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Providence keeps NCAA hopes alive by beating West Virginia

Feb 21, 2007 - 4:52 AM PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Ticker) -- Weyinmi Efejuku and Herbert Hill gave Providence just enough offense for a much-needed win.

Efejuku led Providence with 24 points and Hill scored eight of his 12 in the last three minutes as the Friars posted a 64-61 victory over 18th-ranked West Virginia in a Big East Conference contest.

Providence (17-9, 7-6 Big East) needed a victory to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive after dropping three of its last five games.

Efejuku came out shooting in the second half, scoring the Friars' first seven points and nailing a jumper to cap a 13-2 run during which the Friars grabbed their first lead of the half, 41-39, at the 11:51 mark.

After a layup by De'Sean Butler gave West Virginia the lead back, Efejuku put Providence ahead for good with a 3-pointer at the 7:08 mark that made it 48-46.

The Friars held the Mountaineers to just 32 percent (12-of-38) shooting in the second half to overcome a 30-25 halftime deficit.

West Virginia is fifth in the Big East, knocking down 37 percent of their 3-point attempts per game, but managed to connect on just 9-of-41 attempts against Providence (22 percent).

The Friars used only six players during the game with forward Geoff McDermott and point guard Sharaud Curry playing all 40 minutes. Providence outrebounded West Virginia 41-33. Jonathan Kale led the way with nine boards to go with his nine points.

The win improved Providence's record to 16-2 at home.

Darrius Nichols and Frank Young each scored 14 points for West Virginia.