Dec. 16, 2008
GAME 11: SIENA (5-3, 2-0 MAAC) at #3 PITT (10-0, 0-0 Big East)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:30 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen, Doug Gottlieb and Tom Brennan; Producer: Eric Mosley)
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: TBA.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (142-40); Siena: Fran McCaffery, 4th year at Siena (53-29); 13th year overall (202-166).
Rankings: Pitt: 3-AP, 3-ESPN; Siena: unranked.
Series: Pitt and Siena meet for the fourth time. Pitt holds a 2-1 advantage in the series. The two teams last met on Nov. 28, 1990 with Pitt winning an 82-80 contest at Siena. Pitt is 12-6 all-time vs. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponents.
PITTSBURGH--No. 3 ranked Pitt (10-0) hosts Siena (5-3, 2-0 MAAC) on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The contest marks the first of Pitt's final two non-conference games before it has a nine-day holiday break, then begins the Big East portion of the schedule on Dec. 31 at Rutgers.
The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Doug Gottlieb (color commentary) and Tom Brennan (color commentary) making the call. Eric Mosley will produce.
For the sixth consecutive year, Pitt begins a men's basketball season with a 10-0 start. A win would give Pitt its second consecutive 11-0 start to a season. Additionally, Jamie Dixon has guided Pitt to 10-0 starts in each of his first six seasons as Pitt's head coach.
According to www.realtimerpi.com, Pitt is ranked No. 5 nationally in Ratings Percentage Index and No. 21 nationally in the strength of schedule rankings (as of Dec. 15, 2008). Pitt also has the highest RPI and strength of schedule rating in the Big East Conference.
Pitt is one of 14 schools nationwide to own an undefeated college basketball record. Pitt is one of four schools to own a 10-0 record. The other three schools with perfect 10-0 records include BYU, Clemson and Oklahoma.
This week, the University of Pittsburgh is one of four NCAA Division I schools to be ranked nationally in the sports of football, men's basketball and women's basketball. The four schools include Pitt, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma.
Pitt is currently on a 10-game home win streak after defeating Maryland-Baltimore County (91-56), Vermont (80-51) and "City Rival" Duquesne (78-51). Against UMBC, Pitt scored a season-high 91 points and tied Petersen Events Center and Jamie Dixon Era records with 14 3-pointers. Sam Young scored 28 points and DeJuan Blair registered his sixth double-double of the year (13 points/16 rebounds) against Vermont. Against Duquesne, Young paced the Panthers with a game-high 23 points, DeJuan Blair added a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds (10 offensive), Jermaine Dixon contributed 12 points and Levance Fields added 11 assists in the 27-point victory.
Through its first 10 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a 22.9 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-10.9 margin. The Panthers are also converting 49.2 percent (299-608) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 36.3 percent shooting. Pitt has also held all 10 of its opponents to 70 points or less and seven teams to 60 points or less. Defense has the been key lately as Pitt has held each of its last four opponents (Washington State, Duquesne, Vermont and UMBC) to 60 points or less.
Pitt and Siena meet for the first time since Nov. 28, 1990. The two schools meet for fourth time in series history. Pitt owns a 2-1 record after last defeating the Saints 82-80 at Siena in 1990. Pitt is 12-6 all-time vs. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponents (Canisius 1-2, Fairfield 1-0, Iona 1-1, Loyola, Md. 1-0, Manhattan 2-0, Marist 2-0, Niagara 1-2, Saint Peter's 1-0, Siena 2-1.
All five starters return to a Siena squad that finished 23-11, earned an NCAA Tournament appearance and won the MAAC tournament title last year. The Saints advanced to the NCAA Tournament's second round after defeating No. 4 seed and No. 19 ranked Vanderbilt 83-62. Siena enters the contest after winning each of its last three contests against the likes of Loyola, Md., Albany and Marist. Siena's three losses were to No. 12 Tennessee (78-64), Wichita State (72-70) and Oklahoma State (77-68). All three games were played in Orlando, Fla. at the Old Spice Classic.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is riding a school record 36-game win streak against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt has won 10 straight home games and carries a 104-10 all-time record (.912 percentage) in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 64-1 record vs. non-conference opponents at the PEC and has won 85 of its last 87 home games vs. non-conference opponents.
Pitt is off to its sixth consecutive 10-0 start to a season. Dixon has won at least 10 straight games to start each of his six seasons at Pitt.
Jamie Dixon is 36-3 in December games. He concluded his sixth November at Pitt with a perfect 31-0 record in November games. He is 70-4 vs. non-conference opponents and 88-10 at home.
Pitt enters the game ranked No. 5 nationally in RPI and No. 21 in strength of schedule.