November 15, 2007

Pitt prepares for Mississippi Valley State

After winning three games in three days over the weekend, the No. 19 Pitt Panthers will play the final game of the Hispanic College Fund Challenge, when it hosts Mississippi Valley State on Thursday night. It's the first meeting between the two schools.

With a win, Pitt picks up its 23rd consecutive, non-conference win. The Panthers didn't lose its first non-conference game in the Petersen Events Center, until January of 2005 against Bucknell, a streak of 28 games. Since that loss to Bucknell, the Panthers have not lost a non-conference home game.

The biggest concern, especially with three games in three days, are usually injuries. The Panthers came away from this weekend unscathed. Gilbert Brown injured his shoulder in the exhibition game prior to the weekend, but played in all three games, averaging 16 minutes a game.

"We're healthy beyond the usual," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "Ronald (Ramon) and Gary (McGhee) with ankle injuries. Those (injuries) are always going to be there. That is normal."

Dixon expects to have everyone for this game on Thursday night, before the Panthers have an eight-day layoff. They resume play on November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, with a home game against Buffalo. The most important thing for now is beating Mississippi Valley State.

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