Dec. 13, 2012
GAME 11: BETHUNE-COOKMAN (4-7, 0-1 MEAC) at PITT (9-1, 0-0 Big East)
Saturday, December 15, 2012 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN3.com (Tim Neverett and Darrin Horn; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Jim Colony, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-92 (Pitt feed), XM-N/A (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 14th year at Pitt, 10th year as head coach (247-78); Bethune-Cookman: Gravelle Craig, 2nd year at B-C (21-24), 2nd year overall (21-24).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV; Bethune-Cookman: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Bethune-Cookman meet for the first time in men's basketball. Pitt owns a 22-0 all-time record versus Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schools, including a 70-46 win over Howard earlier this year on November 27, 2012 at the Petersen Events Center.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (9-1, 0-0 Big East) hosts Bethune-Cookman (4-7, 0-1 MEAC) on Saturday, December 15 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The contest will be televised live on ESPN3.com with Tim Neverett and Darrin Horn making the call. Bill Shissler will handle production.
Three non-conference home games remain for the Panthers before Big East Conference play begins against No. 11 Cincinnati on Dec. 31: Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 15), Delaware State (Dec. 19) and Kennesaw State (Dec. 23).
Riding a five-game win streak, Pitt enters its 11th game with a 9-1 record. A win against Bethune-Cookman would give Pitt its 10th non conference victory of the year for the 12th consecutive season. Pitt is off to a 9-1 or better start to a season for the third consecutive year and for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons. Pitt began the 2009-10 season with an 8-2 record.
Pitt is accomplishing it all with total team effort. All 10 of its players are averaging 3.9 points or more and all 10 are playing at least 10.4 minutes per game. Through its first 10 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-22.3 margin, shot 50.4 percent (286-568) from the floor and outrebounded its opponents by plus-7.6 boards per game. Pitt has forced 15.0 turnovers per game and totaled 80 steals for an 8.0 steals per game average, numbers that are uncommonly high for the Panthers. Pitt has also dominated the inside, having outscored its opponents 362-214 in the paint. The Panthers' bench also has outscored their opponents by a 264-124 total. Additionally, Pitt has assisted on 67 percent (189 of 286) of its total field goals. In the NCAA statistical rankings (as of Dec. 9, 2012), Pitt ranks among the nation's top-11 teams in seven categories: 9th in scoring defense (53.9), 7th in scoring margin (22.3), 8th in field goal percentage (50.4), 2nd in assists per game (18.9), 1st in assist:turnover ratio (2.05), 2nd in fewest turnovers per game (9.2) and 11th in turnover margin (5.8).
Currently on a 12-game home win streak, which ties for the ninth longest of its kind in school history, Pitt owns a 98-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt has also won 119 of its last 123 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. Since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002, Pitt owns a 49-1 record in November non-conference home games and has a 45-1 record in December non-conference matchups.
On Saturday, Pitt took advantage of a dominating second half to defeat North Florida 89-47. In the second half alone, Pitt outscored UNF 48-17, outrebounded the visiting Ospreys 23-7 and shot 62 percent (18-29) to register the win. North Florida recorded an opponent school game record for free throws made (0) and free throw attempts (0). Dante Taylor led the Panthers with 16 points, Talib Zanna added 15, Tray Woodall 14 and Lamar Patterson 13.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
With a victory against Bethune-Cookman, Pitt will win its 10th non conference game for the 12th consecutive season.
Pitt has won 12 consecutive home games, its ninth longest home win streak in school history.
Pitt is in its 11th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 171-19 record (.900) in the arena. The Panthers have won 77 of their last 86 home games and 31 of their last 38 Big East home games.
Pitt owns a 98-3 record and .970 winning percentage vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 119 of their last 123 home games against regular season non conference opponents.
Over the last 11 years, Pitt has been the Big East Conference's leader in overall winning percentage (304-88, .776), league winning percentage (129-57, .694), Big East Championships (six), Big East Tournament wins (20) and NCAA Tourney appearances (10).
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