By Lewis Gould
Georgetown is living down to its projected last-place finish in the Big East.
But the Hoyas gave the Mountaineers fits before losing.
Miles McBride scored 17 points, Derek Culver had 14 and No. 11 West Virginia finished rallied to beat visiting Georgetown 80-71 in the first meeting between the former Big East rivals since 2014.
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.
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.