The Dominion Post  

Miles, Mountaineers blow out Baylor, 71-60

Created on:   Tue, Feb 20, 2018   11:11 PM

Last modified:   Tue, Feb 20, 2018   11:11 PM

Associated Press

WACO, Texas — Daxter Miles Jr. stepped up with a kind of play WVU coach Bob Huggins has become accustomed to seeing, and it was needed after the No. 21 Mountaineers saw their 28-point lead trimmed to 12.

Miles made a 3-pointer while being fouled with just under seven minutes left, then added the free throw. That started a quick 9-1 spurt to regain the momentum, and WVU went on to a 71-60 win Feb. 20 to end Baylor’s five-game winning streak, which had been the longest in the Big 12 Conference.

“I’m glad it calmed [our players]. It didn’t do much for me. He’s made big plays,” Huggins said. “He’s a four-year starter. He’s made big plays from the day he walked on campus. We expect it from him.”

Baylor (17-11, 7-8 Big 12) was down 55-43 after Terry Maston’s jumper. But that was the last of eight straight points for the Bears that capped off a 21-5 run. Miles took a pass from Esa Ahmad and made the 3-pointer while being fouled by Nuni Omot.

“That was a dagger,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “You spend that much energy, and that’s a four-point play. So, again, the moral of the story is you can’t get down 48-20.”

Jevon Carter and Ahmad each scored 15 points for WVU (20-8, 9-6), while Sagaba Konate had 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks. James Bolden and Miles each scored 10 points.

The Bears defeated top 10 teams Kansas and Texas Tech in their previous two home games. But their only lead against WVU came when Jo Lual-Acuil made Baylor’s first shot.

He finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Manu Lecomte added 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting for Baylor.

The Mountaineers’ defense smothered Baylor in the backcourt and frontcourt. Their press made it difficult for the Bears to simply get the ball in bounds, and they intimidated Baylor shooters by blocking 13 shots and altering several others.

Baylor made its first shot, then went 1 for its next 15 in falling behind early. The Bears, who trailed, 40-18, at halftime, didn’t attempt or make enough 3-pointers (3 for 9) to keep the WVU big men from clogging the paint.

There were 46 personal fouls in the game, leading to 28 free throw attempts for Baylor and 22 for WVU. Huggins was ejected at the end of the Mountaineers’ last game, when Kansas had a 35-2 advantage in free throw attempts. Huggins was asked if the referees got too involved in the Baylor game.

“They must not have been flying out of Waco. They must have been staying the night, because they missed whatever flight they had,” Huggins said. “I’m having a hard time figuring out what it is. Somehow we need to get a little more universal and consistent.”

There were five technical fouls assessed during a three-minute span in the second half, with double techs called twice. With 7 1/2 minutes left, Baylor’s Maston and Konate were chest-to-chest with each other after a missed shot. Drew was whistled for a tech with 6:23 left. The other double techs came with 4 1/2 minutes left, when Omot and Ahmad were apparently having words while standing by each other during a free throw.

WVU plays its next two games at home, Saturday night, against Iowa State, and the home finale Monday, against No. 6 Texas Tech. The Mountaineers lost to both of those teams on the road.