Georgetown's Vee Sanford shoots over West Virginia's Wellington Smith in the first half.
March 1, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP)--Da'Sean Butler scored 22 points in his final home game and No. 10 West Virginia beat No. 19 Georgetown 81-68 on Monday night.
The Mountaineers (23-6, 12-5) clinched a double bye into the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
Devin Ebanks added 15 points, Kevin Jones scored 14 and Darryl Bryant had 11 for West Virginia.
Georgetown (19-9, 9-8), which was ranked No. 7 three weeks ago, has lost four of five.
The Mountaineers led by as many as 27 points early in the second half and Georgetown, playing without ill leading scorer Austin Freeman, couldn't catch up.
West Virginia outscored Georgetown 27-14 from the free-throw line, forced 20 turnovers and picked apart the Hoyas with an up-tempo transition offense.
Freeman, who is averaging 17 points per game and is Georgetown's top 3-point shooter, is still recovering from stomach flu that limited him to five points in only 23 minutes in a loss to Notre Dame on Saturday. Hollis Thompson started in Freeman's place for the second straight game but was held to three points.
Jones scored six points during West Virginia's 10-0 run to start the second half that pushed the lead to 53-26 with 16:51 remaining.
Wright, Georgetown's third-leading scorer at 13.9 points, helped soften the loss of Freeman, scoring 10 points in a 3:30 span and the Hoyas used runs of 9-0 and 8-0 in the second half to whittle the deficit to 62-53 with 5:55 left.
West Virginia went without a field goal for more than 5 minutes and the sellout crowd grew restless, well aware of the Mountaineers' propensity to allow opponents to come back from big deficits several times this season.
Butler grabbed a deflected pass and made a layin with 3:37 left and West Virginia's lead never fell below double digits again.
West Virginia went ahead to stay 4 minutes into the game. Butler scored nine points during a 16-8 run and the Mountaineers led by as many as 22 points in the half.
West Virginia evened its record against ranked opponents to 4-4 this season.
Both teams finish the regular season on Saturday. West Virginia plays at No. 9 Villanova on Saturday, while the Hoyas, who could fall out of the top half of the 16-team conference, head home to face Cincinnati.
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