| By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com|
January 11, 2006
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kevin Pittsnogle scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 16-rated West Virginia to a tough, 68-61 victory over Georgetown Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
Mike Gansey added 15 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to help the Mountaineers improve to 11-3, 3-0.
“Everybody was big tonight,” said a relived West Virginia coach John Beilein. “Mike on the boards, Kevin had nine rebounds and Patrick (Beilein) had a great game. We had great balance tonight.”
Georgetown, 10-3, 2-1, got 17 points from Jeff Green and 16 points from 7-foot-2-inch center Roy Hibbert.
“We said there were two things we are going to see tonight: the backdoor lay up and they would dunk on us,” said Beilein. “And that was what happened in the first two possessions.”
Trailing by 11, 23-12, with 4:54 left, West Virginia held the Hoyas scoreless for the remainder of the half and used a nine-point run to cut the Hoyas’ led to just two, 23-21, at the break. Pittsnogle keyed West Virginia’s run scoring seven of WVU’s nine points, including a short jumper with 30 seconds left to pull the Mountaineers to within a basket.
The Mountaineers took their first lead of the game at the start of the second half, 25-23, on a Frank Young jumper, and built their lead to six, 39-33, on back-to-back 3s by J.D. Collins and Patrick Beilein.
After a Green lay up cut West Virginia’s lead to four, 46-42, WVU scored six straight points to take a 52-42 lead with 5:58 remaining. WVU’s six points came from Gansey, who hit a 3 from the corner, and Pittsnogle, who converted a three-point play underneath the basket.
West Virginia’s biggest lead was 12 at 55-43 and 57-45 before Georgetown whittled it to six, 64-58, with 44 seconds left. The Hoyas were able to get West Virginia’s lead down to five, 66-61, after a Jonathan Wallace 3-point basket before free throws by Pittsnogle and Gansey iced the game.
West Virginia held a 33-29 rebounding advantage against Georgetown and overcame a cold 3 of 19 first-half shooting effort from 3 to finish the game 10 of 33 from behind the arc. At one point, West Virginia had assists on 13 of its 14 second-half baskets and finished the game with 20 assists overall.
The Mountaineers gave Georgetown just enough trouble on the defensive end to outscore the Hoyas by nine in the second half.
“Everyone talks about their offense but their defense gives you trouble,” said Georgetown coach John Thompson, III. “It’s something unique and you don’t see the 1-3-1 too often.”
Georgetown, which came into the game 23-2 under Thompson when leading at halftime, lost for the first time this year after leading at the half.
“We got a good mix of interior and exterior shots but there was a point in the first half when we were forced to take some long shots,” Thompson said.
A crowd of 12,116 witnessed the game. The victory was West Virginia's ninth in a row.
“We’re 3-0 (in Big East play) and that’s great but tomorrow we have to wake up and worry about Marquette,” said Beilein.
West Virginia has a short turnaround facing Marquette Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum for a 2 pm game. Marquette downed Seton Hall 67-63 earlier tonight to improve to 12-4, 2-1.
Saturday’s contest has already been announced a sell out.
Briefly: Former West Virginia standout forward Darryl Prue, a member of Gale Catlett's 1989 NCAA tournament team, is now a member of Georgetown's coaching staff working with the video crew ... Pittsnogle's 23 points moved him past Russel Todd (1980-83) into 17th place on WVU's career scoring list with 1,354 points ... West Virginia is now 3-0 in Big East play for the first time in school history ... all 17 of West Virginia's free throw attempts came in the second half (12 of 17) ... a large student turnout Wednesday night was rewarded with bright gold t-shirts from Steve and Barry's.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006