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Baylor clamps down on West Virginia 78-66

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Jevon Carfer scores 25 points in loss

Freshman Jevon Carter scored 25 points but West Virginia lost 78-66 at Baylor on Saturday.

Carter’s 25 was not enough for the Mountaineers to overcome the absence of Juwan Staten and an early injury to Gary Browne.

WVU was looking to continue the momentum from their 3-game winning streak and add to their 11 road wins, the most in the Big 12 conference, with Saturday’s trip to Waco to take on No. 22 Baylor.

WVU started the game on the wrong note as Baylor gained a 7-2 lead in the first few minutes of the half. The turning point for WVU was when senior guard Gary Browne sustained an ankle injury after colliding with 275-pound Bears forward Rico Gathers after going after a loose ball.

Browne left after playing just three minutes and remained out for the rest of the game. With Juwan State not dressed due to a groin and knee injuries, the inexperienced Mountaineers were forced to play Carter at point guard for the first time in his college career.

West Virginia looked out-of-sync, missing 4 of their first 6 shots and committing 4 turnovers before the first media timeout.

Baylor was able to take full advantage as they went on a 9-2 run, gaining a double-digit lead that they maintained throughout the first half.

Baylor imposed their will and their pace onto a confused Mountaineers’ team, with big men Gathers and Taurean Prince bullying the Mountaineers, including an explosive breakaway dunk by Gathers with 1:56 to go.

Baylor also shot 64 percent from the field in the half and crashed the offensive glass for 10 second chance points. The Mountaineers shot 41 percent from the field, 30 percent from long range and did not attempt a free throw throughout the entire opening half. The Bears scored 11 points from nine WVU turnovers.

The second half saw a more determined WVU team on the court as they were able to hold Baylor scoreless in the opening three minutes of the half. Thanks to a valiant effort from Carter, the Mountaineers were able to cut the Bears lead down to 9 points, but the Bears settled and cruised the rest of the way.

Baylor team ended the game with four players in double figures, led by Prince’s 20 and Royce O’Neale’s 18. Gathers had 17 and 10 rebounds, while Al Freeman scored 10 and gathered 7 boards.

The only other WVU player to reach double-digits was Daxter Miles, who had 11.  Devin Williams had 7 points and 10 rebounds. Carter added 5 rebounds and 3 assists in addition to his 25 points.

The loss gives WVU a 22-7 overall record (10-6 in the Big 12), which drops them down from second to tie fourth place with No. 12 Iowa State. The Mountaineers continue with a road game against No. 8 Kansas on Monday.

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