(10) Pittsburgh 71

(24-4, 11-2 Big East)

Seton Hall 68

(12-14, 3-10 Big East)

8:00 PM ET, February 19, 2007

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 T
#10PITT 30 4171
HALL 26 4268

Top Performers

Pittsburgh: L. Kendall 14 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast

Seton Hall: E. Harvey 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

Pittsburgh-Seton Hall Preview


After playing a rare February non-conference game, Pittsburgh may be without star center Aaron Gray when it embarks on the crucial final stretch of its Big East season Monday with a visit to Seton Hall.

The seventh-ranked Panthers (23-4, 10-2) are tied with No. 14 Georgetown atop the Big East, and play three of their final four regular-season games on the road. After this game, they visit the Hoyas on Saturday, host fourth-place West Virginia on Feb. 27 and then wrap up the regular season at fifth-place Marquette on March 3.

Daunting as its schedule is, Pitt may be without Big East preseason player of the year Gray against the fading Pirates (12-13, 3-9).

Gray apparently sprained his left ankle while falling to the court with 13 seconds remaining in Saturday's 65-61 victory over Washington -- the team's first non-Big East game in February since 1999.

Gray was examined after the game by the team's medical staff, and his status is unknown. He has injured his ankles several times during practice this season but has yet to miss a game.

"He's had ankle problems, but he went down pretty bad on this one," coach Jamie Dixon said. "I think it's going to be worse (than those in practice), to be honest with you. But I hope I'm wrong."

The 7-foot center matched his season low with five points on 2-of-7 shooting against the Huskies, but did grab 10 rebounds.

Gray leads his team in scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (10.0) , and is second in the Big East with 12 double-doubles.

Without their big man in the paint, the Panthers may have to rely on their outside game, which has struggled lately.

Pitt led the Big East in 3-point shooting at a 40.2-percent clip through Feb. 10, but has dropped to third in the conference after connecting on just 7-of-36 (19.4 percent) of its shots from beyond the 3-point arc in its last two games.

With an ineffective Gray on offense against Washington, the Panthers were led by Mike Cook's 15 points and Levance Fields' 14.

The Panthers are 7-1 on the road this season, losing only to then-No. 7 Wisconsin 89-75 on Dec. 16. This is their first visit to Seton Hall in three seasons after they lost 65-61 at home to the Pirates last season on March 3 in the lone meeting.

Seton Hall has lost four straight overall and seven straight Big East games. It is in 13th place in the conference and only the top 12 teams qualify for the Big East tournament.

The Pirates saw their defensive deficiencies exposed again Saturday in a 81-71 loss to the Mountaineers. Seton Hall, which is surrendering a Big East-worst 72.3 points per game, allowed West Virginia to shoot over 57 percent.

Freshman Eugene Harvey scored 19 points before fouling out, while Brian Laing had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Laing is averaging team highs of 16.0 points and 6.6 rebounds this season.

The Pirates are also seeking to avoid dropping four straight home games for the first time since Feb. 3-26, 2002.

Seton Hall went 6-3 against ranked opponents last season -- including their win over the eighth-ranked Panthers -- but have lost all three games against Top 25 teams this season.


School Info

Conference ACC Big East
Nickname Panthers Pirates
Type Public Private

2006-07 Season

» Feb 19, 2007 PITT 71, @HALL 68Recap