Cameron Wright (3) goes to the basket. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec. 5, 2013
GAME 9: LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (6-2, 0-0 WCC) at PITT (8-0, 0-0 ACC)
Friday, December 6, 2013 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN3 (Tim Neverett and Curtis Aiken; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 93 (Pitt feed), XM-190 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (270-86); Loyola Marymount: Max Good, 6th year at LMU (70-100); 22nd year overall (312-323).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; LMU: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and Loyola Marymount meet for the second time in series history with LMU holding a 1-0 advantage. Loyola Marymount last defeated the Panthers 54-45 in Los Angeles on Feb. 3, 1949. The game was played as part of Pitt head coach H.C. "Doc" Carlson's legendary two-week West Coast competition swings. The trip included scheduled games at Bradley, Denver, Utah, California, Stanford, Loyola Marymount, UCLA and Arizona.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (8-0) plays its ninth game of the year when it hosts Loyola Marymount (6-2) on Friday, Dec. 6 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The game will be televised on ESPN3.com with Tim Neverett (play-by-play) and Curtis Aiken (color commentary) making the call. Bill Shissler will handle production.
On an eight-game win streak, Pitt enters its ninth game with a perfect 8-0 record for the eighth time in the last 13 seasons. Pitt has won eight games by a plus-21.9 points per game margin and seven of its eight by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 81.2 points per game, converting 48.0 percent (221-460) of its field goals, 36.3 percent (49-135) of its 3-point field goals and an amazing 76.8 percent (159-207) of its free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-12.3 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 59.4 points per game and yielding a 39.7 percent (163-411) field goal percentage. All eight Pitt opponents have been held to 70 points or less.
Pitt enters its game against Loyola Marymount on a consecutive 14-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt owns a 106-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 127 of its last 131 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 50-2 record in December games.
Pitt is coming off a 78-69 victory over Penn State in which it bounced back from a poor shooting first half (28 percent, 7-25) to convert 17-29 of its field goals and score 50 second half points. Talib Zanna registered his ninth career double-double (16 points/10 rebounds), Lamar Patterson finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while James Robinson added 10 points. All three made key plays down the stretch that saw Pitt go on a late rally after Penn State tied the game at 59-59 with 5:04 left.
Pitt also defeated Duquesne, an 84-67 victory on Nov. 30 in the annual City Game 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.
Loyola Marymount enters the game with a 6-2 record following a 73-69 win at UC-Riverside on Dec. 2. The Lions are in the midst of a month-long, 15,000-mile road swing which has included three games at the Ezybonds Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (win over Marist, 76-70; losses to Northern Iowa, 90-81 and a one-point loss to Vanderbilt, 78-77) and two games at the San Diego Classic. LMU will also travel to Valparaiso (Dec. 14). LMU has four players averaging double figures including Anthony Ireland (18.9 ppg./4.1 rpg.), Gabe Levin (12.8 ppg./9.0 rpg.), Evan Payne (12.4 ppg.) and Ben Dickinson (10.9 ppg.).
FRIDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is off to its eighth 8-0 start to a season in the last 13 years.
Pitt is in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 185-22 record (.894) in the arena. The Panthers have won 91 of their last 103 home games and 38 of their last 48 conference home games.
Pitt owns a 106-3 record and .972 winning percentage vs. non-conference opponents in the PEC. On a 14-game non-conference home win streak, the Panthers have also won 127 of their last 131 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 (327-96, .773), league winning percentage (141-63, .691), homecourt winning percentage (.893) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).