Men’s basketball: Dixon earns milestone victory in win over American

By Alex Oltmanns

Pitt men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon earned his 200th career victory Wednesday… Pitt men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon earned his 200th career victory Wednesday night in a 61-46 victory over American, a night when the Pitt men’s basketball team extended its home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 56 games.

But the Panthers used another type of streak to pull away from the Eagles at the Petersen Events Center.

With the score tied at 12 with 11:26 left in the first half, the No. 6 Panthers used a 22-6 run the rest of the half to pull away from the Eagles en route to a 61-46 win.

“I really thought we played well that last 10 minutes of the first half,” Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said after the game.

“It got away from us there,” American head coach Jeff Jones said after the game.

American cut the lead to seven with a quick start to the second half to cut the Pitt lead to 42-35, but Pitt (12-1) went on another run, this time a 14-4 outburst to leave the game out of question.

Dixon’s milestone win made him the 13th fastest coach in NCAA Division I to reach that milestone.

“What Jamie’s done is really build on [former coach] Howland’s success and make Pitt not a good team but he’s made them an outstanding program,” Jones said.

But Dixon steered the attention away from himself after the game, giving the credit to his players.

“They gave me the ball afterwards and the three seniors got together and spoke to me,” Dixon said. “So that’s probably the thing that means the most to me.”

Pitt was led by seniors Brad Wanamaker and Gil Brown, who scored 19 and 15 points, respectively, while Dante Taylor led the Panthers with seven rebounds.

The Eagles, (7-5) out of the Patriot League, were led offensively by senior forward Vlad Moldoveanu’s 21 points.

The Panthers once again out-rebounded their opponent 41-24, a statistical advantage they’ve held in all but two games this season.

“I think they do a lot of things well but that’s [rebounding] the one thing that jumps out at you whether it’s watching tonight’s game or watching them on film,” Jones said.

Center Gary McGhee, forward Nasir Robinson and Wanamaker each added six rebounds to go along with Taylor’s team-leading seven.

Rebounding will be especially important heading into Big East play, which the Panthers start next Monday when they take on No. 4 Connecticut at the Petersen Events Center.

“Connecticut is a really good team. They surprised a lot of people with their play and they have a really good player in Kemba Walker,” Wanamaker said after the game.

The team won’t get to go home for the holiday in order to prepare for the game, but for now, that’s alright with them.

“Yea we want to be home with our families, but we have something to do for our families to get in a better position,” Wanamaker said. “This is the reason why we play basketball, for our families.”