Durand Johnson drives to the basket against Duquesne.
Dec. 2, 2013
GAME 8: PENN STATE (6-2, 0-0 Big Ten) at PITT (7-0, 0-0 ACC)
Big Ten/ACC Challenge Tuesday, December 3, 2013
7:30 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPNU (Adam Amin and Brooke Weisbrod; Producer: Todd Kulis).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 92 (Pitt feed), XM-191 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (269-86); Penn State: Patrick Chambers, 3rd year at Penn State (28-43); 5th year overall (70-71).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; PSU: AP-NR; USA Today-NR (as of Nov. 25, 2013).
Series: Pitt and Penn State meet for the 146th time in series history and for the first time in eight years, since December 10, 2005. Pitt won the 2005 meeting at the PEC by 37 points (91-54), the largest margin of victory by either team in series history. Pitt has won the last five consecutive matchups by an average margin of 25.8 points per win. Pitt is 2-0 vs. PSU at the PEC and has won each of the last six matchups hosted by Pitt dating back to Feb. 18, 1978. Jamie Dixon is 3-0 vs. PSU.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (7-0) plays in its first-ever Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest when it hosts rival Penn State (6-2) at the Petersen Events Center on Tuesday, December 3. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Adam Amin (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (color commentary) and Steve Wolf making the call. Todd Kulis will handle production.
On a seven-game win streak, Pitt enters its eighth game with a perfect 7-0 record following an 84-67 win over Duquesne in Saturday's City Game and its second-all-time Progressive Legends Classic championship as it registered consecutive 20-point victories over Stanford (88-67) and Texas Tech (76-53) at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, Nov. 25-26. Pitt begins a season at 7-0 for the eighth time in the last 13 seasons.
Pitt and Penn State meet for the first time in eight years and for the first time since December 10, 2005, when Pitt registered a 37-point victory (91-54) at the Petersen Events Center. The two rivals play for the 146th time with Penn State holding a 75-70 advantage. Pitt has won each of the last five consecutive matchups. Pitt is also on a six-game home win streak against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have not defeated Pitt in a basketball game played in Pittsburgh since a 75-68 overtime win against Pitt on Feb. 18, 1978.
Pitt has won all seven of its games by a plus-23.7 margin and all seven by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 81.7 points per game, converting 48.5 percent (197-406) of its field goals, 37.9 percent (47-124) of its 3-point field goals and an amazing 76.2 percent (131-172) of its free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-12.7 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 58.0 points per game and yielding a 39.3 percent (140-356) field goal percentage. All seven Pitt opponents have been held to 70 points or less.
Pitt enters its Tuesday game against Penn State on a consecutive 13-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt owns a 105-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 126 of its last 130 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. Since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002, Pitt owns a 54-2 record in November non-conference games and a 49-2 record in December games.
Pitt is coming off an 84-67 win in the annual City Game against Duquesne at Consol Energy Center. The win marked Pitt's 13th consecutive against the Dukes. Pitt also claimed its 32nd in the last 35 meetings between the two schools. Junior Cameron Wright scored a career-high 20 points to pace the Panthers, who used a 9-0 run to outscore Duquesne 15-1 over a five-minute second half span to take control of the contest. Senior Lamar Patterson finished with 18 points, Talib Zanna added 13 and Durand Johnson contributed 11 points in the win.
Pitt captured its second all-time Progressive Legends Classic title with an 88-67 victory over Stanford in the final. Legends Classic Most Valuable Player Lamar Patterson led five Panthers in double figures with a career-high 24 points (9-11 FT) and six assists. Talib Zanna and Durand Johnson each contributed 14 points apiece, Cameron Wright finished with 13 and James Robinson added 10 points and five assists as the Panthers jumped out to an early 32-20 lead with 4:41 left in the first half and 17-point halftime lead (43-28). Stanford cut the lead down to as few as 11 in the second half but Pitt's Johnson answered with a four-point play to keep the Cardinal at bay. Patterson was named Legends Classic Most Valuable Player after he averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game and converted 14-23 field goals and 7-13 3-pointers in Pitt's two contests in Brooklyn. Wright was also named to the all-tournament team after averaging 12.5 points, 3.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game. Pitt also claimed the Legends Classic title in 2008.
Penn State enters Tuesday's game with a 6-2 overall record. The Nittany Lions have won five of their last six games including an overtime win against St. John's (89-82) and a loss vs. Mississippi (79-76). Both of those games were played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Coached by third-year head coach Patrick Chambers, the Nittany Lions are led by D.J. Newbill (19.5 ppg./6.9 rpg.), Tim Frazier (18.5 ppg., 7.5 apg.), Brandon Taylor (12.0 ppg.) and Ross Travis (11.6 ppg./8.3 rpg.).
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
For the first time in eight years, Pitt and Penn State meet in basketball. Pitt has won each of the last five meetings by a combined average of 25.8 points per victory. Pitt has won 10 of its last 13 games against Big Ten foes dating back to 2001-02.
Pitt is in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 184-22 record (.893) in the arena. The Panthers have won 90 of their last 102 home games and 37 of their last 47 conference home games.
Pitt owns a 105-3 record and .972 winning percentage vs. non-conference opponents in the PEC. On a 13-game non-conference home win streak, the Panthers have also won 126 of their last 130 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 (326-96, .773), league winning percentage (141-63, .691), homecourt winning percentage (.893) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).