WVU Defeated by Baylor, 65-62
MORGANTOWN – When Deniz Kilicli was a freshman, West Virginia went to the Final Four.
He thought the good times were coming his way.
On Wednesday night, with three regular-season games left in his college career, he’s seeing the other side of it.
Juwan Staten, a zero-percent 3-point shooter, had a 22-foot desperation shot blocked as the Baylor Bears escaped the Coliseum with a 65-62 victory against the Mountaineers.
”How many times do you see that happen?” Kilickli asked. ”To any team. Look at Division-I players, that never happens. Somebody does something, creates the shot, and gets the shot off. We couldn’t even get the shot off. That didn’t happen just today. This has been happening for a long time, and it’s really frustrating for everybody.
The truth is, these Mountaineers (13-15 overall, 6-9 Big 12) haven’t made a game-tying, or winning shot all year.
In fairness to Staten, the play wasn’t set up for him to shoot that one. Screens were set for Terry Henderson and Eron Harris, who scored a career-high 25 points, or Staten was instructed to take it to the hoop and, at the very least score, if not get fouled, then foul.
”Everybody runs it,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. ”If they switch, you go to the basket and score. Taking a shot you can’t make isn’t going to help anything.”
Staten hasn’t made a 3-pointer in live game action in 24 months.
”It’s tough when it’s a three-point game and you have to get a 3 and the defense knows what you are looking for,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
This was a game that saw West Virginia lead by as much as nine in the first half and Baylor (17-11, 8-7) not score a field goal in the last 7:07, but eight free throws during that stretch were good enough to do the trick for the Bears.
Harris had 14 of his points during a first half in which the Mountaineers shot 44 percent, but saw that plummet to 36 percent in the second half. They were 3 of 17 on 3-point attempts.
”It’s frustrating,” Huggins said. ”We had a whole lot of chances. We don’t get any stops when we need to get stops and we won’t make shots when we need to make shots.”
Isaiah Austin led Baylor with 21 points, followed by 15 from Pierre Jackson and 10 from A.J. Walton.
Kevin Noreen came off the bench to add 10 and nine rebounds for WVU.