|Points Per Game||80.5||76.4|
|Field Goal %||43.4||47.2|
|Rebounds Per Game||38.4||38.9|
|Assists Per Game||15.3||15.3|
|Blocks Per Game||5.0||4.6|
|Steals Per Game||8.4||5.1|
Tip-Off: 7:00 pm est
Location: Waco, Texas Ferrell Center
The #21 West Virginia Mountaineers (19-8 8-6) are in Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears (17-10 7-7).
In the first meeting in Morgantown, it was a battle of wills and the Mountaineers outlasted the Bears in the final seconds by some late heroics from West Virginia guards Beetle Bolden, Daxter Miles Jr and Jevon Carter.
Beetle Bolden picked the pocket of Vital, then Daxter Miles would save it out of bounds, giving the Mountaineers the ball with 1:12 to play in the game, with the game tied at 51.
That led to Jevon Carter making a three, with a hand in his face, giving the Mountaineers the lead 54-51 with 56 seconds left to play in the game.
The Mountaineers would go onto win the game 57-54 after a missed three pointer by Baylor’s Manu Lecomte as time ran out.
Starting five and how they performed in the first meeting against the Mountaineers:
Senior guard Manu Lecomte (5’11” 175-lbs) led the Bears with 13 points. He has averaged 15.2 points and 4.2 assists in the last five games. Manu facilitates the offense and he is what makes this team go. They cannot leave him open from behind the arc.
Senior Forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr (7’0” 225-lbs) had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He has had two double-doubles in the last five games (Iowa State, @Texas) and is averaging 11.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in that span.
Freshman Forward Mark Vital (6’5” 230-lbs) was solid with eight points and eight rebounds. He has continued to play strong especially in their current winning streak, averaging 8.4 rebounds per game.
Junior guard Jake Lindsey (6’5” 200-lbs) had five points and three assists. He hit double figures for the first time in Big XII play with 11 points in the win over Kansas. Lindsey has done a good job at picking his spots and taking care of the ball as of late.
Freshman forward Tristan Clark (6’9” 240-lbs) came up with six points and eight rebounds. He hasn’t played a lot of minutes since the emergence of Terry Maston, but he worked his way into the starting lineup and had 10 points in the win over Oklahoma State two weeks ago.
Coming off the bench:
Junior guard King McClure (6’3” 215-lbs) went 2-8 from the field for six points. He is averaging 8.4 points per game on the season.
Senior Forward Nuni Omot (6’9” 205-lbs) had three points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. He has scored a total of four points the last two games but can be a factor from behind the arc, shooting 41.8% from three on the season.
Senior forward Terry Maston (6’8” 225-lbs) did not score but grabbed a rebound. He has scored 20 plus points four times this season and three of them have been in the last five games. Maston scored 24 points in the win against Texas Tech on Saturday and put up 26 the previous game (Texas). He has been that x-factor for the Bears.
Baylor looks like they have turned a corner and is currently on a five-game winning streak and have won games at home against #10 Kansas and #7 Texas Tech in that stretch.
In the first game between these two, West Virginia did not shoot the ball well (31.1%) and was the start of their shooting slump that started their skid of losing five of the next six games.
The Mountaineers found a way to win with their defense, turning Baylor over 21 times and limiting their open looks in the second half, making them shoot 27.6% from the field.
West Virginia guard Daxter Miles Jr and forward Lamont West led the Mountaineers in scoring with 12 points. With Miles coming off his best game of the season in the loss against Kansas, they will need his leadership on the road again.
The Mountaineers will have to fight for every point against the leagues best defensive field goal percentage team (41.1%) during Big XII play.
Most importantly, West Virginia needs to rebound. Baylor outrebounded West Virginia in the first meeting 44-36. They must keep Lual-Acuil off the glass. Mountaineer forward Esa Ahmad didn’t play in the first game and that might make up the rebounding difference.
West Virginia has been settling for less jump shots as of late working the ball down low to forward Sagaba Konate they will need to continue to work their offense around the rim.
Baylor is a bad matchup for the Mountaineers with their length and athleticism. Just like the first game they will need to find a way to win and grind the game out.