The game did not start pretty for West Virginia, but the Mountaineers flipped a switch in the second half and defeated Georgetown, 80-71, in the 2020 Big 12-Big East Battle.
The Mountaineers (4-1) struggled with fouls in the first half. The team was whistled 10 times, but each of WVU’s top four big men – Derek Culver, Oscar Tshiebwe, Gabe Osabuohien and Isaiah Cottrell – all picked up a pair. The fouls kept Culver and Tshiebwe off the court for much of the first half, as the two combined to play just 13 minutes.
With its starting big men spending a lot of time on the bench, WVU was out-rebounded 26-21, with only three second-chance points and three offensive rebounds before halftime. Georgetown (1-2) shot 4-7 from three-point range in the half, but streaky offense from both teams led to a 34-32 halftime lead for the Bulldogs.
The scripts flipped in the second half as the Mountaineers largely avoided fouls and re-established their frontcourt presence with Tshiebwe and Culver. Meanwhile, it was the Bulldogs hampered by fouls and turnovers in the second half.
Georgetown turned the ball over 15 times and committed 24 fouls. The Mountaineers shot 10-15 from the free-throw line.
The game turned in WVU’s favor when sophomore guard Miles ‘Deuce’ McBride made a three-pointer with 13:24 left to play to cut Georgetown’s lead to 50-47. That kicked off a 10-0 run for the Mountaineers, who retook a 54-50 lead.
Georgetown would wrestle the lead away from the Mountaineers two more times over the next few minutes, but WVU finished the game on a 22-11 run to secure the win.
Despite only playing four minutes in the first half, Culver finished the game with 14 points and nine boards for the Mountaineers. McBride led the team with 17 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Georgetown was led by 19 points from Jahvon Blair, who also made five three-pointers.
WVU’s next game will be its 2020 home-opener against Robert Morris on Wednesday.