Baylor’s Drew: ‘Hopefully we have a better feel’ for Press Virginia

It’s Senior Night in Waco, or rather, Ish Wainwright Night, considering he’s the team’s lone senior.

Then again, Monday probably means the final home game for Baylor junior Johnathan Motley also, seeing as how he’s a projected first-round pick in June’s draft.

A Naismith Award hopeful and All-American candidate, Motley (17.3 points, 9.8 rebounds) delivered a huge performance Saturday at Iowa State, though his 27 points and 11 rebounds weren’t enough to avoid a 72-69 loss.

That makes three losses in four games for Baylor (23-6, 10-6), which has slipped into fourth place in the Big 12 as West Virginia (23-6, 11-5) visits the Ferrell Center.

The Bears were 15-0 the last time these teams met Jan. 10 when WVU cruised to an 89-68 win. Baylor’s 29 turnovers in that blowout were the most since 1999.

“Is there a tougher team to play on a one-day prep?” Baylor coach Scott Drew asked Sunday. “But the good thing is you know what they’re going to do. We’ve played them once, so hopefully we have a better feel for that.

“We’ve been able to work on some things since then and we’re at home. For us, the big thing was 29 turnovers. We’ve already been there, done that, tried to set an NCAA record for turnovers. Hopefully we got that out of our system.”

West Virginia edged TCU 61-60 on Saturday, playing without second-leading scorer Esa Ahmad who remained in Morgantown with a back strain.

The Bears played most of the second half at Iowa State without point guard Manu Lecomte, whose nagging ankle injury threatens to sideline him again.

“Wait and see at game time,” Drew said.

Lecomte’s absence would leave Jake Lindsey as the primary point guard. Though he was stellar against Iowa State with seven assists and two turnovers, the Cyclones apply nowhere near the defensive intensity as Press Virginia.

An epic collapse during the final 3 minutes at Kansas is the only thing between the Mountaineers and a six-game winning streak. Two more wins this week against Baylor and Iowa State would leave WVU in sole possession of second place in the Big 12.

Wainright told the Waco Tribune he would be amped over senior night.

“It’s going to be an emotional game,” he said. “It’s my last game here and I’m going to miss it. You might see a few tears drop. Not just a few, a lot.”

No. 10 West Virginia (23-6, 11-5) at No. 11 Baylor (23-6, 10-6)

Tipoff: Monday, 7 p.m. Eastern in Waco (ESPNU)

RPIs: West Virginia 25, Baylor 8

Line: Pick

Prediction: Baylor 67-65





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