Esa Ahmad ended a slump with 15 points, and Sagaba Konate’s nine blocks exacerbated Baylor’s cold shooting as No. 21 West Virginia rolled to a 71-60 win over the Bears on Tuesday in Waco, Texas.
Jevon Carter added 15 points as the Mountaineers (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) shook off a crushing loss at Kansas on Saturday in which they blew a late 12-point lead. Konate finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Frigid 32.8 percent shooting doomed Baylor (17-11, 7-8), which saw its five-game winning streak snapped and its NCAA Tournament bubble case dinged.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears, while point guard Manu Lecomte scored 12 on 3-of-12 shooting. Lecomte handed out five assists but committed four turnovers.
West Virginia led by 22 at halftime and stretched the margin to 50-22 when Konate dunked a put-back.
The game tightened up midway through the second half as Baylor charged back within 55-43. The Mountaineers endured more than five scoreless minutes before Daxter Miles Jr. made a four-point play when he beat an expiring shot clock and was fouled by Nuni Omot.
Miles had 10 points as did Beetle Bolden, helping West Virginia maintain its third-place spot in the Big 12.
The 40-18 halftime deficit marked the widest for Baylor all season, eclipsing the 40-19 hole the Bears dug during a Dec. 29 loss at Texas Tech. Baylor made only 5 of 26 first-half shots and lost 12 turnovers, one of those a steal by Bolden leading to a runout layup by Carter seconds before the horn.
Ahmad had scored only five points combined in his previous two games but was more aggressive this time.
West Virginia finished 18 of 22 at the free-throw line. The Mountaineers attempted just two foul shots at Kansas, a fact that drew the ire of coach Bob Huggins, prompting his ejection on Saturday.
—Field Level Media