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January 28, 2014

WVU holds off Baylor 66-64, Get Road Win

Juwan Staten scored 15 points, including a game-winning layup with 3.1 seconds remaining to lead West Virginia to a 66-64 victory over Baylor in Waco on Tuesday night.

Staten's layup came after Baylor went on an 8-0 run over the final 4:55. The Bears run was capped by a Rico Gathers free throw that tied the game at 64. That came just moments after Brady Heslip hit a three-pointer with 1:08 remaining to pull Baylor within one.

Leading 52-51 with 9:18 to play, West Virginia managed to go on a run that would create its biggest lead of the game.

Staten ignited the Mountaineers with an old-fashion three-point play. Then Kevin Noreen hit a pair of free throws, while just moments later Remi Dibo hit his third three-point shot of the game. WVU led 60-53.

Dibo scored 13 points, playing probably the best game of his Mountaineer career and in addition to leading WVU in scoring, Staten also registered a career-high in assists with 9 total.

For Baylor, Heslip led the team in scoring with 13 points while Tauerean Prince added 11.

In what was a game that came down to the wire, five times the teams were tied, there was three lead changes and the largest lead was West Virginia by eight points.

The game was close from its start. Throughout the first ten minutes of the game West Virginia and Baylor traded baskets.

It wasn't until the 8:08 mark that either team created separation. Off the bench Dibo came in and hit back-to-back three-pointers putting the Mountaineers ahead 23-16. But just as it looked like WVU could go on a run Baylor didn't quit.

Fueled by Gathers and 8 rebounds in the first twenty minutes, Baylor continued to fight. Gathers hit two free throws, then Gary Franklin and Heslip hit threes within a minute of each other. Then Heslip drew a foul on the next possession, hit the front end of a one and one tying the game at 27 with 2:45 to play in the half.

Then in that final 2:45 of the first half West Virginia outscored Baylor 9-6 as Staten hit two transition layups and Terry Henderson knocked in a three-point shot. Staten, Henderson and Dibo each had 8 points in the first half.

Where WVU struggled in the contest was keeping its players out of foul trouble.

In the first half, Devin Williams went to the bench with two fouls in the first seven minutes of the half. Leading scorer Eron Harris quickly followed him. Forcing WVU to play the majority of the half without two of its better players.

Later in the game both Brandon Watkins and Kevin Noreen would foul out.

Regardless, West Virginia improves to 12-9 and 4-4 in the Big 12. The Mountaineers return home to take on Kansas State this Saturday.

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