd of 17,716 vs. North Carolina on December 20, 1993. The Panthers own a 61-51 all-time record in the building. Pitt would annually play Big East rivals Syracuse and Georgetown at the arena. In addition, it has played the nation's No. 1 team four times in the arena: Ohio State (Dec. 6, 1961), UCLA (Dec. 30, 1970), Georgetown (Jan. 19, 1984) and Syracuse (Jan. 3, 1990).
Pitt begins its 103rd campaign of basketball and 2009-10 season after it completed a 31-5 record, placed second in the Big East with a 15-3 slate, advanced to the NCAA Regional/Elite Eight for the first time in 35 years, ascended to the nation's No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history, completed a perfect 19-0 home record and earned a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
Pitt must find a way to replace four departed starters including NBA players in center DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs) and small forward Sam Young (Memphis Grizzlies), along with power forward Tyrell Biggs (playing professionally in Greece) and point guard Levance Fields (playing professionally in Russia). Over the last four seasons, the foursome combined for 286 career starts, 4,714 points, 2,282 rebounds and 932 assists. Fields and Young both scored over 1,000 career points and DeJuan Blair scored 979 points.
The Panthers return just one starter (Jermaine Dixon) and six letterwinners from that squad. Pitt started five players in its season opener against Wofford that had accumulated just one previous career start. Dixon (broken fifth metatarsal in right foot) and redshirt junior Gilbert Brown (academic suspension) will not play. For a rundown on how much experience Pitt will have in the early going, please take a look at the chart on page 6.
Duquesne enters the game with a 5-1 record. The Dukes are fresh off a 71-63 win vs. Radford. Following wins in each of its first four games, Duquesne dropped an 83-77 decision at Western Carolina. DU is led by Bill Clark's 18.3 ppg. and 6.5 rpg., Damien Saunders' 16.7 ppg. and 15.5 rpg. and B.J. Monteiro's 14.0 ppg. and 6.0 rpg.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt and Duquesne meet in the annual City Game at Mellon Arena for the final time. The game marks the final college basketball game played in the arena. Pitt and Duquesne have played 34 times in the building with Pitt claiming 20 of those matchups. Pitt has also defeated Duquesne in 16 of its last 18 matchups at Mellon Arena.
Pitt has played 112 total games at Mellon Arena. It is 61-51 all-time in the building. The last time Pitt appeared at Mellon Arena was during the 2002 NCAA Tournament, back-to-back wins over Central Connecticut State and California.
For the seventh straight game, Pitt will start five players who had a combined one career start prior to the season opener. Pitt remains without its two top returnees from last year: returning starter Jermaine Dixon (broken right foot) and last year's sixth man Gilbert Brown (academic suspension).
Jamie Dixon will coach in his first game at Mellon Arena. He is 6-0 vs. Duquesne and 78-5 all-time vs. non-conference opponents.