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January 27, 2014

Big 12 Battle




West Virginia (11-9, 3-4) will travel to Baylor (13-6, 1-5) for a game that will be critical for both clubs in the Big 12 Conference standings.

Baylor has lost five of their last six games in Big 12 Conference play falling to Texas over the weekend 74-60 at home. The Bears started the season 12-1 but have run into difficulty on the schedule as the calendar turned to January.

The Mountaineers are coming off another close defeat to the hands of Oklahoma State 81-75 in a matchup where West Virginia was in the lead for a large portion of the game. Still, even with Baylor's recent struggles the Mountaineers are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead for them.

"I think they understand how talented they are. The thing that's hard is their length," head coach Bob Huggins said. "They have such great length and they play a lot of matchup zone and do a great job with it. And I think it's extra effective with their ability to block shots."

West Virginia will need to get production from both sophomores Eron Harris and Terry Henderson if they want to find success against the Bears and lately it has been a case of one playing well while the other doesn't in conference play.

"We need both of those guys to make shots for us," he said.

The Mountaineers remained out west after their matchup with Oklahoma State to help ease travel concerns. That is the second trip this season that West Virginia has been able to avoid back-to-back flights due to the scheduling accommodations made by the conference.

Another area that will need to improve for West Virginia is on the defensive end and Huggins believes that the Mountaineers must rebound the ball better and prevent second chances in order to improve there. Still, as a product of the new rules playing defense is a much more difficult task, Huggins said.

"Nobody can guard the way the game has changed. They got what they wanted the scores are higher," he said. "It's been an adjustment period for everybody. The biggest thing is how it affects secondary defenders."


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