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Pitt escapes USF; Post-game quotes

 

*** Here is the early game story from Pitt’s 66-50 victory at USF on Wednesday night in front of a Senior Night “crowd” of 4,640.  Also here are some post-game quotes, including a candid comment from USF coach Stan Heath about Pitt’s post-season chances.

 Jamie Dixon

On slow first half

“I thought we executed offensively all the way through. I felt we were doing good stuff and eventually things would come.”

“It was comfortable. I felt good about where we were at. We didn’t play great. It’s a 40-minute game. You’ve got to find yourselves. We’ve got to use our penetration to get other people shots rather than look for shots on the penetration.”

 

On rebounding

“We had beat them pretty good on the glass the last game (40-18). That was really the biggest difference in the game, why they were up and we were down.”

 On transition game

“We thought we could beat them down in transition. You can’t really go if you can’t get the rebound. They were hurting us on the glass. It’s hard to run and get out and go when you can’t get a rebound.”

On Wanamaker

“He just kept getting guys layups. He set the tone offensively for us. We kept getting layups in the second half.”

 On clinching share of Big East title

“It’s a Big East Conference championship. It’s the toughest conference in the country and we are the champs of it. Nobody has been a champion of a conference with 11 NCAA Tournament bids. Nobody has been the champion of a conference with nine NCAA Tournament bids. That puts it in perspective right there. You’ve got to beat a lot of good people. No one has had to beat as many good people as we have in any conference before.”

 

Gary McGhee

On strong second half

“Coach got at us at halftime and told us we needed to pick it up and they were killing us on the glass. The second half we had to come out and make more team effort on the defensive end. We came out and we wanted it. We know we needed this win. In the second half, we just came out and played with everything we have.”

 Brad Wanamaker

 On USF’s strong first half

“They came out strong. It was an emotional night for Famous.”

On Dixon‘s halftime talk

“He told us what we already knew. We knew we weren’t boxing out and giving too many second-chance opportunities. That’s what he came in the halftime and told us.”

 On shooting 60 percent in second half

“We were penetrating and making the extra pass. Whenever we do that, we are one of the best teams in the nations. When Ashton is hitting from the outside and we’ve got things going on the outside, no one can stop us.”

Nasir Robinson

On big night (18 points on 6 of 8 shooting, 10 rebounds)

 “I just wanted to come out and be aggressive and do what I could to help my team win. My teammates did a good job of finding me and I just finished the play.”

On Big East title  

“We feel good. We’re going to play this last game against Nova and we’re not going to worry about the No. 1 seeds. We’re going to play hard and, hopefully, things work out good.”

Jarrid Famous

On Pitt’s second half  

“They came out a different team. They came out more aggressive. We should have come out stronger.”

Stan Heath

On Pitt

“They cranked things up in the second half.”

 On breakdowns against Gibbs in second half

“We knew who Ashton Gibbs was in the first half, he was one for four. We forgot who he was in the second half and he lit us up. You can’t do that. Why we left him I have no idea. I wish I could figure that out. I thought he was the difference in the second half against the zone.”

 

On Pitt’s NCAA chances (he coached Kent State to 2002 Sweet Sixteen win over the Panthers)

“It certainly is a team that could go very far. It’s also a team that could stumble. It just depends on the matchups and who they go against.”

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