Dec. 19, 2011
GAME 12: ST. FRANCIS, PA. (3-7, 2-0 NEC) at #15 PITT (10-1, 0-0 Big East)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN3 (John Sanders and Mark Adams; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-92; XM-not available (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (226-61); St. Francis, Pa.: Tim Carter, 4th year (29-69), 9th year overall (112-108).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-15; ESPN-13; St. Francis, Pa.: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and St. Francis, Pa. meet for the 29th time in series history. Pitt owns a perfect 28-0 all-time record vs. the Red Flash including a 20-0 record in games played in Pittsburgh. Pitt also plays its 70th game against a Northeast Conference opponent as the Panthers own a 69-0 all-time record vs. NEC foes. St. Francis, Pa. represents Pitt's second of three NEC opponents this season as the Panthers defeated Robert Morris on Nov. 27 and play Wagner on Friday, Dec. 23.
PITTSBURGH--No. 15 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt (10-1) hosts St. Francis, Pa. on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at the Petersen Events Center. The St. Francis, Pa. game marks the second of three home non-conference games-South Carolina State (Dec. 17), SFU and Wagner (Dec. 23)- before the Panthers begin Big East Conference play at Notre Dame on Dec. 27.
Tuesday's contest will be broadcast on ESPN3 with John Sanders and Mark Adams calling action. Bill Shissler will manage production.
On an eight-game win streak, Pitt enters its 12th game with a 10-1 record. For the 11th time in the last 12 years, Pitt begins a season with a 10-1 record or better. The only season in which Pitt began with a lesser record over the season's first 11 games was in 2009-10 when it started 9-2. The 10-1 start ranks among Pitt's all-time best starts in school history. Over the last 11 seasons, Pitt has begun a season undefeated at 11-0 four different times: 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Pitt's 69-55 win over South Carolina State gave Pitt 10 non-conference wins for the 11th straight year. In the previous 12 seasons (1988-2001), Pitt failed to win 10 non-conference games at least one time. Three Panthers, led by Lamar Patterson (16 points), Ashton Gibbs (14 points) and Talib Zanna (12 points/14 rebounds), reached double figure scoring in the game. Pitt outscored South Carolina State 36-18 in the paint and outrebounded the Bulldogs 41-29. Pitt also shot 49.1 percent (28-57) from the floor.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, Pitt registered a 74-68 Carquest Auto Parts Classic win over Oklahoma State at Madison Square Garden. The win improved Pitt to 27-13 at Madison Square Garden since 2000-01. Dixon improved to 19-11 the arena. Pitt used 53.1 percent (26-49) and outrebounded the Cowboys by 18 boards (43-25) in registering the win. Ashton Gibbs scored 17 points, Nasir Robinson added 15 (7-12 FG) and Lamar Patterson totaled his first career double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven assists.
Fueled by two road wins (at Tennessee, at Penn) and a neutral site victory (Oklahoma State), Pitt ranks among the nation's top-60 in ratings percentage index, according to realtimerpi.com. That is a typical ranking for Pitt at this point in the season.
TUESDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
At 10-1, Pitt has won 10 or more non-conference games for the 11th straight year.
Pitt is in its 10th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 155-13 record (.923) in the arena. Pitt also owns a 90-2 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 61 of their last 64 home games.
Pitt has won 62 of its last 63 games and 111 of its last 113 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 (283-72, .797), 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).