Bears Sweep the Mountaineers

With a scorching hot first half and just enough offense in the second to keep West Virginia at an arm's length, the Bears improve to 10-6 in Big 12 play and a tie for 3rd place.

It might not have been the 23-1 run to start the game that the Baylor Bears put on West Virginia in their earlier meeting, but it was still pretty good. A 15-7 lead after the first 7 minutes was just the beginning of a dominant Baylor win, that saw them run on the pressing Mountaineers. The Bears never trailed, and have led for 79 of the 80 minutes they have played West Virginia in 2015.

Taurean Waller-Prince again led the Bears in scoring, with 20 points off the bench. The junior forward hit four 3-pointers and caused havoc on the defensive side of the ball with 3 steals. Rico Gathers had his 15th double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Royce O'Neale had a superb all-around game with 18 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. With West Virginia star Juwan Staten out with a knee injury, and his replacement Gary Browne going out of the game injured within the first 5 minutes, the Mountaineers simply did not have enough firepower to keep up with the red hot Bears. Freshman Javon Carter scored 25 points including seven 3-pointers, both career highs.

The normally aggressive Mountaineer defense could only turn the Bears over 8 times in the game, and they themselves committed 13 turnovers. With a season average +8 turnover margin, the -5 effort would just be too much to overcome. With the Bears shooting 65.4% in the first half on their way to a 45-29 lead, Baylor just had to hold on in the second half and do enough to keep the lead comfortable. They did that and more.

Even with another long drought to start the second half, and about 75 foul calls from the always top-notch Big 12 refs in about a 5 minute span, Baylor could score just 6 points in the first 7 plus minutes of action in the second half. After a Prince 3-pointer extended the lead back to 14, Gathers would hit two big free throws to get it back to 16. After that point, the Mountaineers would go on a 7-0 run to get the lead into single digits for the first time in the second half.

After that point though, it was all Baylor, as Prince and O'Neale would both hit big 3-pointers, plus some free throws to grow the lead back to 20 points after a Rico Gathers layup with 5-minutes to go. West Virginia would hit a few late threes to close the game strong, but Baylor was never seriously in doubt in this one, as they won 78-66 to extend the winning streak to 4 games and get into a 3rd place tie in the Big 12.

Tweets of the Game

Player of the Game

Royce O'Neale - 18 points (5-9, 4-6 from 3-point range), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

It was a sensational game for the Bears senior leader. O'Neale was again the key figure breaking the West Virginia press. With the ball in his hands quite a bit, he made the right decision time and time again and got the ball to open shooters or took it down low and found someone underneath the rim. He was 4-6 from 3-point range, and played his always solid defense. It was the opus in his catalog of games, an all-around effort that saw him do everything the Bears needed him to do, and then some. He was second on the team with 18 points, and led the Bears with 7 assists. Add in 2 steals and 2 blocks, and it was an all-around effort for O'Neale.


Bears Illustrated Top Stories

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Most of time when you hear about team that hustles, it's a team w/out much talent, not case w/this #Baylor team, tremendous chemistry too.

— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) February 28, 2015
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I like Baylor more every time I watch them. Can play at different tempos, styles. They dominate offensive glass, make 3s, really defend.

— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 28, 2015
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Player of the Game

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Royce O'Neale - 18 points (5-9, 4-6 from 3-point range), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

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It was a sensational game for the Bears senior leader. O'Neale was again the key figure breaking the West Virginia press. With the ball in his hands quite a bit, he made the right decision time and time again and got the ball to open shooters or took it down low and found someone underneath the rim. He was 4-6 from 3-point range, and played his always solid defense. It was the opus in his catalog of games, an all-around effort that saw him do everything the Bears needed him to do, and then some. He was second on the team with 18 points, and led the Bears with 7 assists. Add in 2 steals and 2 blocks, and it was an all-around effort for O'Neale.

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See what Baylor fans are saying here

","mobileBody":"

It might not have been the 23-1 run to start the game that the Baylor Bears put on West Virginia in their earlier meeting, but it was still pretty good. A 15-7 lead after the first 7 minutes was just the beginning of a dominant Baylor win, that saw them run on the pressing Mountaineers. The Bears never trailed, and have led for 79 of the 80 minutes they have played West Virginia in 2015.

Taurean Waller-Prince again led the Bears in scoring, with 20 points off the bench. The junior forward hit four 3-pointers and caused havoc on the defensive side of the ball with 3 steals. Rico Gathers had his 15th double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Royce O'Neale had a superb all-around game with 18 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. With West Virginia star Juwan Staten out with a knee injury, and his replacement Gary Browne going out of the game injured within the first 5 minutes, the Mountaineers simply did not have enough firepower to keep up with the red hot Bears. Freshman Javon Carter scored 25 points including seven 3-pointers, both career highs.

The normally aggressive Mountaineer defense could only turn the Bears over 8 times in the game, and they themselves committed 13 turnovers. With a season average +8 turnover margin, the -5 effort would just be too much to overcome. With the Bears shooting 65.4% in the first half on their way to a 45-29 lead, Baylor just had to hold on in the second half and do enough to keep the lead comfortable. They did that and more.

Even with another long drought to start the second half, and about 75 foul calls from the always top-notch Big 12 refs in about a 5 minute span, Baylor could score just 6 points in the first 7 plus minutes of action in the second half. After a Prince 3-pointer extended the lead back to 14, Gathers would hit two big free throws to get it back to 16. After that point, the Mountaineers would go on a 7-0 run to get the lead into single digits for the first time in the second half.

After that point though, it was all Baylor, as Prince and O'Neale would both hit big 3-pointers, plus some free throws to grow the lead back to 20 points after a Rico Gathers layup with 5-minutes to go. West Virginia would hit a few late threes to close the game strong, but Baylor was never seriously in doubt in this one, as they won 78-66 to extend the winning streak to 4 games and get into a 3rd place tie in the Big 12.

No rim is safe around Rico Gathers This #SCtop10 windmill dunk is proof, as No. 19 Baylor leads No. 20 WVU, 45-29 http://t.co/J4nT6UsAZh

— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) February 28, 2015

Most of time when you hear about team that hustles, it's a team w/out much talent, not case w/this #Baylor team, tremendous chemistry too.

— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) February 28, 2015

I like Baylor more every time I watch them. Can play at different tempos, styles. They dominate offensive glass, make 3s, really defend.

— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 28, 2015

Royce O'Neale - 18 points (5-9, 4-6 from 3-point range), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

It was a sensational game for the Bears senior leader. O'Neale was again the key figure breaking the West Virginia press. With the ball in his hands quite a bit, he made the right decision time and time again and got the ball to open shooters or took it down low and found someone underneath the rim. He was 4-6 from 3-point range, and played his always solid defense. It was the opus in his catalog of games, an all-around effort that saw him do everything the Bears needed him to do, and then some. He was second on the team with 18 points, and led the Bears with 7 assists. Add in 2 steals and 2 blocks, and it was an all-around effort for O'Neale.

See what Baylor fans are saying here

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