No. 9 Baylor overwhelms fading West Virginia

Feb 13, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard LJ Cryer (4) dribbles past West Virginia Mountaineers guard Joe Toussaint (5) during the second half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 Baylor overwhelms fading West Virginia

LJ Cryer drilled eight 3-pointers and scored a game-high 26 points Monday night as No. 9 Baylor pulled away from West Virginia in the second half for a 79-67 Big 12 Conference win in Waco, Texas.

Cryer was 8 of 11 from behind the arc for the Bears (20-6, 9-4 Big 12), which as a team converted 14 of 27 3-pointers. Adam Flagler added 13 while Jalen Bridges scored 12 and reserve Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua put in 11 points.

Freshman Keyonte George was held to six points, more than 10 below his average, but still helped Baylor with nine rebounds and seven assists, both game-highs. The Bears collected 19 assists on 26 made buckets.

Emmitt Matthews Jr. scored 17 points for the Mountaineers (15-11, 4-9) and Joe Toussaint added 11 off the bench. But it wasn’t enough for West Virginia to avoid back-to-back losses in three days. The team was coming off a 94-60 blowout loss at Texas on Saturday.

The Mountaineers shot 45.3 percent from the field and earned a 29-25 advantage on the glass but couldn’t overcome Baylor’s superior shooting from the arc. The Bears outscored West Virginia 42-21 on 3-pointers.

Cryer hit five 3s in the first 9:44 of the second half, lifting the Bears to a 62-45 lead that was too much for the Mountaineers to overcome.

Needing a win to bolster its chances of an NCAA Tournament at-large berth, West Virginia used its defense to control most of the first 10-plus minutes. Baylor managed only three points in the first six minutes and the Mountaineers led by as many as seven.

But the Bears eventually started finding the range. Beginning with Langston Love’s 3-pointer at the 12:11 mark, Baylor went on an 11-2 spurt, taking the lead on Jalen Bridges’ 3-pointer with 8:08 left.

Cryer canned a couple of 3-pointers in the final 4:03 and added a pair of foul shots, enabling the Bears to take a 36-29 advantage into the locker room. The difference in the half was 3-point shooting; Baylor made 6 of 11 and West Virginia connected on just 3 of 12.

–Field Level Media

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