Thursday in College Basketball: West Virginia Dominates Georgetown

Brett LissendenSenior Analyst IJanuary 23, 2009

After playing five of their six games against Top 20 opponents, No. 14-ranked Georgetown was looking for a break Thursday night at home against unranked West Virginia.  They got no such break.

The Mountaineers stuck it to the Hoyas, winning by a score of 75-58.  West Virginia did everything they needed to do to win the game.  They played great defense (forced 19 turnovers), got a lot of offensive rebounds (12), had an offensive explosion in the second half (44 points), and had a huge game from Da'Sean Butler.

Butler had 27 points in the victory, just one point short of his career high, while also contributing eight rebounds. 

While Butler didn't quite reach a double-double, one of his teammates did.  Alex Ruoff had a poor shooting night but was still able to notch 10 points and 11 assists in the game.

Train Back on Track

After a nightmarish 0-2 start in the Big Ten from a home loss to Illinois and a road loss to Penn State, No. 18-ranked Purdue has already climbed back to the top of the conference standings.  Their latest move was a 70-62 road victory on Thursday night against No. 20-ranked Minnesota.

Purdue has now one four straight Big Ten games, and is just one game back of conference-leader Michigan State in the loss column.  Minnesota has now lost two straight games after their road loss to Northwestern last weekend.

The Boilermakers used their renowned defense to win this one, as they held Minnesota to 27.6 percent shooting from the field.

Purdue also had good offensive efforts from Jajuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, and Lewis Jackson, who all scored in double figures.

West Coast Statement

Four teams entered Thursday night's action undefeated in West Coast Conference play.  Not surprisingly, these were the three teams who made the NCAA Tournament a season ago: Gonzaga, St. Mary's, and San Diego.

In a nationally televised game, No. 22-ranked St. Mary's traveled to San Diego on Thursday night. 

The Gaels did their best to show the country that their now 18-1 mark on the season is no fluke.  They destroyed San Diego on San Diego's home floor by a score of 65-42.  St. Mary's defense allowed just 14 points by San Diego in the first half.

Following the loss of Wake Forest on Wednesday night, St. Mary's now possesses the nation's longest winning streak, currently at 15 games.

Gonzaga looked impressive in their game as well, defeating Pepperdine 83-69.  But in comparison, St. Mary's defeated Pepperdine by 50 in their last game.

St. Mary's and Gonzaga will meet next Thursday night in Spokane, WA.

Other Action

No. 11-ranked UCLA had a hard-earned victory in a hostile environment to recover from their first conference loss last weekend.  The Bruins won at Washington State by a slim margin of 61-59.

No. 17-ranked Butler needed a strong second half to keep their perfect Horizon League record, advancing by Wisconsin-Milwaukee by a score of 68-59.  The Bulldogs are now 17-1 for the season.

Oregon State scored their second PAC 10 win of the season with a big upset of California.  The Beavers used an 11-point advantage in the second half to win by a score of 69-65.  California falls to 15-4 overall and 4-2 in the PAC 10.