WACO, Texas–Jonathan Motley had 23 points and eight rebounds as No. 11 Baylor used a 30-13 run over the final nine minutes to defeat No. 10 West Virginia University 71-62 on Monday night.
Despite missing point guard Manu Lecomte, the Bears (24-6, 11-6 Big 12) avenged the 21-point loss from January.
The Mountaineers (23-7, 11-6) looked flat most of the night, missing shots, struggling with Baylor’s zone defense and having several clutch players in early foul trouble.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears. Al Freeman added 12, including two huge 3s down the stretch.
Jevon Carter led WVU with 18 points and nine rebounds. The junior recorded his 1000th-career point on a 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining in the second half.
Tarik Phillip tallied 12 points and Elijah Macon 11.
Baylor dominated the Mountaineers on the boards, 43-23.
“This team, the last two years, if we don’t rebound it we’re going to struggle,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. “We’ve got to get more shots than our opposition. Our leading rebounder was Jevon Carter, who is 6-foot-1. Wouldn’t it look a little bit better if our 6-foot-9s maybe got a rebound? JC got more rebounds than our three bigs put together and that’s inexcusable.”
The Mountaineers forced 18 turnovers and had eight steals. However, WVU got just four points of second chance points.
The Mountaineers led Baylor by eight points with just over nine minutes left in the game but the Bears turned up the heat and took control of the game with the assistance of Motley. The junior attacked the rim and took charge, scoring the first eight points of the second half.
WVU led 49-41 when Carter hit a jumper with 9:04 left but they didn’t score again for nearly three minutes.
Carter drove to the basket, stopped, twisted and scored with a short jump shot to put the Mountaineers ahead 51-50 with 6:02 to go. But the Bears responded to with a jumper from Lual-Acuil Jr. to take the lead for good.
Two straight 3s from Freeman gave Baylor a 62-53 edge with 2:47 to play.
Carter drained a 3-pointer to pull within eight but that was as close as WVU would get again.
The Mountaineers shot 37 percent from the field, 20 percent from 3-point range and 79 percent from the charity stripe.
The Bears shot 47 percent from the floor and 30 percent from beyond the arc. Baylor made 26-of-34 from the line.
WVU closes out the regular season on Friday night at home against Iowa State on Senior Night. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have to rebound from this and go get Iowa State,” said Huggins. “They’re playing really well right now.”