Dec. 21, 2009
GAME 12: OHIO (7-3, 0-0 MAC) at PITT (9-2, 0-0 Big East)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (Rob King and John Celestand; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Television Networks: Live broadcast: Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh); Washington D.C.-Baltimore (MASN); Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI); Providence, R.I. (Cox New England); ESPN Full Court; ESPN360; Tape Delay: New York City-Connecticut-New Jersey (SportsnetNY), Dec. 23 at 3 p.m.
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970-AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 153 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (172-47); Ohio: John Groce, 2nd year at Ohio (22-20), 2nd year overall (22-20).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-NR; Ohio: not ranked.
Series: Pitt and Ohio meet for the fourth time in school history. Pitt leads the all-time series with a 2-1 record. The last time Pitt and Ohio met was on December 1, 1976, a 72-62 loss in Athens, Ohio. Ohio represents the second and final MAC team that Pitt will play this year.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (9-2) plays its final contest before Winter Break when it hosts Ohio (7-3, 0-0 MAC) on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The contest will be televised by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on FSN Pittsburgh. Rob King (play-by-play) and John Celestand (color analyst) will handle announcing duties while Bill Shissler will produce.
A win against Ohio would give Pitt its 10th non-conference victory of the year. It would mark the ninth consecutive season that Pitt has won 10 or more non-conference games (Pitt has one more non-conference contest remaining in Robert Morris on Feb. 8). Pitt also enters the contest with the nation's second longest home win streak (28 games) and a 45-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home.
Pitt has won four of its last five games including a 66-48 win Saturday against Mount St. Mary's, Md. Brad Wanamaker led the way with a career-high 20 points and Ashton Gibbs finished with 19 in the win. Senior guard Jermaine Dixon made his first start of the season. The Panthers held the Mountaineers to 31.6 percent (18-57) field goal shooting including 29.6 percent in the first half.
Pitt defeated Kent State 71-59 on Dec. 12. Four players scored in double figures for the Panthers including Wanamaker (18 points, 3-3 3FGM), Nasir Robinson (12 points, nine rebounds), Travon Woodall (10 points) and 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 a 57.9 clip percent in the second half.
Tuesday's game marks the return of junior forward Gilbert Brown from academic suspension. The game also marks the first time that both Brown and Dixon will appear on the court this year. Dixon sat out the season's first eight games after suffering a broken right foot in August. Pitt returned just one starter (Dixon) and six letterwinners from its 2008-10 squad. Through its first 10 games, Pitt 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. For a rundown on how much experience Pitt had in the early going, please take a look at the chart on page 6.
Ohio enters the game with a 7-3 record. The Bobcats are on a three-game win streak after defeating Delaware (86-70), Illinois State (75-57) and Eastern Kentucky (74-62). Five players average double figures for Ohio including D.J. Cooper (12.5 ppg.), D. Washington (11.7 ppg.), Steven Coleman (11.4 ppg.), Indiana transfer Armon Bassett (10.8 ppg.) and Jay Kinney (10.0 ppg.). Pitt is 3-1 all-time vs. Ohio. Ohio is Pitt's second Mid-American Conference opponent this year as the Panthers defeated Kent State on Dec. 12. Pitt owns a 34-26 all-time record vs. MAC opponents.
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 122-10 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 73-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 94 of its last 95 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
At home, Pitt is currently riding a 28-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 28-game home win streak ranks as the nation's second longest streak behind Kansas (48).
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 122-10 record (.924 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 73-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt has won 28 straight home games, a streak which ranks as the nation's second longest current win streak (Kansas, 48). It also ranks second among the school's all-time longest home win streaks.
Pitt is also riding a school record 45-game win streak against non-conference opponents.
Jermaine Dixon (right foot injury) and Gilbert Brown (academic suspension) both return to the floor for the first time this year. Brown returned to practice on Sunday. Pitt played its first 10 games with a starting five who had a combined one career start prior to the season opener.
Pitt is vying for its 10th win of the year. A win would give Pitt 10 non-conference wins for the ninth straight season. Pitt has one more non-conference game vs. Robert Morris on February 8, 2010.
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