Ruthie Braunstein/The Hoya Sophomore guard Demetrius Hunter scored 19 points in the Hoyas’ 94-77 victory over West Virginia.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Georgetown did not forget about the team that upset it two weeks ago on its home court, the team that shot a torrid 52 percent from the field and connected on 10 three-pointers. It couldn’t forget the team that snapped its 16-game winning streak, the team that halted its march toward a perfect season and sent it spiraling to a three-game conference losing streak.

The Hoyas (19-3, 6-3 Big East) didn’t let the Pittsburgh Panthers forget either, returning the favor with their finest shooting performance of the season. Georgetown stormed out to an early lead and never looked back in its 81-67 win against the Big East’s stingiest defense, which has given up less than 64 points per game prior to last night.

“We felt that we owed them,” senior center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje said.

Georgetown’s starters shot 27 of 40 (67.5 percent) from the field, including 6 of 10 from behind the three-point line.

“I’ve been saying it all year and today others are finally saying that we have guys that can finally shoot,” Head Coach Craig Esherick said.

Freshman forward Mike Sweetney scored a career-high 24 points, strengthening his case for Big East Rookie of the Year consideration, which until recently had appeared to be headed to Seton Hall phenom Eddie Griffin. Sweetney earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors last week, averaging 17 points and 9.5 rebounds against Syracuse and West Virginia.

“Mike Sweetney is one of the best freshmen in the conference. In the first half they were getting inside on us and scoring at will,” Pittsburgh Head Coach Ben Howland said.

The Pittsburgh defense regularly double-teamed Sweetney, freeing up the rest of the team on the perimeter. He took advantage of these chances with a career-high five assists.

Braswell added 15 points for the Hoyas, despite less-than-usual playing time in the first half because of early foul trouble and a stomach virus according to The Washington Post. Sophomore shooting guard Demetrius Hunter took over at the point and ran the team effectively for much of the first half. During halftime, Hunter’s Achilles tendon, which he strained in Saturday’s victory against West Virginia, began to tighten and forced him to sit out the majority of the second half.

“[Hunter] was very impressive,” Esherick said. “I thought in the first half he played great.”

To complement their dominant offensive game, the Hoyas held the Panthers in check with their trademark defense, forcing 18 turnovers. The Panthers shot a woeful 31.6 percent from the floor in the first half.

“The last time we played them I thought we were too passive on defense. This game we played them every single possession full-court defense,” Esherick said.

The Hoyas’ full-court press flustered the Panthers (12-9, 4-6 Big East) throughout the game, forcing them to commit 18 turnovers.

“With the depth that we have, we have the luxury to pick them up full- court. I made a conscious decision to pick up the full-court press every possession this time,” Esherick said.

When Pittsburgh called a time-out following a Braswell steal and layup with 7:30 remaining to put the Hoyas up 69-45, many of the 6,511 on hand at the Fitzgerald Field house began to head for the exits.

The remainder of the game was sloppy for both teams, especially the Hoyas, who were outscored 22-12 over the span.

“I thought we got really sloppy at the end, and I think I let them have it a little bit in the locker room because that’s not the way you close a game,” Esherick said.

Despite their game-ending scoring spurt, frustration got the best of the Panthers during the waning minutes, as their leading scorer, sophomore guard Brendin Knight was given a technical foul for arguing with officials. Knight finished with 20 points.

“I’m happy with the win,” Esherick said. “I’m happy with the fact that we’re 6-3 in the league and I am happy with the fact that we had a road victory.”

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