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Baylor Falls to West Virginia 57-54; Thoughts on a Tough Loss

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The Bears made too many mistakes and faced a brutal whistle

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

After a strong first half, Baylor (11-5, 1-3) fell to West Virginia (15-1, 4-0) 57-54. Baylor takes on Iowa State at 2:00 on Saturday.

We normally do a recap, but I had a lot of disjointed thoughts about this game. So, a list!

*What a great final shot attempt. Jake Lindsey ran the baseline and fired a good pass to Nuni Omot. Then he hit Manu Lecomte for a wide open look. Lecomte missed wide.

*This was one of the worst called games I can remember. They called a jump ball on Nuni Omot faster than you’ll ever see. They called a jump ball on a ball out of bounds that had people perplexed. There was a foul called on Jo Lual-Acuil after the clock that was reversed. King McClure was whistled for a charged when he couldn’t have possibly moved his defender an inch. The Bears had opportunities to make the lack of calls at the rim and the many awful calls irrelevant. But they win this game away from Morgantown.

*The Mark Vital steal, to Jevon Carter made three, was a brutal stretch. Vital stole the ball with 1:15 left and Carter chased him down to strip the ball. West Virginia took possession and Carter came off a screen and hit a well contested triple. The Mountaineers took a 54-51 lead.

*The Bears are not well positioned to score in isolation settings. On an offensive possession later, Lecomte was unable to create anything. The Bears should have subbed Vital to get more offensive on the court, but they couldn’t get much. They also took quite a while to get a 3-point look with four seconds remaining.

*The Bears hit some 3-point shots tonight, which was good to see, but man, they can’t string it together at once. This team went 1-of-12 from deep against TCU. They go 8-of-21 tonight. McClure took open looks, so did Omot and Lindsey. They have to keep firing.

*The man-to-man defense played well. I loved the lineup with Omot at the “4.” That group defended the perimeter well and led to better ball movement. That lineup should get more time.

*This was not at all a must win, but it’s so tough to lose these close games. The 2013 team ended up losing a lot of close games before destroying a bunch of scrubs in the NIT. This team absolutely belongs in the NCAA Tournament, but Wisconsin being bad and losing to TCU at home has narrowed the margin of error.

*Baylor should have won this game. But too many sloppy turnovers. The Bears broke the press constantly. For how well they did breaking the press, turning it over 21 times almost always leads to a loss. Still, the Bears held West Virginia to 31% from the field. They missed the front of a 1-and-1, they had a 10 second violation where they weren’t pressed and they gave up an offensive rebound on a missed free throw down three.