Pitt hopes to snap Notre Dame streak
Pitt has plenty of motivation for playing Notre Dame, given their identical records and fifth-place tie in the Big East standings.
What raises the stakes is that none of Pitt's players has experienced victory over Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish (20-6, 8-5) have won four consecutive games against the Panthers (20-6, 8-5) heading into their 7 p.m. game Monday at Petersen Events Center.
“Everyone in the locker room knows we've got to get this W, especially at home,” Pitt redshirt junior swingman Lamar Patterson said. “In my career here, we've lost too many games at home. I don't want to lose at home.”
For senior point guard Tray Woodall, who as a redshirt freshman could only watch Pitt's last win over Notre Dame in January 2009, it's not about protecting the Pete. It's about staying in the hunt for the Big East regular-season title following a 79-69 loss at Marquette on Saturday.
“I want to win, regardless of home or away,” Woodall said. “It ain't about home dominance. It's win every game. We need to establish winning. That's what we want to do.”
Especially against Notre Dame, which owns a 13-11 record against Pitt in Big East play. That includes four wins at Petersen Events Center, where Pitt has lost only 21 games in 11 seasons.
Where Notre Dame used an up-tempo style in beating Pitt, 72-59, in December 2011 in South Bend, Ind. — the Irish made 18 of 25 field goals, including five 3-pointers, in the second half — the Panthers should expect them to revert to their work-the-clock system.
After winning three of their previous four games in overtime, including a five-OT thriller over Louisville, Notre Dame is coming off a lethargic 71-54 loss at Providence on Saturday.
A secret to Mike Brey's success against Pitt has been to work the shot clock until the final seconds, then launch 3-pointers or try to score inside off rebounds.
“They kind of wore us down, got shots at the end of the shot clock and got some pretty good looks,” Woodall said. “It's hard to stop a team who runs the clock all the way down from 35 to three and hits either a 3 or gets a shot off and, once they get the rebound, run the clock down some more. We've just got to try to speed them up a little bit and play our game.”
The Panthers are coming off one of their worst defending and rebounding performances of the season. Marquette on Saturday shot 56.5 percent from the field, including 61.5 percent in the first half, and had a plus-nine rebounding edge.
There will be an emphasis on improving those areas against the Irish.
Notre Dame is led by 6-foot-9 senior forward Jack Cooley, who is averaging 14.6 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, and guards Jerian Grant (13.0 points, 5.8 assists) and Eric Atkins (11.7 ppg, 5.9 apg).
“We can be comfortable in that. We've got poised guys. We've just got to make smart decisions when we get the ball,” Patterson said.
“We have to take open shots and make them uncomfortable on offense. They try to hold it as much as possible, but if we can get pressure on them and try to speed it up a little bit, I think that's our key to winning. Obviously, that and rebounding and defense.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ex-Baldwin, Pitt star Pinkston not giving up on NFL dream
- Pitt softball falls to Michigan in NCAA regional final
- No offseason for Pitt football coach Narduzzi
- Pitt athletic director Barnes fully supportive of Power 5 autonomy
- Vikings take Pitt tackle Clemmings in 4th round, ending long wait
- Pitt coach Narduzzi makes homecoming to Youngstown for hall of fame honor
- Pitt softball drops 1st game in NCAA tournament
- Modic’s grand slam, pitching of Harris lift Pitt softball into regional final
- McConnell-Serio optimistic about Pitt women’s basketball future