Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Bears forward Cory Jefferson (34) battles for a loose ball with West Virginia Mountaineers guard Terry Henderson (15) and guard Eron Harris (10) during the first half at The Ferrell Center.
WACO, Texas — West Virginia closed out a 66-64 win inside the very-green Ferrell Center, where the Baylor Bears lost their fifth straight and the West Virginia Mountaineers earned a dramatic split on their two-game road trip.
The home-crowd advantage was marginal, with seemingly less than 2,000 people in the building at tipoff. The final attendance figure showed 5,529, which didn’t account for no-shows. The Baylor bandwagon has gotten scarce for a team that was ranked No. 7 in the AP poll three short weeks ago.
A recap of the game’s updates:
WEST VIRGINIA 66, BAYLOR 64 (FINAL)
Juwan Staten leads WVU (12-9, 4-4 Big 12) with 15 points and nine assists and commits only one turnover in 40 minutes. Remi Dibo pours in 13 points, Erin Harris adds 12 on 4-of-14 shooting and Terry Henderson chips in 11 on 4-of-9 shooting. WVU shoots 40 percent to Baylor’s 45 percent and Bears own the boards 37-37, but West Virginia held 18-0 edge in points off turnovers. Baylor (13-7, 1-6) was led by Brady Heslips 13 points, Kenny Chery’s 10 and Rico Gathers’ 12-rebound, eight-point effort. Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson finished with a mere six points each.
WEST VIRGINIA 66, BAYLOR 64 (FINAL)
Kenny Chery heaves a 25-foot prayer while running along the sideline, and it BANKS IN! But he launched it after the horn sounded, as replays verified. … WVU gets a much-needed split on the two-game road swing and wins its first game as a road underdog in seemingky forever.
WEST VIRGINIA 66, BAYLOR 64 (0:03 second half)
Staten clanged two free throws with 56 seconds left (falling to 1-of-6 at the line), and Baylor counters with Rico Gathers making 1-of-2 to tie it at 64-all. WVU plays for one, so Staten holds it, and holds it, and holds it, and then DRIVE-BY!—he zips toward the basket and hits reverse layup with 3.1 seconds left.
WEST VIRGINIA 64, BAYLOR 60 (2:35 second half)
Baylor turnover No. 16 zips out of bounds at roughly 125 mph as Prince misfires over the head of Heslip. West Virginia, which has only six turnovers, has the ball and a two-possession lead.
WEST VIRGINIA 64, BAYLOR 58 (3:23 second half)
Time’s winding down and West Virginia has a real shot to pull the upset and prolong Baylor’s misery. The rebounding margin has been moderated somewhat with Baylor leading 33-26, but Noreen just recorded his fifth foul, joining Watkins on the DQ’d list.
WEST VIRGINIA 62, BAYLOR 56 (5:49 second half)
A 3-pointer by Dibo helps WVU match its largest lead at 60-53. After Chery matches with a 3 for Baylor, Dibo sinks a step-back jumper from just inside the 3-point line. Dibo now has a team-high 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
WEST VIRGINIA 55, BAYLOR 51 (7:51 second half)
With 9:18 remaining, Brandon Watkins just picked up his fifth foul, bumping Austin. He leaves with four points, three rebounds and two blocks, and is replaced by Noreen who also has four. … Staten makes a crucial basket by beating Franklin on a drive for an and-1.
WEST VIRGINIA 52, BAYLOR 50 (10:16 second half)
Out of a WVU timeout, Henderson snaps the Baylor run with a 3-pointer from the left wing. He’s 3-of-5 from deep after failing to make a 3-pointer in Stillwater on Saturday. His 11 points lead the Mountaineers.
WEST VIRGINIA 47, BAYLOR 47 (12:15 second half)
The Bears are on a 7-0 run and two WVU forwards—Brandon Watkins and Kevin Noreen have picked up their fourth fouls. Baylor owns a 27-14 edge on the glass that could really balloon if Watkins fouls out. For now, Huggins is going to risk a fifth by keeping Watkins on the court, in lieu of Devin Williams.
WEST VIRGINIA 47, BAYLOR 40 (15:35 second half)
Rico Gathers’ power-slam ignites the crowd, but Austin missed a potential tying 3 on the next possession and West Virginia answered with back-to-back layups in transition to rebuild lead. Scott Drew wound up using a timeout even though the regularly scheduled media break was due up at he next deadball. … Gathers is using his strength to the max underneath, with 10 rebounds so far.
WEST VIRGINIA 45, BAYLOR 38 (halftime)
Staten, Dibo and Henderson lead WVU with eight points each, while Baylor’s being paced by Prince and Heslip with seven each. Austin has five points, while Rico Gathers has eight boards. Staten has six assists.
WEST VIRGINIA 36, BAYLOR 33 (halftime)
Staten’s driving layup gives WVU a seven-point lead, but then came a couple mishaps on the defensive end. First, Kevin Noreen tripped Gary Franklin along the baseline, when Franklin was too deep under the basket to shoot. After Franklin makes the first free throw, Huggins yells to Dibo: “Remi, will you block out?” Then Baylor’s Prince climbs over Dibo on missed free throw and kicks it out for an Isaiah Austin 3. Huggs glares.
WEST VIRGINIA 27, BAYLOR 26 (3:18 first half)
The Mountaineers twice led by five—three days in Waco have agreed with Remi Dibo’s jumpshot—but Baylor’s making some 3s, too. Like 5-of-10 to be exact. The most recent one was a defensie lapse of the first order. Pretty sure WVU’s switch defense on ballscreen probably wasn’t designed to leave Heslip wide open. SWISH!!!!
WEST VIRGINIA 20, BAYLOR 16 (7:02 first half)
Baylor leads 13-5 on the boards—no wonder they lead the Big 12 in rebounding margin—but Royce O’Neal has three turnovers and Cory Jefferson has committed two. The Bears have 10 overall, while hoisting only 15 shots.
WEST VIRGINIA 17, BAYLOR 13 (11:32 first half)
The Bears are dominating the glass 10-4 but have committed six turnovers (one for roughly every 100 fans in the arena). Several of the turnovers were sloppy skip passes. These are moments that reveal how such a talented squad started Big 12 play 1-5. Chemistry and composure lacking right now.
WEST VIRGINIA 8, BAYLOR 7 (15:58 first half)
Deja vu on Baylor’s opening possession as Brady Heslip gets open in the right corner and drains a 3 (he scored 20 in last season’s matchup here). But the defensive breakdown really came when point guard Kenny Chery was allowed to penetrate out front, sucking in the help defense that left Heslip open. … West Virginia trailed 7-3 but responded with a Terry Henderson 3 and a Juwan Staten runout layup.