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February 11, 2013
West Virginia (12-11, 5-5) is coming off three consecutive Big 12 Conference victories and is eyeing the possibility of a fourth when the Mountaineers travel to Baylor (15-8, 6-4) for a Wednesday night matchup.
The Bears feature point guard Pierre Jackson 19.1 points and 6 assists per game, and the senior serves as the engine that makes Baylor work. Last season, Baylor beat West Virginia 83-81 in overtime and Jackson scored 23 points in that game.
"I think he's certainly one of the best players in the league," head coach Bob Huggins said. "He can really score the ball; he does a great job with ball screens. They do a great job of screening for him."
Jackson has been effective kicking the ball to his teammates and having those shooters allows the Bears to spread the floor, making them a difficult guard.
"They can spread you so much," Huggins said.
West Virginia has won games over Texas Tech, Texas and TCU, with two of those on the road, and Wednesday's 9 p.m. matchup could be the biggest yet.
The key to the Mountaineers success has been the emergence of the two true freshmen guards Terry Henderson and Eron Harris, along with the ability to make shots.
"When we make shots we give ourselves a chance. I don't know, in all honestly we've been so close, we were real close to beating Kansas here, real close to beating Iowa State at Iowa State, we never really got over the hump and finished a game," he said.
According to Huggins the team is showing signs of growing up after a rough start that included a difficult schedule in the early part of the season. One of the keys to Wednesday's matchup will be the rebounding between the two teams and it's something that's been a staple of Huggins teams.
"Fortunately for us we miss a bunch, so there is a whole bunch to rebound," he said.
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