West Virginia couldn't pick-up the win at home Saturday afternoon. The Baylor Bears defeated the Mountaineers 88-75.
Juwan Staten got things started for the Mountaineers after hitting a mid range jumper while Eron Harris knocked down West Virginia's first three of the afternoon. But good play underneath the basket allowed the Bears to pick up a couple baskets. West Virginia led Baylor 5-4 with 16:47 remaining in the first half.
"They just had a good one. They came out early and got it going," said Staten. "I think it was it more of our defense. We weren't forcing them to turn it over. We need to get up on teams so we can get turnovers and create offense from our defense."
Nathan Adrian drilled a three-pointer from the corner while Baylor's Brady Heslip picked up a quick three on the other end. West Virginia led Baylor 10-9 with 14:39 remaining in the first.
West Virginia went on a 9-0 run forcing Baylor to burn a timeout to halt momentum. Staten added a layup with 12:27 remaining in the first half to give the Mountaineers a 17-9 lead over the Bears.
Heslip coming off the timeout ended West Virginia's run by hitting a three from the top of the key. Devin Williams answered for the Mountaineers with a layup. The score still favored the Mountaineers 19-14 with 11:16 to go in the first.
Baylor began to take over with 9:19 on the clock as a layup from Royce O'Neale and a fast break dunk from Rico Gathers narrowed the Bears deficit to just one. The Mountaineers clung to a 21-20 lead midway through the first half.
Harris knocked down his second three of the game giving the Mountaineers a 31-26 lead with 5:05 remaining in the first half.
With 32 points, Harris led West Virginia in scoring while Staten added 16 and Adrian chipped in with 8. The Mountaineers shot 22-55 (40 percent) from the field and 11-21 (52 percent) from beyond the arc.
"Didn't matter what I did, we lost," said Harris. "We didn't get the stop we needed or the rebound we needed. Just like every time we're going to try to improve. It's very deflating."
O'Neale knotted the game up after hitting a wide open three from the top of the key. The Mountaineers and Bears sat even at 31 with 4:06 to play in the first half.
Adrian hit a three with under a minute to play to allow the Mountaineers to carry a 42-36 lead into halftime. Harris scored 15 points in the first half including going 3-3 from beyond the arc.
Harris buried two free throws for the Mountaineers as Baylor continued to find success inside the paint. West Virginia led Baylor 45-40 with 17:28 left in the game.
Isaiah Austin found a wide-open dunk underneath the hoop. The dunk brought Baylor within one, 45-44 with 16:24 remaining.
Baylor outscored West Virginia 38-12 inside the paint.
"Good students they don't just go to class, they actually go home and study, if you want to be a good player that's what you got to do," said head coach Bob Huggins. "How in the hell are you going to give up 88 points and think you guarded someone? How are you going to give up 38 points in the paint and think you guarded a lot?"
A three from Corey Jefferson tied the game at 47 but Harris quickly regained the Mountaineers' lead with a layup on the other end. West Virginia held a two-point lead over the Bears with 14:31 left in the game.
Another three for Harris put the Mountaineers on top by two. Back and forth action from Baylor and West Virginia made it close, 54-52 early in the second half.
The Bears began to find points from behind the arc as O'Neale hit a three from the top of the key lifting the Bear's lead to 64-58 with 8:45 to play.
Baylor shot 32-59 (54 percent) from the field and 9-20 (45 percent) from three-point land. O'Neale led the Bears in scoring with 22 points while Austin had 19 and Jefferson dropped 15.
After another Heslip three, Harris hit two consecutive threes for West Virginia. Harris cut into the Bear's lead as the Mountaineers trailed 67-65 with 7:04 remaining.
The Bears inside presence continued to be felt but the Remi Dibo hit a three for the Mountaineers as West Virginia attempted to climb back in it. The Bears led the Mountaineers 76-68 with 3:10 to go.
The Mountaineers were unable to get the shots to fall down the stretch as Baylor downed West Virginia 88-75.