Big East Roundup: WVU blows 13-point lead
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West Virginia coach Bob Huggins says his players aren't as good as they think, and a blown second-half lead against Miami reinforced his assessment.
The Hurricanes overcame a 13-point deficit with 12 minutes left Saturday to win, 79-76, in Coral Gables, Fla.
"Every time I look at our guys, I don't see any pros," Huggins said. "I see a lot of guys that think they are. I've had 22. I think I probably ought to know better than they do."
The Mountaineers lost for only the fourth time in 81 games under Huggins when they take a lead of at least 10 points.
West Virginia (5-2) was beaten only seven times last season and reached the Final Four. Now the Mountaineers have lost twice in four games, and Huggins said they're not listening to him.
"We've done the same kind of things for 30 years, and it has worked pretty good," he said. "So it's not what we're doing. It's got to be the guys doing it. I must not be coaching good enough."
Malcolm Grant scored a career-high 26 points for the Hurricanes (6-2). They scored on 14 of 15 possessions down the stretch, sank eight of their final nine shots and made four consecutive free throws in the final nine seconds to seal the win.
"It means a lot to get this win," Grant said. "I'm really proud of our guys, because last year when adversity would have hit, we would have quit. We were down and kept fighting. We made a way."
West Virginia, playing on an opponent's court for the first time this season, was up, 54-41, before Miami rallied. Grant's three-point play cut the deficit to one, and he then sank a 3-pointer that gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the second half, 66-64.
"We felt things were going our way," Grant said. "We wanted to stay aggressive and be smart at the same time."
Reggie Johnson's layup put Miami ahead to stay, 68-66. Durand Scott's driving scoop with 28 seconds left made it 75-71.
• Georgetown 68, Utah State 51: Chris Wright had 21 points and No. 16 Georgetown relied on defense instead of 3-pointers to pass its latest non-conference test, pulling away in the second half for a victory against Utah State (5-2). The victory improved the Hoyas to 8-0 for the second consecutive season.
• Syracuse 65, North Carolina State 59: Scoop Jardine scored 23 points, Rick Jackson added 16, and No. 8 Syracuse (8-0) shut down visiting North Carolina State (4-3). The Wolfpak seemed poised for an upset after taking a six-point lead, but Syracuse clamped down in the final eight minutes, forcing two shot-clock violations and holding the Wolfpak without a basket for the final 7:20.
• Louisville 97, South Alabama 70: Mike Marra scored a career-high 23 points and Louisville (6-0) remained unbeaten with a victory against visiting South Alabama (2-5).
• Marquette 96, Longwood 65: Chris Otule scored a career-high 19 points and Darius Johnson-Odom added 14 points to lead Marquette (6-2) to an easy victory against visiting Longwood (3-6).
First Published December 5, 2010 12:00 am