No. 9 Georgetown cut a 13-point led down to just four with 2 minutes, 26 seconds remaining Saturday, but West Virginia scored four quick points and 12 of the game's final 16 to defeat the Hoyas, 74-62 at the Coliseum.
WVU ended Georgetown's 11-game winning streak. The Hoyas entered the game No. 7 in the RPI. The Mountaineers were No. 15.
"It's been a great week for the university," senior Truck Bryant said three days after the football team beat Clemson in the Orange Bowl, 70-33.
A crowd of 10,526 saw WVU win for the fifth straight time against the Hoyas, each time with Georgetown ranked. It's the first time that's happened with both schools in the Big East and only the second time ever. The Mountaineers won five in a row from 1933-35, but the first game in that stretch was forfeited because Georgetown's bus broke down on the way to the game.
"It's a win against a heck of a team that's extremely well-coached," Coach Bob Huggins said. "The good and the bad thing about this league is we've got one day to get ready for Connecticut. It's hard to enjoy anything."
Huggins got his 20th win against a ranked team against 28 losses. Of those 48 games, 22 have been against top-10teams. The Mountaineers are 7-15 in those, but have won 5 of 9 after starting 2-11.
"It's a great feeling to protect your home and win a game people say you aren't supposed to win," Bryant said.
Another ranked opponent waits Monday. No. 9 UConn plays host to WVU at 7 p.m. at the XL Center, in Hartford, Conn. The Huskies likely won't be a top-10 team after losing to Seton Hall Tuesday.
Bryant recovered from a 2-for-8 shooting start to make 5 of his last 8 shots and lead all scorers with 25 points. Kevin Jones added 22 points and 16 rebounds. It's his 12th double-double and the fourth in a row.
"People need to enjoy watching him," Huggins said. "It's been a long, long time since we had somebody put up the numbers he's putting up."
Freshman Gary Browne added 12 points off the bench and the Mountaineers (12-4, 3-1 Big East) shot 50 percent for the game. Nobody else scored more than five points for WVU, but the defense held the Hoyas to 40 percent shooting in both halves and just two baskets on 14 3-point attempts.
The Hoyas had 10 assists on 23 baskets and committed 15 turnovers. They struggled to get scores with the backdoor cuts common in their offense.
"That was probably the best job that we've done for an extended period guarding, and they're hard to guard," Huggins said. "Honestly, that was maybe the best job digesting the scouting report that we've done."