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Baylor knocks West Virginia out of Big 12 Tournament

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Despite 18 points from Devin Williams and Jaysean Paige, West Virginia lost to Baylor 80-70 in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament.

The Bears, who scored 26 points from the free throw line, are headed to the Big 12 Championship semifinals for the fifth time in seven years.

WVU was without Juwan Staten and Gary Browne again.

The Mountaineers had control of the game for much of the first half as they shot 6-of-11 from 3-poont range in the opening 20 minutes. Daxter Miles, Jevon Carter and Williams combined for 24 of the Mountaineers 36 first-half points as Baylor led 38-36 at the break. The Bears, despite shooting a dismal 1-9 from beyond the arc, were able escape with the lead.

Baylor gained a 47-45 lead as Taurean Prince and Rico Gathers got hot after having a disappointing first half. The Mountaineers were losing their offensive rhythm as their guards continued to get into foul trouble, with five players committing three or more fouls and Jevon Carter on the bench suffering from cramps. Baylor extended the lead to 55-51 with 12:48 on the clock.

The Mountaineers got their groove back after a timeout and grabbed the lead by three with 9:18 minutes on the clock thanks to a Jaysean Paige 3-point jumper and a Williams tip-in. Baylor stayed close behind and took control of the game late in the half with a 71-66 lead when they scored four points off two straight turnovers. Williams fouled out with less than 3 minutes left and Baylor took control.

Williams and Jaysean Paige were West Virginia’s best performers as they ended the game with 18 apiece. Williams added 7 rebounds to his points.

Four Baylor Bears ended in double figures with Prince leading the pack with 18 points, 3 steals and 2 assists.

WVU will have to wait till Sunday to find out where they stand with in the NCAA tournament bracket.

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