WVU Basketball: Baylor Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Basketball: Baylor Preview

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MORGANTOWN -

It could not be more clear at this point that West Virginia is the seventh best team in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers swept the bottom three teams in conference play, but are now 0-8 against the top six teams. The most recent loss came at home to Oklahoma State on Saturday.

On Wednesday night, WVU (13-14, 6-8) will have a chance to finally earn that upset win when Baylor visits Morgantown for the second meeting between the two teams.

The first game went to Baylor (16-11, 7-7), and it really wasn't very close. The Mountaineers were within four at the half, but the Bears dominated the second half and came away with an 80-60 victory.

That loss started a slump in which West Virginia has lost three of four games. All of those losses were by double digits, and of course, they were to teams ahead of them in the Big 12 standings.

Despite all of that, a win on Wednesday night would put the Mountaineers in a tie with Baylor for sixth in the conference. That won't be much consolation for a team that had higher expectations coming into the year, but it's something.

Baylor will make it difficult, though, mainly due to the Big 12's leading scorer, Pierre Jackson. Jackson is putting up 19.2 points per game and is coming off of a 28-point performance in a loss to Oklahoma. He has scored in double digits in all but one game this season and put up 15 in the first game between these two.

His supporting cast includes Isaiah Austin, who pulls in 9.0 rebounds to lead the team and scores 13.4 points, and Cory Jefferson, who averages 12.0 points and 8.2 rebounds. Rico Gathers, who averages 6.2 points per game, led everyone with 22 points the last tie these two played.

It's no secret that West Virginia has struggled offensively this season. Aaric Murray continues to lead the team in scoring, but with just 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. Five players average between seven and nine points per game. Eron Harris had been putting together some strong performances, but he has just six combined points in his last two games. If he could get back on track, it would be a huge help for his team. He did put up 19 in these teams' other meeting.

Wednesday's game will tip at 8 pm and will be available on the Big 12 Network and ESPN3.

Baylor should win the game. The statistics show that West Virginia loses to the teams above them in the conference. But a win over the Bears could be a confidence boost for the Mountaineers.

It could also prove that the gap between the sixth team and the seventh team isn't as wide as we thought it was.

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