MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia hoped for the season sweep Saturday afternoon against Baylor, but wound up falling flat against an NCAA bubble team. The 88-75 loss drops WVU (15-12, 7-7) out of the at-large conversation for now and gives Baylor (18-9, 6-8) reason for encouragement.

Check out Allan Taylor’s recap of in-game updates from the WVU Coliseum:

BAYLOR 88, WEST VIRGINIA 75 (Final)
The Mountaineers suffer through one of their worst halves of the season as Baylor dominates the final 20 minutes. O’Neale finishes with 22, Austin adds 19 and Jefferson chips in 15 for the Bears. … West Virginia wastes a monster 32-point game from Harris (one off his career-best). Staten finishes with 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting, but the Mountaineers are outscored 52-33 in the second half.
BAYLOR 76, WEST VIRGINIA 68 (3:26 second half)
The Bears are brutalizing WVU’s man defense by isolating Austin down low against Remi Dibo. That’s a gimme every time, especially with no help defense coming. Perhaps the threat of Jefferson making a 3 is bothersome, but not as bothersome as Austin getting to the rim at will because no double-team is coming.
BAYLOR 70, WEST VIRGINIA 65 (5:28 second half)
Who is Royce O’Neale and why isn’t he in the League? OK, so maybe it’s easy to hit 3-pointers when there’s no defender within a kilometer, but still, he’s made all four from deep. He’s at a season-high 18 and counting. … Meanwhile, Harris finally “missed” a 3 when he forced one in traffic and had it deflected.
BAYLOR 67, WEST VIRGINIA 65 (7:04 second half)
After Heslip’s 3 stakes Baylor to a 67-59 lead and puts WVU in threat-level midnight mode, Harris bangs home back-to-back 3s to bring the Coliseum alive. He’s got 30 points on, wait for it, 6-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.
BAYLOR 59, WEST VIRGINIA 58 (9:59 second half)
The Bears put together a 7-0 run, including another 3 by O’Neal, to go up 59-54. Staten counters with a midrange jumper and two free throws to stop the spurt. Still, WVU is shooting only 28 percent in the second half.
WEST VIRGINIA 45, BAYLOR 44 (16:24 second half)
Huggins has to use a timeout only 24 seconds shy of the regularly scheduled media break, because Austin has a dunk and a layup early in the second half. … Austin continues to be a menace on the defensive end with six blocks, many of them against Devin Williams, who’ll likely be pump-faking in therapy for weeks.
WEST VIRGINIA 42, BAYLOR 36 (halftime)
Baylor shoots 57 percent and has 16 baskets to West Virginia’s 13, yet trails at the break. How does that happen? Well, because West Virginia leads 14-12 in rebounds, committed only one turnover in the half and made 6-of-8 from 3-point range. … Harris leads WVU with 15 points, while Staten has eight points and three assists. Adrian has six points, including a 3 just 21 seconds before the half. … Royce O’Neal has nine points, putting him in position to best the season-high 13 he scored against Dayton on Nov. 26. He has reached double figures only once in Baylor’s last 19 games.
WEST VIRGINIA 36, BAYLOR 33 (3:18 first half)
Bears 7-footer Isaiah Austin has eight points and three blocks. He and Cory Jefferson have combined for 12 shots so far—the same total they had in the entire first meeting. … Meanwhile Harris is launching bombs. He has 15 points, including 3-of-3 from deep.
WEST VIRGINIA 26, BAYLOR 22 (6:53 first half)
Gary Browne and Juwan Staten are getting into the lane—they’ve combined for 10 points so far, while Harris has seven. Both teams are avoiding foul trouble: WVU has committed three and Baylor four. The rebounds are deadlocked at nine.
WEST VIRGINIA 21, BAYLOR 20 (9:19 first half)
Bob Huggins takes a 30-second timeout and lights into Adrian for giving up a putback to Baylor’s Royce O’Neal. On the ensuing possession, Gathers beats the WVU defense downcourt for a dunk. Adrian exits and Kevin Noreen re-enters.
WEST VIRGINIA 19, BAYLOR 14 (11:16 first half)
WVU is shooting 54 percent, including an easy lay-in by Devin Williams after Rico Gathers flopped and essentially provided an open path to the basket. (Funny to see a 270-pounder lurch backward as he though he were shot in an action movie. But seriously, the way Williams struggles to elevate over interior defenders, Gathers should hold his ground in those situations.)
WEST VIRGINIA 10, BAYLOR 9 (14:25 first half)
Harris and Nathan Adrian hit early 3s for the Mountaineers, while Heslip makes one for Baylor, which is wearing its black-and-Oregon unis today. (Geez, Heslip always tends to make shots against WVU.) Baylor point guard Kenny Chery—the subject of mech pregame clamor about his improved play—also has a couple early baskets.
PREGAME NOTES
West Virginia enters the game with only eight healthy scholarship players because … Terry Henderson, who was missing from pregame warmups, has been ruled out by WVU coach Bob Huggins because of illness. The sophomore guard scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting during the Mountaineers’ 66-64 win in Waco on Jan. 28, and remember he has been far more productive at home—averaging 19 points in his last four games.
PREGAME NOTES
Henderson’s absence stresses WVU’s short bench even further, not a good sign considering Baylor has nine players average 11-plus minutes. Baylor’s bench has out-scored opposing benches in 21 of 26 games this season. … Two Baylor players could reach 1,000 career points today: sharpshooter Brady Heslip needs seven points and Cory Jefferson stands 19 shy.
PREGAME NOTES
Eron Harris said he didn’t watch Baylor’s crazy end-of-regulation finish against Oklahoma State this week. “Nope, I was too busy working on my game,” he said. Baylor overcame a late-game meltdown to win the game in OT, not that Harris cares, of course. … Harris has a way of tip-toeing the confident/cocky line, which he did Thursday in assessing the rematch against Baylor. “We’ve already played this team, we’ve beat this team, so why can’t we beat them again? And we’re at home.”
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Comments

  • Noah

    Why didn't Henderson and Watkins play?

  • Truthteller

    If you take the refs out of the game WVU wins.
    I am so sick of the phantom calls against WVU.
    They are calling fouls on players that never touch the players. Mean while, the other team walks, comes over the backs, throws elbows, knocks WVU players down to the ground and nothing is called. I am so sick of this foolishness. You can't play defense if every time you just look at a player they call fouls on you. Oliver Luck needs to file a complaint about the unfair and obviously bias calls during the games.

    • mad hatter

      no doubt,,, the refs got us again,,, never seems to change, if we had fair refs, we would have won , maybe 5 more conf games... i ask myself, what do the refs have against wvu,,,, seems like every game, we are held hostage by the big 12 refs.

  • mad hatter

    because i only heard henderson wasn't playing , i am assuming he's injured,, is that correct

  • Woodchuck

    WVU women are looking awesome!

  • marko

    Best crowd of the year and a phenomenal Harris game was wasted. Finally got a seat at floor level and was amazed at the size difference--Baylor was sooo much bigger. Wonder why Huggs chose not to double team their bigs or at least go zone to neutralize the size issue. Watkins might have helped too, but was on the bench throughout.

    • Aaron

      Zone wouldn't have worked as they would have simply shot over the defense. There's a reason that team was picked in the top 4 of the league.

  • jack

    Inside game is a total bust. No defense. Don't recruit players with criminal records or academic problems because you are just wasting scholarships on people who are never going to play. Recruit players with character and high IQ for basketball. Next year maybe WVU can get some dominant post players.

    • Aaron

      It should be noted Jack that the players you refer to are both in school, participating as part of the team, going to class and making satisfactory academic progress.

      And if they weren't at WVU, they would be at another high level D-1 program. I can only imagine how different the comments will be if WV is setting at the top of the conference next year.

      To see what I mean, all one has to do is look at the times on most of the comments. When WV wins, the haters don't show up for days. Today, they were posting before the game clock reached 0:00.

      Makes me wonder how bad someone's life must be that they watch a game praying a team will lose so they can trash the coach, particularly on days like today.

    • mad hatter

      i've been saying this all yr, and people just say i'm a marsha troll. Huggins is his worst enemy. He recruits these guys and then , Per his postgame press conf. belittles and demeans his players, taking absolutely no credit for the loss.. Remember, Huggie, recruited that active and red flagged members of this team. Shouldn't he take come credit for their lackluster perfomance?
      Nope, not bobby,, now way,,, it's all on the players,,, it won't surprise me when 4 of them don't come back after this yr.. and i don't blame them

      • Barry

        I totally agree mad hatter. I can't stand when Huggins throws his players under the bus. It is no wonder 5 players transfered in one year, but you can't get people to understand that.

  • DNEcowboy

    Tough loss I know the team is disappointed. Regardless of how this season ends I absolutely love this team and I beleive they are going to make a lot of the folks on here eat their words. Keep your heads up and keep working hard the rewards are comin soon!

    • Aaron

      I was disappointed with Brown and haters boy Dibo the most. Brown for not shooting in Dibo for his defense.

      I was extremely impressed with Harris and just how hard he worked on both ends of the court. That's probably the most impressed with him in all the games I've seen them play.

      Not making excuses cause you play with the kids you got, but they really missed Henderson today.

      Watkins with the exception of the Marshall game, this is been a waste of a redshirt year for him. He just looked lost.

      At any rate, the last time they went to the and NIT they won it. I could stay for hearing Country Roads in the Garden again.

      • mad hatter

        it would have been great to redshirt williams, adrian and watkins, but due to the fact we have two players lacking credientals to play, we have to play these freshmen... wonder who recruited holton and macon?

    • mad hatter

      0
      i've already eaten tons of crow, i said they'd win more games than this,, hopeless,,, i just wonder what they do when t hey practice in that 23 million dollar pract. facility?
      apparently , not much coaching going on... williams, dibo , adrian, and watkins are no better now than the beginning of the season..Looks like only staten has improved..

      • DNEcowboy

        Your ignorance is absolutely astounding.

        • mad hatter

          but my statements are absolutely correct and you can't stand how factual i am. drink the kool aid, ace

          • DNEcowboy

            Your statements are uninsightful and immature. If by staying positive and supporting these kids no matter wether they win or loose is considered " drinking the kook-aide" then pass the cup. I will leave you to do what you do best: being the voice of ignorance on the metro news WVU athletics comment boards.

  • CaptainQ

    This was a heartbreaking loss for the Mountaineers.

    Unless the Men's team goes deep in the Big 12 Tournament, WVU will end up in the NIT. At least they're going to have a winning record this year, so it's progress.

    • mad hatter

      we're 15-12 four more reg. season games,,, could easily end 15-16 , definitely no better than 16-15 reg. season... so , i guess fixem booby , fixed it .. lOL

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Can't argue what everyone is saying about the bigs. Don't they coach them? Willaims is going down hill. Did Watkins get in the game?
    Dibo & Adrain have to front people and stay in front - they both like to run along the side. Like in Biddy Buddy League. Also their frail. How in the world do you expect to guard anyone when you trot along the side of them?. Where's the coaching? They've played defense like that all yr. At least Noreen & Gary Brown can stay in front of them on defense most of the time. I guess we all knew the loss was coming when Baylor decided to play the inside game in the 2nd half. Someone needs to take responsibility for the lack of any improvement of our big guys which includes Dibo & Adrian.

    • Aaron

      How is it coaching when they bring a kid to the sideline, tell them and then show them what to do, put them back in the game and then the player reverts right back to what they did that got them pulled in the first place?

      Hater's boy Dibo was the worst, which is why only played about 3 minutes in the 2nd half. Instead of bodying up to Austin, he actually backed away. He displayed about as much defensive ability as some of the haters on here do in forming a cognizant thought or posting an intelligent comment.

      For me it's the proverbial horse and water theory. People who know basketball understand that were it not for the coaching staff, this team would probably have 10 wins.

      It's kind of ironic that everybody wants to blame Huggins for the shortcomings of this team but they don't understand how much he pulls this team to their successes.

      A coach can only do so much, at some point players have to step forward. Harris worked his butt off today in Staten took shots he didn't want to take today but no one else would step forward. How do you coach that?

      • Aaron

        How can one claim to be a fan and then call a 20 year old student athlete a bum?

        That's just sad.

        Telling, but still sad.

      • mad hatter

        my o my , i wonder who recruited these bums,,, must have been a phantom recruiter who placed this terrible hex upon our players,, it's the proverbial chicken or the egg,,,people fail to understand if it weren't for the players the team would have no wins and there would be no reason for a coaching staff.It's ironic that huggins wants to blame the players for the shortcomings of the team , yet they fail to understand how much they want to win and not to lose, yet , leadership seems to have them trapped in a dark hole of impossible leadership who is full of themselves and wants to cast blame upon their young and innocent shoulders..

      • Barry

        Aaron,

        How many years are you going to believe this BS?

        And quit talking about Dibo. I read one of your comments where you suggested that him and Adrian start the game.

  • tw eagle

    Henderson missing from a short (SIC) lineup
    hurt the Mounties down the stretch as they were pretty much gasses by the 2nd media TO . . . Baylors big men took down their Mountaineer counterparts with constant movement . . . had coach Huggins put his defense into a zone , not the 1-3-1 , but a static 2-1-2 he could have helped his shorthanded team save some energy . . . when you're tired , you make decisions that are not your best . . . Mountaineers played hard & well till the tank ran dry . . .

  • Aaron

    Man, that was a tough one. Henderson not playing killed the
    on offense as no one else outside Staten and Harris looked to score. Hater's boy Dibo couldn't play defense to see the court and Williams wouldn't go at the sticks inside.

    This one sends the eers to the NIT but that's not all bad. I'd rather see them play a couple of games in Mo-town and then head to the Garden.

    Even after a that ugly loss like that, it's a great day to be a Mountaineer.

    • mad hatter

      seriously , exactly what makes you think the NIT will offer a 15-16 regular season team?

      even in the big 12, it's no lock,,we need to have huggie send a few more packing,,, seems he does this each yr so he can make room for some more non qualifers... his recruiting is getting really old.

    • tw eagle

      if the mountaineers don't win another game besides TCU , they may not get seeded high enough in the NIT to get homecourt . . . and if they don't beat TCU , the NIT is very iffy . . .

  • Low Rider

    WVU choked on a 6 point half time lead and then proceeded to get outscored by 19 in the 2nd half. Dibo does not understand the word defense…nor does Adrian. Williams and Watkins have no offense. Baylor's 3,4 and 5's score 60. Need I say more.

    We need 17 wins to secure an NIT bid. Not sure we will get there without any inside scoring. I look for our only remaining win to be TCU. That will put us at 16-15 entering the Big 12 tourney. If we don't get a win there…16-16 will leave us home for the spring.

    • Aaron

      Unless they blow a first round game in the big 12 like they did last year, they'll get their 17 wins. I can handle hearing Country Roads in the Garden again.

      • mad hatter

        ok , we have 15 wins now, where do we get another win? tcu???? that is now a huge if.

    • Leroy j Gibbs

      If we lose out we will still get in the nit due to our tough conference. And we will win it

    • mad hatter

      four games remaining,, we might beat tcu at home,,, sad day

  • Dave

    Tough loss today Mountaineer fans. The loss of Terry Henderson hurt and once again our freshmen Bigs get dominated. Defense has to get better.

    LET'S GOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS !!!!!!

  • mad hatter

    the biggest question of the season, can we beat tcu on our court,,,if not, we won't win again this yr... fixem booby at his best.

  • mad hatter

    well, ole fix it booby hasn't quite fixed it yet, but with a lifetime contract and $10,000 per day, what's the rush , right booby.
    he's kinda got all the wvu fans by the rear and laughing all the way to the bank,..but all us loyal fans just say, we never quit, and the refs took another one from us.
    now it's hard to call this a moral victory, but what the heck, let's call it no. 5 for the season..
    great day to be a mountaineer.