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Baylor Loses to West Virginia 71-60

An awful first half costs the Bears

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

With a terrible first half, Baylor (17-11, 7-8) fell to West Virginia (20-8, 9-6) 71-60. The Bears played well enough to win in the second half. They played so poorly in the first half that they couldn’t get close enough. Baylor takes on TCU at 11:00 on Saturday in Ft. Worth.

West Virginia just destroyed Baylor’s offense in the first half. The Bears played the worst offensive half I can remember since the turnaround in 2008. They scored just .51 points per possession. The worst offense in America averages .87. They went 5-of-26 from the field and 0-of-2 from three. They turned it over 11 times, and several of those were just losing the dribble against a defender. They were blocked eight times. Terry Maston, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, went 0-of-6 from the field.

The Mountaineers played pretty good offense in the first half. They moved the ball well and made some shots. Baylor switched between defenses, but the inability to get anything going offensively made any defensive lapse less of a focal point. The Bears were just dominated by West Virginia’s defense.

Sagaba Konate was an absolute monster. He blocked 9 shots. It was the most dominating defensive performance I’ve seen. The Bears had no answer against him. He pinned shots and helped on others.

Baylor made a big run in the second half. They went on a 21-5 run, and trailed by 12 points. Nuni Omot made some turnaround jumpers, and Manu Lecomte hit a deep three. Maston and Konate were called for double technical fouls after they mouthed off at one another. The Mountaineers followed that up by hitting a three as the shot clock expired and drawing a foul. With a 17 point lead with 6:53 remaining, the Bears couldn’t make it a game again. Scott Drew even earned a technical foul of his own. Later, they called a double technical on Omot and Esa Ahmad. Five technical fouls in the second half. It was just that kind of day.

The Bears have been a streaky team. After starting 2-7 in Big 12 play, Baylor won five straight games. This squad can’t go on another losing streak. Baylor certainly needs at least one more regular season win to make the tournament. It might take two. If the Bears can win two more, getting whacked by West Virginia will be irrelevant. The Bears earned this loss. Time to earn two more wins.