Saturday , Dec , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pitts seeks fifth straight 10-0 start

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) – The second-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers have
traveled to Buffalo for a non-conference clash with the Bulls.

Pittsburgh has won its first nine games and will attempt to move to 10-0 for
the fifth consecutive season. Also worthy of mention is the fact that the
squad has won 20 consecutive non-conference games dating back to 2005. The
Panthers were most recently in action on Saturday when they posted a 73-56
decision over city rival Duquesne.

The Bulls are set to host the highest-ranked opponent ever at Alumni
Arena, and considering that they are coming off a 17-point loss to
Tulane, Pittsburgh represents a monumental challenge. Still, Buffalo, is a
solid 6-3 overall, as they had won three in a row prior to the setback
against the Green Wave.

Pittsburgh has won four of its five previous meetings with Buffalo, including
four straight. The last meeting came during the 1994-95 campaign.

Every team that faces Pittsburgh knows that its top concern is containing
center Aaron Gray. The seven-footer is scoring 16.6 ppg this season on 64.3
percent shooting from the floor, and he is also ripping down 10.8 rpg. Mike
Cook adds some balance to the lineup with 11.6 ppg, as does Antonio Graves
with his 10.0 ppg. The Panthers are posting 76.0 ppg on 51.8 percent shooting
efficiency from the field, and they are limiting opponents to 59.2 ppg on 39.3
percent shooting. Gray was solid as usual in the win over Duquesne earlier
this week, as he scored 15 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Mike Cook
pitched in 11 points, while Sam Young and Tyrell Biggs contributed 10 points.
The Panthers finished that tilt with 21 assists against 11 turnovers and
limited the Dukes to 38.5 percent shooting from the floor.

There are a few obvious reasons that Buffalo fell to Tulane by a score of
80-63 last time out. First and foremost, the Bulls shot 30 percent from the
floor, including a disappointing 4-of-16 from three-point range. They also
turned the ball over 18 times. Yassin Idbihi scored 19 points and pulled down
seven rebounds to lead the way in defeat, and Andy Robinson pitched in a
career-high 18 points. Idbihi is averaging 14.3 ppg to go along with 8.9 rpg,
and Eric Moore adds 12.4 ppg to the lineup. Parnell Smith is a solid
contributor as well, as he is posting 10.6 ppg. The Bulldogs are netting 64.4
ppg on 39.3 percent shooting from the field, including 28.9 percent from
three-point range, so there is obviously improvement to be made at the
offensive end.