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No. 11 West Virginia finishes strong, beats Georgetown 80-71

WASHINGTON (AP) Miles McBride scored 17 points, Derek Culver had 14 and No. 11 West Virginia finished fast to beat Georgetown 80-71 Sunday in the first meeting between the former Big East rivals since 2014.

Culver, the leading scorer and rebounder for the Mountaineers (4-1), was limited to just 18 minutes because of foul trouble. Emmitt Matthews had 13 points and Taz Sherman added 12 as West Virginia bounced back from a loss to top-ranked Gonzaga.

"Derek came in and it changed everything," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.

"He kept bugging the heck out of me trying to get back in the game and I kept telling him I need him at the end."

Huggins was right as Culver nearly recorded his third double-double of the season in the second half alone with 11 points and nine rebounds after the break. Culver was basically a spectator in the first half while stuck on the bench with two fouls.

Jahvon Blair led Georgetown (1-2) with 19 points while Jamorko Pickett added 11.

Pickett tied it at 62 with a basket in the lane, but West Virginia ended the game on an 18-9 run. The Mountaineers have won six of the last seven against the Hoyas.

Culver scored four straight points in less than a minute -- including an offensive put back - that increased the Mountaineers' lead from 65-62 to 69-62 during the decisive burst.

The teams tied with 43 rebounds apiece but West Virginia attempted 33 free throws to just 15 for Georgetown.

BIG PICTURE

West Virginia: The Mountaineers found a way to stay in the game and win without their dominant big man in Culver. Averaging a double-double, Culver played just four minutes in the first half - scoring three points and failing to grab a rebound - as West Virginia trailed 34-32.

Georgetown: The Hoyas are now under .500 at the earliest part in any of coach Patrick Ewing's four seasons. The Hoyas were picked last in the Big East coaches' poll and last week lost to Navy for the first time since 1977.

THE WAY IT WAS

"If we would go back a few years when we were in the Big East, any road win in the Big East was a great win," Huggins said.

"So, to come in to a Big East school and win on the road ... the last time we came in here we got beat, it seemed like a hundred. It's a good feeling being able to get a Big East win."

For the record, the loss Huggins was referring to was actually a 77-65 defeat in the 2014 NIT.

TELLING STAT

Georgetown had 15 turnovers compared to five for West Virginia. Even more lopsided for the Hoyas was West Virginia's 21-4 advantage of points off turnovers.

When asked about the difference down the stretch, Ewing said: "Turnovers and a lack of defensive intensity."

UP NEXT

West Virginia: The Mountaineers will play at home for the first time this season when they welcome Robert Morris to Morgantown on Wednesday.

Georgetown: The Hoyas will play their fourth consecutive home game to start the season when they host Coppin State on Tuesday.

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Updated December 6, 2020

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