The Georgetown Hoyas outscored West Virginia by 15, 47-32, in the second half, erasing a three-point halftime lead by the Mountaineers and cruising to a 77-65 victory in an opening-round game in the National Invitation Tournament played at Georgetown.
West Virginia’s Juwan Staten tallied 23 points to lead the Mountaineers, who shot 54 percent in the opening 20 minutes, but cooled off considerably in the second half t0 37 percent. The Mountaineers showed some life in the first half – exhibiting considerably more energy and productivity than in their last road game, against Texas in the Big 12 Tournament – but they chose the wrong rime to run dry on the offensive end. Georgetown reversed the tables in the final 20 minutes, upping their shooting proficiency to 52 percent.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera of the Hoyas had a season-high 32 points and 10 rebounds, including seven-for 10-shooting after the break. Teammates Markel Starks and Jabril Trawick added 14 and 12 more, respectively, as the Hoyas downed their former Big East foe for the first time in the past six meetings.
This was the first meeting between the two schools since West Virginia left the Big East for the Big 12 in 2012.
The game was played on campus at Georgetown in the Hoyas’ practice gym, which holds about 2,500 spectators. Ordinarily Georgetown plays home games at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., but that facility is booked this week because the circus is in town.
West Virginia ends its season with a 17-16 overall mark. Georgetown moves on in the NIT to play top-seed Florida State, who beat Florida Gulf Coast Tuesday night.