Monday , Feb , 12 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Big East foes do battle in D.C.

Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) – Fresh off a huge non-conference victory
over one of the nation’s top teams, the West Virginia Mountaineers return to
Big East play this evening to take on the 22nd-ranked Georgetown Hoyas.

On Saturday, West Virginia played host to second-ranked UCLA, and the result
was a thrilling 70-65 victory that has put the Mountaineers in a strong
position to claim an NCAA Tournament bid. They have won five of their last
six games, and the lone setback during that span came against Big East power

Georgetown carries a seven-game win streak into this contest, as the team is
now a stellar 18-5 overall and 8-2 in conference. The Hoyas made a major
statement on Saturday by cruising past an outstanding Marquette team by a
76-58 final.

Georgetown owns a 23-20 lead in the all-time series with West Virginia, and
today’s game marks the only regular season meeting between the teams this year.

West Virginia did an outstanding job at the defensive end against UCLA,
limiting the Bruins to 38.7 percent shooting from the floor on Saturday,
including a 6-of-23 showing from three-point range. The Mountaineers finished
with 18 assists against only nine turnovers, helping them to overcome a 44-33
rebounding disadvantage. Alex Ruoff scored 18 points for WVU, which got 14
points from Frank Young and 13 points from Da’Sean Butler. Young is the leading
scorer for the Mountaineers with 14.3 ppg, and he brings a great deal of senior
leadership to the floor. Joe Alexander is contributing 12.2 ppg, and Butler is
posting 10.3 ppg. While WVU does not have a star-caliber player in the lineup,
the team plays strong defense and shares the ball well.

Georgetown knew that its best chance to win Saturday’s game against Marquette
was to pound the ball in the paint, as the Golden Eagles are a perimeter-
oriented team. The Hoyas took advantage of the mismatch, as Jeff Green scored
24 points from his forward position, while center Roy Hibbert posted 23 points
and 11 rebounds. Marquette was only able to shoot 33.9 percent from the floor,
thanks to an outstanding defensive effort by Georgetown. Jonathan Wallace and
DaJuan Summers netted 10 points apiece for the Hoyas, who outscored the Golden
Eagles by 16 points in the second half. Overall this season, Hibbert is scoring
13.1 ppg on 70.3 percent shooting from the field, and he is netting a
particularly impressive 14.6 ppg against Big East competition on 75.7 percent
shooting efficiency. Green leads the team with 14.9 ppg against league foes,
and players such as Wallace, Summers and Jessie Sapp seem to get better every