WASHINGTON – Casey Mitchell scored 28 points and West Virginia forced 18 turnovers on Saturday, taking advantage of another subpar game from Georgetown's top seniors for a 65-59 win over the No. 13 Hoyas.
Mitchell had his best Big East game yet for what is already a spark plug season for the senior, whose scoring average has risen from 3.7 points last season to 17.6 this season. The National Junior College Athletic Association player of the year at Chipola College in 2009, Mitchell went 10 of 19 from the field, including 4 for 7 from 3-point range.
Kevin Jones added 15 points for the Mountaineers (10-4, 2-2) in a rematch of last year's Big East tournament championship game, won by West Virginia 60-58.
Jason Clark scored 16 points to lead the Hoyas (12-4, 1-3), who are off to their worst Big East start since the 2003-04 season, Craig Esherick's last as coach.
Georgetown's problem remains the ongoing slumps by Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. Freeman was scoreless in the first half for the first time this season and finished with 11 points on 3 for 8 shooting, while Wright was 3 for 13 — including 1 for 7 from 3-point range — and finished with nine points and five turnovers.
There were 31 total turnovers in a game that tipped off at 11 a.m. — and neither team led by more than seven points. But the Mountaineers held sway by dominating the offensive boards. West Virginia outrebounded Georgetown 32-23, including 15-4 on the offensive glass.
The unmistakable star was Mitchell. He gave West Virginia an early second-half lead when he took a feed, got fouled, and flung in a layup that bounced around the iron before falling in. He then made the free throw for a three-point play.
A steal-and-layup turned into another three-point play — again giving the Mountaineers the lead — midway through the half. He then matched Freeman in a temporary battle of 3-pointers that kept the teams level.
West Virginia took the lead for good on Jones' 3-pointer with 6:50 to play, but the game was in doubt until the final minute. With the Mountaineers leading by three, Jones made a defensive stop to force Clark to turn the ball over under the basket.
Freeman committed a turnover on Georgetown's next possession, and three free throws by Darryl Bryant in the final 30 seconds finished off the win.