Dec. 3, 2009
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GAME EIGHT: NEW HAMPSHIRE (2-2, 0-0 America East) at PITT (6-1, 0-0 Big East)
Friday, December 4, 2009 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: www.pittsburghpanthers video stream: Watch Live: http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=pitt&media=151414
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). XM Satellite Radio: Channel 127 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (169-46); New Hampshire: Bill Herrion, 5th year at UNH (47-75); 20th year overall (284-244).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV, New Hampshire: not ranked.
Series: Pitt and New Hampshire meet for the second time. Pitt holds a 1-0 advantage in its series with New Hampshire, claiming a 53-38 win on Dec. 27, 2003. Pitt is 10-0 all-time vs. America East Conference opponents (Albany 1-0, Binghamton 1-0, Boston 1-0, Maine 1-0, UMBC 2-0, UNH 1-0).
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (6-1) hosts America East Conference foe New Hampshire (2-2) on Friday, December 4 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
Riding a two-game win streak, Pitt enters its eighth game of the 2009-10 season with a 6-1 record. The Panthers needed double overtime to defeat Duquesne 67-58 in Wednesday night's City Game Rivalry at Mellon Arena. The contest, which drew 12,336 fans, marked the final college basketball game played at Mellon Arena. The City Game saw the Panthers send the game into overtime after rallying all the way back from a 16-point second half deficit. Pitt used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit down to one point with 3:04 left. An Ashton Gibbs 3-pointer with 2:06 remaining in regulation tied the game at 53-53 and sent the game into overtime. After the two teams scored just three points apiece in the first overtime period, Pitt outscored Duquesne 11-2 in the second overtime to claim the win. Gibbs hit two 3-pointers and scored eight of Pitt's 11 points in the second overtime. Gibbs led four Panthers in double figures with 15 points. Brad Wanamaker (14), Gary McGhee (11) and Nasir Robinson (11) also reached double figure scoring. Pitt trailed by 13 points (33-20) at halftime. The 13-point halftime deficit ranked as the school's largest halftime margin overcome, surpassing two 12-point deficit games (vs. Duke on Dec. 20, 2008 and St. Francis, Pa. on Dec. 5, 1983).
Pitt also defeated Youngstown State, 72-56, on Saturday, Nov. 28 as the Panthers used a 10-0 run late in the contest to take a commanding lead. Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker each contributed 14 points apiece while Gary McGhee (12 pts/10 reb.) and Nasir Robinson (10 pts./10 reb.) both notched double-doubles as Pitt won its 25th consecutive home game.
The Pitt-New Hampshire contest features a matchup of the Herrion brothers. Tom Herrion serves as the Associate Head Coach at Pitt while older brother Bill Herrion is New Hampshire's Head Coach. Bill Herrion's son Ryan Herrion plays for the Wildcats. He is sidelined with an injury.
Pitt is in 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.
New Hampshire enters the game with a 2-2 record after defeating Marist 75-58 on Nov. 28. UNH's two losses are to No. 25 Maryland (82-55) and Harvard (78-60). New Hampshire is led by center Dan DiLiegro (14.0 ppg./8.8 rpg.), guard Alvin Abreau (11.5 ppg.) and forward Radar Onguetou (10.0 ppg.).
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 119-10 record (.922 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 69-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt has won 25 straight home games, a streak which ranks third among the school's all-time home win streaks. It currently ranks as the nation's third longest home win streak.
Pitt is also riding a school record 42-game win streak against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. It needs a win tonight to tie the school record of 43 consecutive home wins vs. non-conference opponents.
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 owns a 79-5 career record vs. non-conference opponents. He is 40-3 in games played in December.