MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Truck Bryant scored 25 points and Kevin Jones added 22 points and 16 rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 74-62 victory over ninth-rated Georgetown Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
The victory was Coach Bob Huggins’ seventh over a Top 10-ranked team in the last three-plus seasons at West Virginia and his fifth straight over the Hoyas, which came into Morgantown riding a season long 11-game winning streak.
Georgetown’s only loss was a four-point decision to Kansas out in Maui in late November.
Today, the Hoyas (13-2, 3-1) didn’t have an answer for Bryant, who made 7 field goals and was 9 for 11 from the lie, or Jones, who was 8 for 12 from the floor and went 5 for 6 from the line.
“The fans out there need to enjoy him because we haven’t had a guy get those kind of numbers in a long, long time … and playing against a really, really good schedule,” said Huggins of Jones. “He’s not getting those numbers against the Little Sisters of the Poor. His maturation as a player has just been remarkable to watch.”
Speaking of free throw shooting, West Virginia was 10 for 10 coming down the stretch and finished the game making 22 of 31. The Mountaineers also shot the ball well from the floor, hitting 24 of 48 for 50 percent. It is the second straight game West Virginia has shot better than 50 percent after its poorest offensive performance of the year at Seton Hall back on Dec. 30.
“We got some easy baskets, but we gave them too many easy baskets,” said Huggins. “If you think about what we could have done defensively if we don’t throw the ball to them on offense. We’re getting better and we continue to get better. The great thing is they’ve kind of bought in to working at it.”
There were seven ties, the latest coming with 16:42 to go in the second half before the Mountaineers started asserting themselves. A Bryant layup and a Jones 3 from the top of the key pushed West Virginia’s lead out to seven, 44-37, and it eventually grew to 11 with 6:38 to go on another 3 by Bryant.
A pair of Bryant free throws with 4:36 remaining gave West Virginia’s its biggest lead of the game at 13, 62-49.
West Virginia turnovers enabled the Hoyas to close to with four, 62-58, following Otto Porter’s driving layup, but freshman Gary Browne was able to break Georgetown’s press and covert a twisting left handed layup with 2:12 to go to make it 64-58.
Then two Bryant free throws pushed the lead back to eight.
Georgetown, which overcame a 17-point second half deficit against Marquette on Wednesday night by forcing turnovers and making 3s, hit just 2 of 14 from behind the arc this afternoon.
“I thought our guys did a good job of absorbing the scouting report, because there were guys that we wanted to leave open and make them shoot it,” said Huggins.
Overall, the Hoyas shot just 40.4 percent from the floor and were beat on the glass, 37-31.
“(Assistant coach) Larry Harrison understands that Princeton stuff far better than I do and he did a great job of getting us ready, and I think our guys had basically a day and a half, and not having the background of playing them before like some of our other teams, I thought they did a great job,” said Huggins.
Hollis Thompson led Georgetown with 20 points, while Henry Sims and Jason Clark added 10 each. Sims and Nate Lubick fouled out for the Hoyas.
“We really took their back cuts away in the second half,” said Huggins.
Browne came off the bench to score 12 for West Virginia, which improves to 12-4, 3-1 and has a one day prep before traveling to No. 8 Connecticut to face the Huskies at the XL Center in Hartford.
“We’ve got to do a great job of absorbing the scouting report and really studying film,” said Huggins. “They are 7-1, 6-10 – they’re just so big. We’ve played against size before but we haven’t played against that kind of size. Someone said to me ‘Baylor’s length’ and this and that and I said, ‘Well, they’re not Connecticut.’ They may be long but they don’t have the girth and the strength that Connecticut has.”
The Huskies play at Rutgers later tonight.