Kansas City, Mo.— Taurean Prince scored 18 points off the bench to lead the No. 16 Bears past No. 18 West Virginia for the third straight time this season in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday afternoon.
The Mountaineers played Baylor close most of the game and led the Bears 62-61 with over seven minutes left. West Virginia turned the ball over and failed to make shots, allowing easy baskets for Baylor.
Rico Gathers had 14 points and eight rebounds for the No.4 seeded Bears, who advanced to play the winner of the No.1 Kansas and No.9 TCU in the semifinals.
Devin Williams had 18 points and seven rebounds for West Virginia before fouling out with just over two minutes left. Jaysean Paige also had 18 points and Daxter Miles Jr. added 11.
The second half began with both teams exchanging leads for the first five minutes.
Prince heated up and the Bears went on a run to take a 55-49 lead.
West Virginia was not about to give up just yet. Brandon Watkins knocked down a short jumper and Jevon Carter made a layup.
Williams then grabbed a big offensive rebound after a missed three by Carter to tie the game 55-55 with 10:44 left.
The Bears took a 73-66 lead when Gathers made two free throws with 2:22 left to play. The Mountaineers failed to make another run.
Baylor jumped out to a 4-0 lead but West Virginia right back. A jumper from Williams and back-to-back three-pointers gave West Virginia a 7-4 lead.
Jonathan Holton grabbed a rebound on a Kenny Chery missed three with 33 seconds remaining. He was fouled on the play but Paige was handed a technical for trying to dunk after the whistle.
Chery gave Baylor a 38-34 lead when he hit a free throw and then Holton made two free throws and the Mountaineers went to the locker room trailing the Bears 38-36.
West Virginia is winless in three trips to the Big 12 tournament.
The Mountaineers are the nation’s leaders in steals but only forced 10 turnovers against Baylor.
The Mountaineers played again without seniors Juwan Staten ad Gary Browne. Both participated in pre-game warm ups and head coach Bob Huggins hopes they will be back for the NCAA tournament.
“They weren’t 100% today,” said Huggins. “They could have played, but they weren’t 100%…They’re both planning and are very excited about playing next week.”