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No. 6 West Virginia’s Offense Fails to Convert in Overtime Against No. 3 Baylor

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (March 2, 2021) – The No. 6 West Virginia men’s basketball team fails to score in the final minute of overtime, losing to No. 3 Baylor on Tuesday night, 94-89.

“We didn’t get the ball in-bounds twice, one time we traveled with the ball. The other time we just didn’t get it in,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said following the loss.

“The reality is, we haven’t down the stretch, made free throws. We didn’t make them against Oklahoma, we didn’t make them against Texas, we didn’t make them against Florida. We don’t make them down the stretch,” Huggins added.

In the first half, the Mountaineers (17-7, 10-5 Big 12) fell behind early, trailing 12-2 at the under-16 timeout. Taz Sherman and Deuce McBride were able to give West Virginia an offensive spark against the Baylor (19-1, 10-1 Big 12) defense. Sherman scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while McBride had 9 points on 3-of-5 shooting in the first half. The two combined for 21-of-the-31 for the Mountaineers in the first 20 minutes. 

WVU went on a 7-0 run to bring the deficit to one but Baylor’s Jared Butler hit a three at the buzzer to give the Bears a four-point lead heading into the half.

Junior guard Sean McNeil was able to help WVU get over the hump in the second half, scoring 15 points in the half. McNeil—a Union, Kentucky, native—shot 6-of-7 from the field, making 3-threes. With 14 minutes to go in the second half, a run by McNeil and Emmitt Matthews gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the day, eventually expanding the lead to seven.

From there, it was a back-and-forth action from WVU and BU. Lead change after lead change, no one was given in. McBride was sent to the line with 13 seconds left in the game, but went 1-of-2 from the line, giving the Bears a chance to tie with a two, which they did. Baylor’s Butler drove in the lane with three seconds left in regulation and make a layup, sending the game to overtime.

In the extra period of basketball, the Mountaineers struggled to shoot the ball well, going 1-of-5. The only field goal made by WVU was a three-pointer by Jalen Bridges with the shot clock winding down. West Virginia scored their other five points in overtime from free throws.

Down by three points, the Mountaineers had 30 seconds to try to continue the game. McBride drove down the lane but was met by a Baylor body, who drew a charge, giving the Bears the eventual win.

Sherman led the Mountaineers with a career-high of 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting. The senior guard shot 7-of-8 from the foul line, so he’ll hear a lot about that one miss from his mother.

McBride finished with 19 points while dishing out eight assists. The Cincinnati native checked into the game for 40 minutes on Tuesday.

Derek Culver struggled against the Bears, shooting 0-of-3. Culver did still score nine points, all coming from the free throw line.

The Mountaineers will look to bounce back when they welcome TCU to the WVU Coliseum on Thursday night. The game will be on ESPN+, starting at 7 p.m.

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