This will not go down in the record books as a great senior day for the Baylor Bears. An awful shooting game by the Bears, that saw them shoot 36.5% from the field for the game, but it was actually worse than that. Facing a 16 point deficit midway through the 2nd half, the Bears made five straight 3-pointers. Outside of that mini-run, Baylor made just 5 shots the entire second half to go along with 10 turnovers. With the Mountaineers hitting shots, they were able to setup their powerful full court press defense and harass the Bears into errant passes and tough shots. If you take away that 5-5 run in the second half, Baylor made less than 30% of their shots while West Virginia shot 45.7% from the field.
Taurean Prince led the Bears with 19 points, but made just 5-17shots and uncharacteristically made just 6-14 from the free throw line. Prince of course was an 84% free throw shooter coming into the game. He was the best senior for the Bears, with Rico Gathers struggling once again. The senior center scored just 5 points on 2-7 shooting and had 3 rebounds. Lester Medford was invisible for most of the game, finishing with 5 points, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. Austin Mills did hit a late 3-pointer on his senior night, as that was the only good news for the four Bears playing their last home games in Waco. The bears three primary seniors made just 8-28 shots and finished with a combined 29 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 8 turnovers.
With only Prince scoring over 9 points, the Bears had no balance to their offensive attack. Al Freeman was 2-7 from the floor, missing several layups. Jonathan M0tley continued to fall to earth after an incredible 5 game stretch,going scoreless for the Bears. TJ Maston had 6 points and 3 rebounds in limisted action, and was the highlight of the Bears bench who combined to score just 14 points. The Mountaineers, with the highest scoring bench in the nation, put up 35 points, with two scoring in double figures.
The start of both halves was ugly for the Bears, with only four points in the first 8 minutes of each half. West Virginia would outscore the Bears 25-8 in those two stretches, with Baylor winning the rest of the contest 50-44. Those 16 minutes of action would doom the Bears to another home loss. Baylor falls to just 1-5 in their last 6 home games, with their lone win being over Iowa State. Baylor is just 4-5 in home games in Big 12 play, and 6-3 on the road.
An emotional Rico Gathers fouled out late in the game, losing his last in front of his home fans. "I couldn't believe that this was really my last moment in this building. We had always won on Senior Night. For us to go out with an L was really emotional" said Rico after the game.
With the loss, the Bears fall to 10-8 in Big 12 play. Their next game will be in the Big 12 tournament on Thursday. They either going to be the 5th or 6th seed, depending on the result of the Kansas/Iowa State game later in the afternoon.