|Field Goal %||43.4||32.8|
|Three Point %||33.3||33.3|
|Free Throw %||81.8||67.9|
The #21 West Virginia Mountaineers (20-8 9-6) went into Waco and beat down the hottest team in the Big XII, the Baylor Bears (17-11 7-8).
The Mountaineers opened the game on a 9-2 run and they were just getting started. They would take a four-point lead (10-6) and expand it to 20 with a 19-3 run in a little over of eight minutes of gameplay.
Baylor would start to find some offense and keep pace with the Mountaineers, but West Virginia went into halftime with a 22-point lead 40-18. “The first half might be as good as we’ve been” said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.
West Virginia was playing suffocating defense led by forward Sagaba Konate’s 5 of the team’s 7 blocks in the first half. They would force 12 turnovers and hold Baylor to 5-26 (19.2%) shooting from the field.
Mountaineer forward Esa Ahmad had a strong first half with 10 points and two rebounds and guard Beetle Bolden also had 10 points on 2-3 shooting from behind the arc and 2-2 from the free throw line.
West Virginia started the second half on an 8-2 run in the first two minutes led by back to back three pointers from guard Jevon Carter. They were in complete control of the game, but Baylor has played well as of late coming into the game on a five-game winning streak and they were not going down without a fight.
Baylor slowly started to chip away at the Mountaineer lead and they would go on a run to strike fear into the Mountaineers.
Three turnovers and settling for jump shots set up a 19-5 Baylor run, cutting the Mountaineers lead to just 12 with a little over eight minutes to play in the game and they had all the momentum. The Mountaineers would go over five minutes without scoring a single point during that span.
“Scott (Baylor head coach Scott Drew) did a great job at halftime. They came back out and really played. Their kids played really hard. Took a bunch of stuff away from us.” Said Huggins
West Virginia guard Daxter Miles Jr responded with a three, got fouled and completed the four-point play with the foul shot with 6:52 to play in the game. That play turned the game back into the Mountaineers favor, putting the Mountaineers up 16 and Baylor wouldn’t get back within 12 until there was a minute left to play in the game.
“He’s made big plays. He’s a four-year starter. He’s made big plays from the day he walked on campus. We kind of expect it from him.” Said Huggins.
Baylor’s Manu Lecomte hit a three as time ran out giving the Mountaineers an 11-point win.
Sags was one block away from a triple-double and owning the West Virginia single game record for blocks. He tied the record with 9 blocks and finished the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds. “He played really, really well. He gets better and better and better all the time” said Huggins
Five different Mountaineers scoring in double figures and 15 assists against one of the best defenses in the Big XII is impressive. Esa Ahmad and Jevon Carter both led the Mountaineers with 15 points.
It’s a little concerning that West Virginia held a 28-point lead and let it dwindle down to 12 in just 10 minutes of play, but they responded. They closed the game out at the end and beat the hottest team in the Big XII on their home floor.
The Mountaineers host the Iowa State cyclones this Saturday inside the WVU Coliseum at 6:00 pm.