ICYMI: Winter Break

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ICYMI: Winter Break

This is what happened in sports and news over Pitt's winter break. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

This is what happened in sports and news over Pitt's winter break. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

This is what happened in sports and news over Pitt's winter break. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

This is what happened in sports and news over Pitt's winter break. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

By The Pitt News Staff

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Here are some of the changes, appointments and news that happened locally and nationally while Pitt students, faculty and staff enjoyed their winter break.

Dec. 14 — Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada leaves for LSU

After one season as Pitt’s offensive coordinator — in which he guided the Panthers to the highest-scoring season in program history, with 532 points — Matt Canada announced he would be resigning to take the same position at LSU.

Dec. 15 — Pitt football receives pair of commitments for 2017

Former USC quarterback Max Browne announced he would be enrolling at Pitt in 2017 as a graduate transfer, while three-star offensive line prospect Jerry Drake Jr. gave his verbal commitment to join the Panthers’ 2017 recruiting class the same day.

Dec. 16 — Sports Dome inflated

After a few weather delays, Pitt inflated the new sports dome, located behind the Cost Center. The new addition to the Trees Field Complex will consist of three fields for Pitt students to utilize for club sports, intramural teams and more.

Dec. 16 — James Conner wins 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

Pitt running back James Conner receives the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, the criteria for which includes overcoming a physical injury or handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.

Dec. 16 — Pitt football receives 18th verbal commitment to 2017 class

Three-star defensive end prospect Deslin Alexandre withdrew his verbal commitment to North Carolina State and announced his intentions to join Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class.

Dec. 17 — Artis scores 31 to lead Pitt men’s basketball past Rice

Senior point guard Jamel Artis scored a season-high 31 points — one short of his career high — to lead Pitt to an 83-73 win over the Rice Owls at the Petersen Events Center.

Dec. 19 —  Electoral College update

Despite some  efforts to convince electors to vote for someone other than Donald Trump, he officially became the President-elect when 304 of the 306 electors who pledged to vote for him did so. The New York Times reported this electoral vote had the highest number of electors voting for someone other than their party’s nominee ever with seven electors voting differently.

Dec. 19 — Pitt women’s basketball crushes UTEP, 71-46

Pitt used 18-point performances from sophomore forward Brenna Wise and graduate transfer center Brandi Harvey-Carr to blow out the UTEP Miners in game one of the Patrick Harrington Tournament in Niceville, Florida, 71-46.

Dec. 20 —  Pitt faculty member wins fellowship 

Lauren Russell, assistant director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, was one of 37 writers in the United States awarded the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creative Writing Fellowship. Russell plans to work on her next book, tentatively titled “Descent,” with the fellowship’s monetary award of $25,000.  Russell is also a research assistant professor in Pitt’s Department of English and 2014 MFA graduate.

Dec. 20 — Wise carries Panthers past McNeese State, 71-65

Sophomore forward Brenna Wise tallied a season-high 25 points to guide Pitt to a 71-65 win over McNeese State in game two of the Patrick Harrington Tournament.

Dec. 21 — New Assistant Vice Chancellor

Pitt named Lina Dostilio the assistant vice chancellor for Community Engagement Centers. Dostilio, who begins in January, previously worked as the director of the Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research at Duquesne University. The community engagement centers will focus on specific needs and interests of communities that relate to work by Pitt faculty, students and researchers, with a neighborhood ambassador at each center.

Dec. 21 — Pitt men’s basketball routs Omaha, 94-75

Senior forward Michael Young led the Panthers with 24 points, while junior forward Ryan Luther set a school record by making his 15th consecutive field goal in Pitt’s 94-75 win over the Omaha Mavericks.

Dec. 22 — Scott Barnes resigns as Pitt AD to take same post at Oregon State

Eight days after denying initial reports that he was leaving, Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes resigned to take over as AD at Oregon State.

Dec. 27 — UHC Dean search

 Pitt commenced an internal search for the next dean of Pitt’s University Honors College after Dean Edward Stricker stepped down. The new dean will start before next fall.  

Dec. 28 — Northwestern runs over Pitt for 31-24 victory in Pinstripe Bowl

Northwestern running back Justin Jackson ran for 224 yards and three touchdowns against Pitt’s top-ten rushing defense, and the Panthers lost several key players to injury in a season-ending 31-24 defeat at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

Dec. 28 — Pitt men’s basketball holds on for 112-106 win over Marshall

Seniors Michael Young and Jamel Artis scored 30 points apiece, and the Panthers held off a furious second-half rally by the Marshall Thundering Herd to eke out a 112-106 victory in their final nonconference game of the season.

Dec. 29 — Pitt women’s basketball falls to Duquesne in City Game, 63-54

The Panthers closed out their nonconference schedule with a 63-54 defeat against the cross-town rival Duquesne Dukes at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Dec. 31 — Pitt men’s basketball drops ACC opener vs. Notre Dame in OT, 78-77

Pitt built an early double-digit lead in its ACC opener against the No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, then lost 78-77 on a 3-pointer by Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia with 2.5 seconds left in overtime.

Jan. 1 —  Port Authority changes

Rather than paying based on distance or direction of travel, Port Authority riders will now pay only upon entering the bus, and riders will pay flat fees based on payment method. Riders using ConnectCards, the automated payment system that riders use to pay for bus rides available for $1, will pay a flat fee of $2.50, and cash riders will pay $2.75 for any trip they take.

Jan. 2 — Pitt Gaming

In an effort to allow students to connect a gaming console or smart TV to Pitt’s Wi-Fi directly, rather than using a laptop as a middleman, the University set up a new network called “PITT-GAMING.” Once students register their device with Pitt, following the instructions on  Pitt technology’s website, they can easily use the console without having to connect it to a laptop for Wi-Fi.

Jan. 2 — Pitt women’s basketball squashed by No. 11 Miami in ACC opener, 82-50

The No. 11 Miami Hurricanes forced 17 turnovers by the Panthers in the first half alone, building a 26-point halftime lead before cruising to an 82-50 victory in Pitt’s ACC opener.

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