Pitt keeps winning streak at home intact
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Jaron Brown scored 19 points to lead 13th-
ranked Pittsburgh to a 59-49 win over Rutgers at the Petersen Events Center.
Chris Taft contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (18-0, 4-0
Big East), who extended the longest current home winning streak in the nation
to 37 games. Pittsburgh also owns a 10-game Big East regular season winning
Ricky Shields was the only double-digit scorer with 10 points as Rutgers (9-5,
1-3) saw its two-game winning streak come to an end. The Scarlet Knights have
lost five of their last seven games.
Julius Page knocked down a jumper to give the Panthers an early 10-5 lead.
Rutgers later tied the game at 20 apiece on Calvin Wooten’s three from the
left wing. He then gave the Scarlet Knights a 22-21 lead on a basket with less
than four minutes to go, ending an 8-1 run. Pittsburgh, however, closed the
first half on a 9-2 run for a 30-24 edge at the intermission.
After Brown’s layup early in the second half gave the Panthers a 34-27 lead,
Rutgers countered with a 16-3 run for a 43-37 advantage. Marquis Webb and
Shields both had six points during the surge.
Pittsburgh woke up and responded by scoring 12 of the next 16 points for a
49-47 edge. With less than two minutes to go in the game, Brown knocked down a
three from the right baseline to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 57-49. The
Scarlet Knights never regrouped and suffered a 10-point loss.
Pittsburgh is off to its best start since the 1927-28 season when H.C. Carlson
guided the Panthers to an undefeated 21-0 season.
The 18 straight wins by rookie head coach Jamie Dixon are the most since Bill
Guthridge won 17 in a row at North Carolina during the 1997-98 campaign.
The national record for most consecutive wins to begin a season by a rookie
coach is 33 straight in 1978-79 by Indiana State’s Bill Hodges.
The Panthers, who will face Connecticut on Monday, also have won 17 straight
Big East games at home.