Dec. 5, 2011
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GAME 9: VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE (3-4) at #15 PITT (7-1)
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: Pitt Panthers Television (Channel 188 or 210 in Pittsburgh area) (Jeff Hathhorn, Curtis Aiken; Producer: Roger Lenhart).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-93; XM-191 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (223-61); VMI: Duggar Baucom, 7th year at VMI (90-98), 9th year overall (127-117).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-15; ESPN-14; VMI: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and VMI meet for the first time in series history. In VMI, Pitt plays its second Big South opponent in school history and is 1-0 vs. league schools. Pitt's first-ever Big South opponent was UNC-Asheville in last year's NCAA Tournament Second Round in Washington, D.C. Pitt defeated UNC-Asheville 74-51 on March 17, 2011.
PITTSBURGH--No. 15 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt (7-1) hosts the Virginia Military Institute on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The contest will be televised on Pitt Panthers Television with Jeff Hathhorn and Curtis Aiken handling play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. Roger Lenhart will manage production.
On a five-game win streak, Pitt enters its ninth game with a 7-1 record. Pitt registered its second road win of the year on Saturday, defeating Tennessee in the Big East/SEC Challenge, 61-56. John Johnson converted a 3-point play with two seconds remaining to seal the victory. Ashon Gibbs ignited Pitt's decisive 7-0 run late in the second half. He also gave Pitt the ball back down the stretch with an important jump ball. Gibbs and Nasir Robinson both led Pitt with 16 points apiece. Robinson registered his seventh career double-double with career-highs of 12 total and nine offensive rebounds. Pitt's bench outscored Tennessee's 17-6 and the Panthers took advantage of 18 second chance points in the win. The Panthers started two freshmen-Khem Birch and Cameron Wright-for the first time since Jamie Dixon became head coach.
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Pitt defeated Duquesne for the 11th consecutive season, winning an 80-69 victory at the Consol Energy Center. With the win, the Panthers have now captured 53 of their last 55 November games. Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 18 points on four 3-pointers, Dante Taylor registered his second career double-double with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds and Lamar Patterson added 10. Despite committing 23 turnovers, Pitt led the entire way, outrebounded the Dukes 39-15 and converted 11 3-pointers in the victory. Also, Pitt's bench outscored DU's 34-16.
With a 3-4 record, VMI enters the game on a three-game losing streak. All three losses came on the road: at Charleston Southern (114-81), at Coastal Carolina (87-78) and at Ohio State (107-74). The Keydets are led by Stan Okoye (17.1 ppg.), Keith Gabriel (17.0 ppg.) and Ron Burks (12.0 ppg.). Almost half of VMI's shots are 3-point attempts (213 out of 472) and the Keydets average 83.7 points per game. They also give up 90.9 points per game.
TUESDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its 10th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 153-13 record (.922) in the arena. Pitt also owns an 88-2 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 59 of their last 62 home games.
Pitt has won 60 of its last 61 games and 109 of its last 111 home games against non-conference opponents.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (280-72, .795), 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).