WVirginia upsets Georgetown in big bad Big East Print
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Thursday, 22 January 2009 23:00
NCAAB Headline News


 Half of the Big East is already ranked. West Virginia is pushing to make it nine out of 16 for the most competitive league in the country.
Da'Sean Butler scored 27 points and the Mountaineers forced 19 turnovers to upset No. 12 Georgetown on its homecourt, 75-58 on Thursday night.
The Mountaineers (14-4, 3-2) were picked to finish ninth in a tough conference and have cracked the Top 25 once this season. Their only two losses in their last 10 games came against ranked Big East foes Connecticut and Marquette.
Butler said coach Bob Huggins has been reminding his players that they're the ninth-best team in the conference.
``Coach Huggins, if he doesn't like the way we're practicing, he says: 'You guys are practicing like your ninth. You need to step it up.' Things like that,'' Butler said. ``We're just going to use that as motivation for the rest of the season.''
Told that his ploy was working, Huggins said: ``That's not a ploy. You look around this league; this league's so hard. We want to get in the NCAA tournament and make another run. You've got to win games to do that.''
Thursday, it was: No. 13 UCLA 61, Washington State 61-59; No. 16. Butler 68, Wisconsin-Green Bay 68; No. 18 Purdue 70, No. 21 Minnesota 62; No. 23 Gonzaga 83, Pepperdine 69.
In a game in which nearly every basket was hard-earned - and steals were sometimes canceled out by quick counter-steals - Butler stood out by going 11-for-18 from the field for West Virginia. The Mountaineers shot 58 percent in the second half to pull away, while the No. 1 scoring defense in the Big East limited the Hoyas to 33 percent shooting after the break.
At Washington, Darryl Bryant added 13 points, and Alex Ruoff had 10 points and nine assists for the Mountaineers, whose defense, outside shooting, hustle plays and rebounding compensated for the lack of a starter taller than 6-foot-9.
Chris Wright scored 13 points, DaJuan Summers had 12 and Greg Monroe added 11 for the Hoyas (12-5, 3-3), who have lost two of their first four home conference games. Georgetown went 2-for-16 from 3-point range and again had trouble on the boards, allowing 16 second-chance points on West Virginia's 14 offensive rebounds.
``We went through stretches where the ball just didn't go in, then we got frustrated. Things seemed to snowball after that,'' coach John Thompson III said. ``Today was a blip. Today was not the norm. It hasn't been like that.''
that to date has been the toughest in the country. Five of the Hoyas' previous six opponents were Top 20 teams, but even an unranked school is a handful in the Big East this season.
No. 13 UCLA 61, Washington State 59
At Pullman, Wash., Nikola Dragovic scored a career-high 20 points as UCLA won its 16th straight on Washington State's home court.
Dragovic made 6-of-10 3-point attempts as UCLA (15-3, 5-1 Pac-10) rebounded from a loss to Arizona State.
Washington State (11-7, 3-3) had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Marcus Capers' long shot missed the rim.
It was UCLA's ninth straight win over the Cougars overall. The Bruins haven't lost in Pullman since 1993.
No. 18 Purdue 70, No. 21 Minnesota 62
At Minneapolis, JaJuan Johnson had 19 points and five blocks for the Boilermakers, who won their fourth straight conference game after an 0-2 start.
E'Twaun Moore added 16 points for Purdue (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten), which came in with the second-ranked field goal percentage defense in the country and made life miserable all evening for the Gophers (16-3, 4-3).
Al Nolen had 17 points on 3-for-14 shooting and four steals for Minnesota, which shot a season-low 27.6 percent, including 3 for 19 from 3-point range, to lose its second in a row.
No. 16 Butler 68, Wisconsin-Green Bay 59
win.
The victory was also the Bulldogs' ninth straight over the Phoenix and improved Butler to 17-1 (8-0 Horizon League) for the first time in school history.
Rahmon Fletcher scored 22 points for Green Bay (14-6, 6-2), which lost for only the second time in 10 games.
Butler has won 19 straight Horizon League games and improved to 9-0 at home this season.
No. 23 Gonzaga 83, Pepperdine 69
At Malibu, Calif. Josh Heytvelt scored a season-high 25 points and Matt Bouldin delivered a career-high 10 assists for Gonzaga.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Bulldogs (12-4, 4-0 West Coast Conference), who scored the first 17 points of the game.
Heytvelt, who had six points in the Bulldogs' last game, scored the team's first nine points and made his first five field goal attempts.
WCC player of the week Austin Daye had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga.
Keion Bell led Pepperdine (4-16, 1-3) with 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
 

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