ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Instead of staring at a double-digit deficit for a third consecutive game, West Virginia found itself in possession of the big lead Tuesday night.
Surviving that wasn't any easier than it was combating the contrary the previous two games.
A 14-point lead with 10:08 remaining the game was down to five with 5:04 to go and then again with 2:08 left, but the Mountaineers answered DePaul's punches and dodged a haymaker at the end to take a 67-65 victory before 8,189 at Allstate Arena.
"We're not consistent," forward Deniz Kilicli said. "We're not playing the whole game. We get up 10, 14 points like this and we start taking stupid shots and making bad decisions."
For a second straight game, the Mountaineers had issues with late execution. After giving up a dunk on an offensive rebound, throwing the ball away and finally wasting a possession by missing a layup when down by three points late in Saturday's loss against Marquette, WVU had another frantic finish.
On their final possession, the Mountaineers couldn't get open after a timeout and Darryl "Truck" Bryant shot in the lane and came up short. They gave the Blue Demons a potential game-winning possession, but Brandon Young missed a jumper down by one and WVU survived.
"We went 1-3-1 because we hadn't played it and hoped we could try to make them run a little more clock than they wanted," WVU Coach Bob Huggins said. "If they make it, we lose."
The Mountaineers (9-4, 1-2 Big East) moved to 5-0 in Big East games against DePaul. They avoided their first three-game losing streak under Huggins, who has lost three or more in a row just five times in the past 23 years.
WVU last lost three in a row in 2006 and hasn't been 0-3 in the conference since 2002.
"I'm not going to lie," Bryant said. "A win is a win. I'm not going to say that was a great win, but we needed a win and we won. That's what we wanted. It doesn't matter. It's a road game and we just needed to win."
WVU is tied in the conference standings with No. 13 Georgetown. The Mountaineers visit the Hoyas (12-3, 1-2) Saturday in an 11 a.m. game at the Verizon Center. Georgetown lost to St. John's Monday, 63-58. The Red Storm (10-3, 3-0) beat WVU at the Coliseum Dec. 29, 81-71.
WVU's Casey Mitchell led all scorers with 18 points, his highest point total since Dec. 4. Kilicli had 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Kevin Jones had 13 points and six rebounds.
The Mountaineers shot 51.9 percent (28-for-54) and outrebounded DePaul (6-9, 0-3), 35-32, after being outrebounded by 10 in their back-to-back losses to Marquette and St. John's.
DePaul's Cleveland Melvin had 17 points and fellow freshman Young added 12.
"They're really good," Huggins said.
Krys Faber had 10 points and Jeremiah Kelly made three key 3-pointers for nine points. DePaul scored 22 points off WVU's 16 turnovers.
Up by three at halftime, the Mountaineers missed their first three shots of the second half, but made three in a row and eventually built their first 10-point lead. An offensive rebound basket by John Flowers was his first score of the game and gave WVU seven second-chance points in the second half after getting just six in the first half. WVU led 46-36.
DePaul got as close as six points on a 3 by Morgan Moses, but the Mountaineers scored the next eight points, capped by a determined drive, basket and free throw by Joe Mazzulla to go up 58-44.