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Pittsburgh (12-1) at NC State (10-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 12 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,722) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: ACC Network. Home Record: Pitt 9-0, NC State 8-2. Away Record: Pitt 3-1, NC State 2-1. Neutral Record: Pitt 0-0, NC State 0-0. Conference Record: Pitt 0-0, NC State 0-0. Series Record: NC State leads, 9-1.

GAME NOTES: The Atlantic Coast Conference schedule tips off for both the Pittsburgh Panthers and the NC State Wolfpack at PNC Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Pitt has gotten off to an outstanding 12-1 start to the season, with its only loss coming to Cincinnati on Dec. 17 as part of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, 44-43. The Panthers have since rebounded with two straight wins over Cal Poly (73-56) and Albany (58-46), but this contest will mark their first true road game and their first-ever league matchup as an ACC member.

NC State played very well in its own right during non-conference action, winning 10 of its 13 matchups, including a 68-64 road triumph over UNC Greensboro on Monday night. The Wolfpack have performed well at home (8-2), although they lost their most recent game at PNC Arena to nationally-ranked Missouri on Dec. 28, 68-64.

The Wolfpack hold a decisive 9-1 advantage over Pitt in the all-time series, although the squads haven't played one another since 1991.

The Panthers were far from impressive in their most recent contest on the offensive end of the floor, as they shot 44.4 percent from the field (including 1-of-10 from 3-point range) and just 9-of-16 from the free-throw line, but they still cruised to a 12-point victory by holding Albany to a lowly 31.4 percent shooting from the field. Cameron Wright's strong all-around performance sparked the win, as he tallied 14 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and three steals. Lamar Patterson netted 14 points, while Talib Zanna narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Pitt has ran out to a fast start this season by boasting strong play on both ends of the court, as it outshoots its opponents from the field, 48 percent to 39.5 percent, for a +18.3 scoring margin while also living in the green in terms of rebounding (+10.4) and turnovers (+2.6). Patterson leads the way with 16.8 ppg on strong percentages from the field (.521), 3-point range (.429) and the free-throw line (.790), while adding a team-high 4.5 apg to boot. Zanna (11.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Wright (11.3 ppg) have also been solid, both shooting greater than 51 percent from the field.

The Wolfpack nearly saw their 17-point second-half lead disappear down the stretch of their latest game against UNCG, but they managed to hold on for the victory despite posting disappointing percentages from the field (.407), beyond the arc (.167) and the foul line (.576). T.J. Warren was the spark plug in the triumph with 24 points and nine rebounds. Anthony Barber was just 4- of-14 from the field but still finished with 17 points and six assists, while Desmond Lee added 15 points.

Not unlike Pitt, NC State has been equally strong on offense and defense this season, as it outshoots its opponents from the field, 48.3 percent to 39.6 percent, for a +8.2 scoring margin. It has its weaknesses as well however, as it makes just 4.5 3-pointers per game at a 30.1 percent success rate while also shooting only 64.2 percent from the free-throw line. Warren has established himself as one of the nation's premiere scorers, ranking fourth in Division I with 23.9 ppg (on 54.1 percent from the field) to go with a team- high 7.8 rpg. Barber brings 12.2 ppg and 4.5 apg to the table, while Lee rounds of the double-digit scorers with 10.8 ppg.

Pittsburgh has yet to be challenged on the road, and heading into Reynolds Coliseum against a strong NC State squad will certainly be a tall order, but the Panthers have the ability to win anywhere and should force enough defensive pressure down the stretch to topple the Wolfpack, who have been vulnerable in recent weeks.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pittsburgh 68, NC State 65

01/04 10:44:02 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UWGB 66
ECU 49
1st
CHA 17
LAC 23
 
1st
CHA 17
LAC 23
 
1st
CLE 18
ORL 14
 
1st
PHI 14
POR 16
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
Final
UWGB 66
ECU 49
Final
WEBER 59
NEV 56
Final
FRES 52
EVAN 58
Final
KYST 88
PURD 79
Final
LSU 61
CLEM 64
Final
ALCOR 95
DILL 73
 
Final
CHIST 46
UGST 69
Final
DET 69
MDES 55
 
Final
ARZ 72
MIZZ 53
 
2nd
INDST 57
PEAY 54
 
2nd
FLGC 37
MAR 23
 
2nd
LALAF 31
UWMIL 36
 
Half
ODU 28
GWEBB 26
 
1st
MD 21
ARST 28
 
1st
TOL 16
BUCK 0
 
1st
JMU 24
COL 17
 
1st
WINT 9
ETST 7
 
1st
GSOUT 13
FIU 14
 
1st
BST 13
GRAM 10
 
1st
APP 17
HAMP 10
 
1st
MAST 22
JVU 12
 
1st
XAV 29
MURST 19
 
1st
WAKE 17
NICST 8
 
1st
MSU 17
SCU 6
 
1st
LOU 17
SAV 0
 
1st
TENT 21
SELA 15
 
1st
VCU 11
VILL 10
 
1st
OU 20
WCU 21
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
1st
NYI 0
PHI 0
 
1st
BOS 1
PIT 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
1st
BUF 7
NYJ 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL