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No. 5 Pittsburgh attempts to avoid second straight loss

Feb 17, 2007 - 3:35 PM Washington (16-9) at No. 5 Pittsburgh (22-4) 2:00 pm EST

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- When it comes to playing non-conference teams at home, Pittsburgh is virtually unbeatable.

The fifth-ranked Panthers get a break from the rigors of Big East Conference play when they seek their sixth victory in seven games with Saturday's matchup against Washington.

Pittsburgh has won 18 consecutive home games against non-conference foes and is 46-1 at Petersen Events Center outside Big East play. The lone loss came against Bucknell on January 2, 2005.

The Panthers (22-4) are 14-2 at home overall this season and hold a one-half game lead over Georgetown in Big East play. They will try to give coach Jamie Dixon his 99th career victory at Pittsburgh.

After five straight triumphs, Pittsburgh suffered a 66-53 loss to Louisville on Monday. Aaron Gray scored 12 points to move within four of 1,000 for his career, and also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Panthers, who managed just 19 first-half points.

Although the Huskies (16-9) have won five of their last seven games overall, they are just 1-6 in their last seven road contests. They have not defeated a top-10 ranked opponent away from home since beating Kansas on December 14, 1974.

Washington is coming off Wednesday's 65-61 defeat to Washington State. Spencer Hawes scored 22 points and Jon Brockman had 15 for the Huskies, who are 6-8 in the Pac-10 Conference.

The Huskies have captured both matchups against Pittsburgh, which were played in Seattle on back-to-back days from December 19-20, 1950.