Saturday , Jan , 17 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

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

“We always find a way to come back, because we’ve got great seniors to pull us
through,” Pittsburgh guard Carl Krauser said.

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.

“That team must average 35 years old,” Rutgers coach Gary Waters said after
the game. “They’ve been around and, when it comes down (to the end), they can
look to themselves, they don’t have to look to coach (Jamie) Dixon.”

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.