MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Eron Harris broke out of his mini-slump with a career-best 25 points, but West Virginia couldn’t get him the ball as it sought to tie Baylor in the final seconds.

Instead, the potential tying shot was left to point guard Juwan Staten, who was 0-of-8 from 3-point range this season and just 4-of-34 for his college career. Staten’s 22-footer was deflected with four seconds by 7-footer Isaiah Austin and Baylor escaped with a 65-62 victory Wednesday night.

“Yes, it is frustrating,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, whose team led 34-29 at half and 48-43 with 13 minutes to play. “We had a whole lot of chances. (But) we didn’t get any stops when we needed to get stops and we don’t make shots when we need to make shots.”

Baylor’s comeback victory, which snapped a three-game losing skid, guaranteed WVU can do no better than seventh in the Big 12 standings and cannot avoid playing on the opening day of the league tournament. That means the Mountaineers (13-15, 6-9) must win four games to earn the conference’s automatic bid.

Harris had scored only six points in his previous two games but put up 14 by half against Baylor. He finished 7-of-14 from the floor.

“It’s the end result that matters, so regardless of how I played we still didn’t reach the goal that we were trying to reach, the freshman said.

The Mountaineers led 48-43 on Juwan Staten’s jumper with 13:19 to play. But that cushion vanished as WVU managed only one field goal during the next 12:41, until Kevin Noreen’s 3-pointer drew WVU within 63-62 with 1:36 left.

After Baylor (17-11, 8-7) missed twice on its end, Noreen grabbed an offensive rebound off Harris’ missed jumper and WVU reset with 32.9 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Harris missed another 3 from behind a screen, and Baylor’s Pierre Jackson was fouled on the rebound.

Jackson made both foul shots with 17.9 seconds left to put Baylor up 65-62, and WVU’s last possession unraveled with Staten unable to find another shooter before having his 3 blocked by Austin.

Huggins wanted Staten to drive for a quick two-point basket or pitch to one of West Virginia’s 3-point shooters. “Taking a shot you can’t make isn’t helping anything,” the coach said.

Baylor’s Drew said the odds were against WVU on the final possession: “It’s tough when it’s a three-point game and you have to get a 3 and the defense knows what you’re looking for. Isaiah did a good job contesting the shot. It’s tough shooting over that guy.”

Austin led Baylor with 21 points, and Jackson scored 10 of his 15 in the second half.

“Pierre is one of those players  who gets his teammates involved first and then he picks up his offense later,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “Sometimes we’d prefer if he would score right from the beginning, but obviously his assist make our offense work.”

Kevin Noreen had nine boards and Deniz Kilicli eight as WVU outrebounded the Bears 42-32.

Baylor led 17-11 after Austin sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 11:12 left in the half, but WVU went on a 19-4 run during a seven-minute stretch. Harris had seven points in the run, including five free throws, three after being fouled attempting a jumper in front of the Baylor bench.

JUGGLING ROTATION
Aaric Murray started for the first time since Jan. 5, but played only five minutes. Jabarie Hinds did not start for only the second time all season and played only six minutes. Each had one turnover and failed to score.

Huggins did not name those two specifically but said he benched “guys who pout.”

MISFIRING HESLIP
After making 6-of-9 from 3-point range against WVU in Waco, Baylor guard Brady Heslip missed repeated wide-open looks in Morgantown. He was 0-of-6 from deep and 1-of-8 overall.

“Maybe he was too open,” Drew said. “That guy doesn’t miss open 3s very often.”

WALTON SETTLES DOWN
A.J. Walton was steamed late in the first half when he was called for fouling Eron Harris on a 3-point attempt in front of the front of the Baylor bench. Walton waved off official Ray Natili and slapped his hands loudly Harris stepped to the line for the first of his three free throws.

On Baylor’s ensuing possession, Walton had a path to the basket only to be called for pushing off against Harris. During the ensuing timeout, Walton plopped down in a seat as his teammates huddled, and he had to Baylor assistant Jerome Tang.

Walton scored eight of his 10 points in the second half, including three layups on backdoor passes from Jackson.

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Comments

  • pghmountaineer

    or those of you who think that Huggs can turn this around, think about this: Look at Bob Knight's last 10 years as a coach. He didn't win squat. Why? Because his bullying behavior didn't play anymore with good recruits. And he never changed because he was too hard headed and thought it was everyone else's fault. Look at Huggs. He hasn't changed his style or behavior and it's catching up with him. If his reputation as a coach was so great, why is he having trouble recruiting 5 star players. Look at all the schools with very little basketball tradition and the better recruiting classes they are getting as opposed to WVU. And please, don't tell me kids don't want to come to Morgantown, they'll go anywhere if they know they will compete for a championship and/or play for a coach who really cares about them and doesn't throw them to the wolves everytime they make a mistake.

  • joe

    Jawan Staten just standing and dribbling while the clock ran out, shows me that he thinks it is all about him... he was going to be the big man and make a three point goal to tie the game. However, everyone else just seemed to stand around at the end as well, no movement by anyone. It seems more and more in college basketball these days, the guy who gets the ball with 10 seconds remaining is determined to be the one who take the shot so he will be on Sports Center... how selfish in this "its all about me generation"

  • Kevin

    I don't know why I continue to read these moronic comments, particularly William's. That guy is one negative fan, must be a Marshall or a Pitt troll. Every once in a while there is a great post that restores my faith in the Mountaineer nation. This time it is Aaron's comments. I couldn't say it any better. Thanks Aaron. Let's goooo Mountaineeers!

  • Pete

    I've seen some dumb things this year w/ pt guards and wvu's was no exception at the end of the game. Down 3 points and needing a basket, he walks the ball over the half line and began to run a 7 second set. It 's like he was playing for the last shot to win the game! Kansas scoots down the floor and runs a weave to give their shooter a look. Why can't WVU do that? They can but don't. Players? Coaching? Huggs recruited them and he decides who plays. The responsibility lays with the one making the big bucks driving a Cadillac Escalade!

  • John

    For all you Beilien lovers...

    I saw a Sportscenter highlight of UM's loss to lowly Penn St and there was your very own JB screaming at his players whom I presume to be "Beilien's recruits". I'm sure my eyes deceived me because to hear some of you fashionistas' recounting, Beilien possesses the patience and virtue of St Paul and his recruits perform miracles.

  • wvtd

    these are all huggings recruits and alot of them just plain suck. get rid of a few and bring in another batch and hope 1 or 2 make the grade. get used to it fans, bbq huggings will fix someday. lol. he nedds AA..

  • Alum

    Ah, the trifecta of stupid comments appears again. I fully expected tommy, billy and larry to share their deep and meaningful feelings again and once again, they did not disappoint.

    So when Huggins rights the ship what are you three going to talk about?

    • big tom

      you can't handle the truth

      • Alum

        And tommy, I certainly would not look toward you to find it.

    • Larry

      It never fails...

      After every loss, the Huggins trolls and relatives show up to support, praise and talk about his greatness. Its a little late to "right the ship" don't you think? The ship has done sunk...

      The greatness of the great one has got up and gone...

      • Alum

        First little larry, I am not a troll nor a relative.

        Second, please go back to your real fan base. It it pitt or marshall?

        Commenters (yes, I am being kind using this term) like you cannot comprehend that sometimes a team has an off year. This is that year for WVU. Now, go get over yourself.

        • Larry

          If you are not a relative...and you are not a troll...Then you must be just plain "Stupid"...

          • Alum

            No, you and your bothers tommy and billy have the corner on that market.

  • richard

    the big 12 will ask us to leave??? lmao.....you are a pitiful joke!

    • big tom

      and you are so pitiful , you're not even a joke, you're just sad.

  • Aaron

    Fair-weather fans coming out of the woodwork!! Gotta love it! Well....Not really.

    You people should be ashamed of yourselves! This man, Old Gold and Blue THROUGH AND THROUGH, will gladly support our future Hall of Fame Coach while also, of course, being disappointed and frustrated with the season.

    But to blame Huggs is an overstep in judgment and lacking in knowledge of Huggs' history. He's stuck with kids that need replacements (a.k.a. Recruits) that will learn and grow. Sometimes, unfortunately, one gets dealt a terrible hand and has to play it the best they can.....These players are that AWFUL hand.

    New cards are on the way.

    So, chill people....Remember they're still just kids and Huggs is has the THIRD MOST VICTORIES of all active head coaches, 18 of twenty seasons in the NCAA Tourney, oh, and that little matter of TWO FINAL FOURS!!!! It will turn around.

    Let's Go-ohhhhhhhhh Mountaineers!!

  • Larry

    14 seconds to go, you are down 3, and your point guard walks the ball up the court. I could hardly believe my eyes. What on earth was he thinking?

    The problem? coaching…Huggins is paid $10,000.00 a day to eat barbecue. Because there is no way he is coaching these kids. Grade school players have more presence of mind than that. Unbelievable.

    Is WVU on the cusp of turning their program around under the great one Bob “Hall of Fame” Huggins? No.

    Is the program in freefall? No.

    It is stuck in neutral…never getting any better, never getting any worse. It’s been that way since the Gonzaga game. WVU fans have seemingly grown used to being below mediocrity and seem somewhat happy with the losing season.

    As a rule, Fans do not tend to spend money to watch their favorite team lose.WVU is the exception. Losing basketball games are beginning to be the “Norm” for WVU basketball. However the fans have been “Dumbed Down” by Huggins and they have forgotten you are supposed to win and not lose.

    The overwhelming paradox of this sad story is that the majority continue to support mediocrity and seem perfectly content, always looking ahead to “Next Year”. “Things will improve and be much better…next year…next year…next year…”

    And so it continues…

  • Jon

    I am dead serious when I say these players do crap a Middle School coach would bench you for. These hard headed players are the problem. Huggins didn't get to where he is because he's no better than a middle school coach. If I've seen once a player plow full blast into a crowded lane with nowhere to go or pass, I've seen it a thousand times.

  • protechcpa

    The Big Twelve needs bottom feeders too.

  • JoshuaWool

    huggins is a great coach. Mountaineer fans support every coaching decision he makes. One thing he cant controll is the player and how they are goin to play. I thnk recruiting will be much different this year. Go Earrrrs......Go huggs......

    • big tom

      first of all, it's eers not ears , you idiot.
      and the coach can control who gets PT.

  • big tom

    typical performance, didn't really expect anything more.
    a bunch of div2 players not being coached up...
    In three short years, wvu BB has fallen to the bottom and it doesn't look like next year will be better and maybe worse.
    It's really a sad situation , i just hope huggie has sobered up and realizes what has just happen to a once proud program.
    What would it take to have Beilein teach bobby who to recruit..
    It's not right what has happened, i just can't accept mediocrity and drink the kool-aid.
    Ollie needs to shake things up, or the big 12 will ask us to leave.

  • WILLIAM

    I love it when 'Screaming F-Bomb Huggins' goes down with another lose! Great last play ran from HUGGINS! This coach has done a terrible job. WVU fans need to wake up because they deserve much better. WHAT SEED DO YOU THINK WVU WILL GET IN THE TOURNAMENT?

    • graywv

      Please- you guys need to grow-up, a-little, You have seen it all year, and you have heard Huggins say it over and over and you still miss it. This team has players "WHO don't listen", uner pressure they revert back to street ball instead of maintaining any discipline. We have known from the start that some these players just do not like to give up the ball(pass to anyone), thats why Huggins constantly changing players on the court. Than their is several players that do not want the ball and will not shoot under any circumstances. Some say time-outs mismanaged-wrong you call time-outs to correct flaws and to set-up plays, you call them to break momentum of the other team, he set that last time-out for a needed score or games over right their! Team needs a GO-TO-GUY, some young guys are coming just not their yet!