In the days of Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley, West Virginia would run up and down the court. And win and win.

The 1982 Mountaineers aren't running and gunning, but they're winning and winning.

Today at the Coliseum, before their third-largest home crowd ever (14,853), the ninth-ranked Mountaineers used a deliberate, slowdown offense to beat Eastern Eight rival George Washington, 52-37.

West Virginia (23-1) has won 22 straight and 30 in a row at home.

GW Coach Gerry Gimelstob was mildly displeased by the slowdown: "I don't know why West Virginia would hold the ball on its own floor."

Coach Gale Gatlett of West Virginia said: "We do what we have to do to win. The last I heard that's what the game is all about. You tell Gimelstob to coach his team and I'll coach mine."

Gimelstob, whose Colonials are 12-12 and have lost eight of their last 11 games, wasn't in a good mood, either.

"How many times am I going to be interviewed about this?" he asked. "Nine times? I was very surprised that West Virginia held the ball on us . . . I think we could have won the game if we had executed better. Also, missed free throw opportunities hurt us."

GW made seven of 17 foul shots.

GW didn't do well from the floor either, shooting 36.6 percent (15 for 41). In the first half, the Colonials fell behind, 28-18, by shooting 29.2 percent (seven for 24).

West Virginia clinched the league title a week ago and is 12-0 in the league; GW is 6-6.

For the second straight game, GW's Mike Brown failed to score a field goal. He got in early foul trouble and played only 17 minutes.

"Brown is a freshman," Catlett observed. "He is talented, but he can be stopped. I think Phil Collins (6-foot-9 center) did a great job of defending him."

Elsewhere in the Eastern Eight: Rutgers defeated Duquesne, 75-56, and Pitt beat Massachusetts, 74-60. The winners get home-court advantages in the league tournament.