Dec. 17, 2009
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GAME 11: MOUNT ST. MARY'S (3-6, 0-2 Northeast) at PITT (8-2, 0-0 Big East)
Saturday, December 19, 2009 4 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: None. Live video/audio stream on www.pittsburghpanthers.com. To access the stream, click on this link: http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=pitt&media=151419
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970-AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 125 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (171-47); Mount St. Mary's: Milan Brown, 7th year at MSM (82-111), 7th year overall (82-111).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-NR; Mount St. Mary's: not ranked.
Series: Pitt and Mount St. Mary's meet for the fourth time in school history. Pitt leads the all-time series with a 3-0 record. The last time Pitt and MSM met was in 1996, an 85-70 win at Fitzgerald Field House. Pitt owns a 66-0 all-time record vs. Northeast Conference opponents.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (8-2) plays the first of two home games before Winter Break when it hosts Mount St. Mary's (3-6, 0-2 NEC) on Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. ET.
The contest will not be televised, but Pitt will provide a live video and audio feed of the game on www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt has won three of its last four games after defeating Kent State 71-59 on Dec. 12. Four players scored in double figures for the Panthers including Brad Wanamaker (18 points, 3-3 3FGM), Nasir Robinson (12 points, nine rebounds), Travon Woodall (10 points) and Ashton Gibbs (10 points). The Panthers took an early lead and maintained it throughout the contest. Pitt shot a season-best 53.3 percent (24-45) from the floor including 57.9 percent in the second half. With the win, Pitt improved to 32-9 under Jamie Dixon after losing a contest. The Panthers have not lost back-to-back games since 2008 when they dropped consecutive games to Notre Dame and Louisville. In addition, Dixon improved to 81-6 all-time vs. non-conference competition and is 105-10 in home games.
Pitt is in the midst of its 103rd basketball campaign and 2009-10 season after it amassed 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. Through its first 10 games, Pitt has started five players that had accumulated just one previous career start. Dixon made his return vs. Indiana after sitting out the first eight games while recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot. 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.
Mount St. Mary's enters the contest with a 3-6 overall and 0-2 Northeast Conference record. The Mount has lost four games in a row including two NEC games: St. Francis (Pa.) (73-66) and Robert Morris (63-57). The Mount is led by Jeremy Goode (13.8 ppg.) and Jean Cajou (12.9 ppg.).
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 121-10 all-time record and .924 winning percentage. The .924 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best home court records over the last seven years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 54 of its last 63 Big East home games and is 49-9 against Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center. Only one opponent (Louisville) has defeated the Panthers two times in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 72-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 93 of its last 94 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
At home, Pitt is currently riding a 27-game home win streak and concluded the 2008-09 regular season with an undefeated 19-0 home record, its fourth all-time undefeated year at home. Pitt also was undefeated in 2002-03 (16-0), 1973-74 (13-0) and 1974-75 (10-0). The 27-game home win streak ranks as the nation's second longest streak behind Kansas (47).
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 121-10 record (.924 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 72-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt has won 27 straight home games, a streak which ranks as the nation's second longest current win streak (Kansas, 47). It also ranks third among the school's all-time longest home win streaks.
Pitt is also riding a school record tying 44-game win streak against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.
For the 11th consecutive game, Pitt will start five players who had a combined one career start prior to the season opener. Jermaine Dixon saw action in each of the last two games since suffering a broken right foot. Gilbert Brown is serving an academic suspension and should be back soon.
Pitt enters its game with Mount St. Mary's with a 66-0 all-time record vs. Northeast Conference opponents. It is the first of two NEC foes the Panthers will play this year (Robert Morris on Feb. 8).