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Three in a row: West Virginia Loses to Baylor 70-59

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The Mountaineers are now 1-5 on the road in the Big 12

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

Sloppy, early turnovers doomed the Mountaineers in both halves of their trip to Waco, Texas on Saturday. It seems like turnovers are the subject of ever post-game discussion with the this WVU team, the difference was this was against the number one team in the nation.

West Virginia committed 22 turnovers, most of which came in spurts and fed the Baylor offense.

WVU hung around the first eight minutes, trailing only 13-5 at the 12 minute mark. Baylor would go on a 19-9 run over the next nine minutes to stretch the lead to 19 points. To their credit the Mountaineers battled back and cut the lead to 11 at the half.

Halftime score, WVU 22, Baylor 33.

West Virginia carried no momentum into the second half. Despite and 8-0 run to end the half, the Mountaineers came out sloppy in the second half, allowing Baylor to go on an 8-0 run to start the half. The Mountaineers wouldn’t score their first points of the second half until Jermaine Haley made a pair of free throws with 15:50 to go.

Baylor’s largest lead of the game as 28 points, coming at the 10:33 mark, 53-25.

The lone bright spot of the game as Taz Sherman did his best Trey-Young-when-not-guarded-by-Jevon-Carter impression, scoring 20 points in the second half, hitting five three point field goals and scoring a total of 20 points.

Sherman’s second half hot streak helped WVU come back and make the final score competitive. West Virginia battled back and ended up losing 70-59.

Stats the Matter

The stat sheet reports somethings that the eye test did not while watching this game.

  • Despite it feeling like WVU had 40 turnovers and Baylor played a perfect game, this wasn’t actually the case. West Virginia did have 22 turnovers but Baylor had 20 themselves. It just felt worse because WVU turned it over on consecutive possessions, in bunches.
  • WVU also won the rebounding battle, 35-34 (15-11 offensive rebounds). This didn’t translate into a win, but it does mean the team didn’t give up despite facing a huge deficit.
  • The most telling stat, the one that was the most confirmed by the everyone’s eye test, was assists. Ball movement for the Mountaineers was stagnant and not fluid. Baylor had 21 assists to just seven for WVU. To win, WVU has to move the ball better and find ways to find open men. Trying to fix the WVU offense is better suited for another article, or set of articles.
  • West Virginia has a chance for vengeance at the Coliseum in their season finale on March 7.

The Mountaineers return to action on Tuesday, at home, against Oklahoma State.