PITTSBURGH - One of the more remarkable things Coach Bob Huggins has done in four seasons at West Virginia is win away from the WVU Coliseum.
Huggins is 97-39 in charge of the Mountaineers and 51 of those victories have come in road, neutral-court or postseason tournament games.
"He loves to win on the road," WVU senior forward Cam Thoroughman said. "I read somewhere that Coach Huggins is 17-17 on the road in the Big East and he's tied with Gale Catlett already in road wins. How long was Catlett here?"
Catlett coached the final seven of his 24 WVU seasons in the Big East and was 17-43 in conference road games. Huggins already has matched the win total and is .500 on the road in the Big East play.
"He makes us believe in the toughness factor and the mental thing about winning on the road," Thoroughman said.
WVU's success on the road has helped it join Pitt and Marquette as the league's only teams to have winning Big East records the past three seasons.
The fourth-ranked Panthers (24-3, 12-2 Big East) are guaranteed another winning mark. They can make it difficult for the Mountaineers (17-9, 8-6) to extend their streak in tonight's 9 o'clock ESPN telecast game at the Petersen Events Center.
A win for WVU would be something of a rarity. Pitt also is part of a core of Big East teams that have home courts where the Mountaineers have not fared well.
WVU's 17-17 road record includes a 3-16 mark against the top half of the conference the past three-plus seasons.
The Mountaineers are tied for No. 6 in the Big East in conference wins from 2008-10 (34) and the past three-plus seasons (42). Yet they're 0-3 at Louisville and Pitt, 0-2 at Syracuse, UConn, Marquette and Notre Dame, 1-2 at Villanova and 2-0 at Georgetown.
WVU is 14-1 on the road against the other seven teams - the loss was against Cincinnati in 2009 - and won't apologize.
"I've gotten to know this: When you go on the road, you get a win any way you can get it, no matter who you play," Thoroughman said. "It doesn't matter if you're playing Seton Hall or Providence. I can remember games where we were happy to get a win.
"Look at DePaul this year (a 67-65 win) and whatever their record is (7-19, 1-13). When you go on the road and it's the last few possessions, if you're still in the game, that's where you want to be."
The Mountaineers have been right there with the Panthers in the past, but no one on the team has been a part of a win on the road. WVU is 1-6 at the Petersen Events Center, with the win coming in 2005. The Panthers won at home 55-54 on Ronald Ramon's buzzer-beating 3-pointer in 2008 and then 98-95 in three overtimes last season.
WVU lost a seven-point lead in the final minute of that game by missing the front end of three one-and-ones and then committing a turnover with eight seconds to go that allowed Pitt's Ashton Gibbs to force overtime with a three.
"We've had some good memories there," WVU senior guard Joe Mazzulla said. "We've played well there through the years, but twice we've had a lead and let up in the last second or the last minute, gave up an open three, didn't execute our game plan, didn't make free throws, didn't get a stop."
The Mountaineers had similar episodes at Marquette and Louisville earlier this season and lost by a combined six points. They also count two- and six-point losses, respectively, at Notre Dame last season and Louisville in 2009.