"We came out in the second half and did a good job," said the freshman. "We pushed the ball a lot today. We were rebounding the ball in the second half."
Of that height disadvantage? Browne shrugged.
"In the second half we played hard," he said. "We played good defense - me, Jabarie and Truck. We stopped their guards."
Enough, anyway. Wayns had 20 points, but on 7-of-19 shooting. Cheek had 20 on 8-of-15 shooting. Johnson had four points. Wayns and Cheek are juniors, while Johnson is a freshman. Browne and Hinds are freshmen.
"The freshmen played a huge role in our win tonight," Bryant said.
Bryant laughed when asked if he could have predicted a three-guard combo would prove the difference.
"That's rough," he said. "Because it's Big East play. But if you think about it, we're three guards who can guard anybody. We're physical - especially Gary. Gary is everywhere. Sometimes Gary plays too much defense."
WVU (10-3) was expected to win the game. The Mountaineers entered as 9-point favorites, ranked No. 33 in the Sagarin basketball ratings through games of Dec. 27. Villanova entered ranked No. 92.
But the West Virginia victory was interesting because of the way it materialized: with Kilicli hurting, with Jones injured and out for a spell - and with those three point guards grinding all at once.
Bryant winked and said to expect more of it as The Grind moves along.
"I think we'll do it a lot," he said. "I think Coach [Huggins] likes the way we get after it. We pick it up fullcourt and get after the other team on defense. I think we'll do it a lot."
It'll be something to watch as WVU moves along, starting Friday with a visit to Seton Hall for a 9 p.m. ESPN2 game.
"I told them," Huggins said, " 'Just 17 more, guys.' "
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.