Men's Basketball, Sports, WVU Sports

Mountaineers fall to Baylor, 94-81, drop to last place in Big 12 standings

West Virginia’s defensive trend continued in a downward spiral Saturday, as did Mountaineers’s place in the Big 12 standings.

Baylor’s 94-81 victory inside the Coliseum handed WVU its fourth consecutive loss and sent the Mountaineers (8-17, 3-9 Big 12) into last place in the Big 12 standings.

Well, technically WVU is tied with Oklahoma State for last place, but the Cowboys own the tiebreaker.
In any fashion, there was plenty to scratch your head at, but also plenty of stuff you’ve already seen.
Consider this: WVU’s duo of RaeQuan Battle and Jesse Edwards both were standouts at the same time … and the Mountaineers still lost.

Battle finished with 25 points — his seventh game with 21 or more this season — while Edwards added 21 points and nine rebounds.

And then there was this: WVU shot a season-high 52.9% (27 of 51) from the field … and the Mountaineers still lost.

“It wasn’t our best defensive game,” Battle said. “I’ll just kind of leave it there.”
It’s hard to leave it there, because this wasn’t exactly a one-off for the Mountaineers.
What Baylor (19-6, 8-4) did to WVU was pretty much the exact same thing BYU, Texas and TCU did to begin this losing streak — score a lot of points.

Baylor had 42 points at halftime in this one, which goes right alongside Texas’ 55 points in the first half and TCU’s 47 points in the first half.

While WVU shot well, so did the Bears, who remain one game behind both Iowa State and Houston for the top spot in the league standings.

“They had a few more wide-open threes than they should have,” Battle said.
Baylor finished with 12 3-pointers against the Mountaineers, which was only outdone by BYU’s 13 against WVU in Big 12 play.

The Bears shot 53.6% (30 of 56) from the field overall.

“We really played well offensively,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “I was really proud of the guys for getting off to a quick start. From the beginning of the game, I thought we did well on the offensive end.”
Baylor freshman Ja’Kobe Walter had 23 points. Jayden Nunn added 20 and Baylor had six players score in double figures.

“I thought we had a lot of good looks,” Drew continued. “If we’re taking good shots, that means the offense is working and I thought we had a lot of good ones.”

This was the second time this season WVU allowed more than 90 points, which leads to a lot of fixing for WVU head coach Josh Eilert.

“There are things that can be cleaned up, but the most glaring thing to me is the step-in shots off second-chance opportunities,” Eilert said. “When you give them that many easy buckets, especially with the talent they have on that roster and how well-balanced they are, that was certainly one of our issues tonight.”

Baylor’s lead grew to as big as 71-49 with 10:51 remaining in the game.
WVU got back to as close as 89-80 with 1:24 remaining after Battle and Edwards really started to get on a roll.

But stops just never came in bunches and frustrations with officiating came into play. Eilert was whistled for a technical foul with just under five minutes after Battle appeared to get hacked while making a lay-up.

“Baylor is really not the team to zone by any means, but the way it was going, they were kind of having their way for a while,” Eilert said. “We kind of had to change something. Defense hasn’t been our strong point by any means from the beginning and this is a strong and physical league.”

Box score

No. 12 Baylor 94, West Virginia 81
BAYLOR (19-6)
Bridges 3-9 3-4 10, Missi 5-5 3-6 13, Dennis 4-8 8-9 18, Nunn 7-11 1-2 20, Walter 6-17 7-8 23, Ojianwuna 5-5 0-1 10, Little 0-1 0-0 0, Lohner 0-0 0-0 0, Tchamwa Tchatchoua 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-56 22-30 94.
Slazinski 2-6 5-5 9, Edwards 8-10 5-11 21, Battle 8-16 5-6 25, Johnson 3-5 0-1 6, Kriisa 2-7 0-0 5, Harris 3-4 0-0 8, Farrakhan 1-2 0-0 3, Suemnick 0-0 4-4 4, Akok 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-51 19-27 81.
Halftime—Baylor 42-34. 3-Point Goals—Baylor 12-32 (Nunn 5-9, Walter 4-14, Dennis 2-3, Bridges 1-5, Little 0-1), West Virginia 8-19 (Battle 4-8, Harris 2-3, Farrakhan 1-2, Kriisa 1-4, Johnson 0-1, Slazinski 0-1). Fouled Out—Battle, Kriisa. Rebounds—Baylor 27 (Bridges, Ojianwuna 7), West Virginia 25 (Edwards 9). Assists—Baylor 19 (Dennis 8), West Virginia 15 (Kriisa 6). Total Fouls—Baylor 23, West Virginia 22. A—12,558 (14,000).