It was an uphill battle that West Virginia never had a chance in Saturday against Baylor at the Ferrell Center in Waco.
Taurean Prince scored 20 points to lead No. 19 Baylor (22-7, 10-6 Big 12) past an injured-ravaged No. 20 West Virginia, 78-66, Saturday. Royce O’Neale added 18 points, while Rico Gathers chipped in with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears’ fourth straight win since dropping back-to-back games against Oklahoma State and Kansas earlier this month.
Jevon Carter, who started for an injured Juwan Staten Saturday, scored a game-high 25 points with Daxter Miles, Jr adding another 11 points for West Virginia. The loss to Baylor is the Mountaineers’ third straight to the Bears since last winning back in January 2014, a 66-64 win at the Ferrell Center in Waco.
Staten’s absence was due to a knee injury suffered in West Virginia’s 71-64 win over Texas last Wednesday. Adding to Staten being unable to play Saturday, West Virginia would lose Gary Browne to an ankle injury nearly three minutes into the game, which made the Mountaineers’ early 13-4 deficit to the Bears a bigger task without the team’s two best players.
Baylor led by 16 points over West Virginia at the break, the same deficit the Mountaineers were behind to the Bears in their game back on February 22 in Morgantown.
Carter and West Virginia made attempts to close their deficit in the second half, but as soon as the Mountaineers would bring the score within nine points, Baylor would go on another run to extend their lead to a double-digit lead that couldn’t be overcome the remainder of the game.
West Virginia attempts to complete the season sweep of Kansas and further improve their NCAA tournament resume at Allen Fieldhouse this Tuesday before closing the regular season against Oklahoma State in Morgantown next Saturday. Tuesday’s game against the Jayhawks begins at 9:00 p.m. with coverage on ESPN2 and the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG.