The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 29, 2014

Staten, Mountaineers top Baylor

MORGANTOWN — Juwan Staten shook off a dreadful night of free throw shooting to save the day with a spectacular left-handed reverse layup with just 3.1 seconds to play and West Virginia played just enough defense to force a last-second, desperation shot to come just after the final buzzer as the Mountaineers beat the Baylor Bears, 66-64, before 5,529 fans in Waco, Texas, Tuesday night.

WVU ran its record to 12-9, 4-4 in Big 12 play as it bounced back from a hard-fought 81-75 loss at No. 11 Oklahoma State, while the Bears dropped their fifth game in their last sixth after having been ranked as high as No. 7 this year and fell to 13-7 1-6.

WVU led for nearly all the game but never could pull away.

“That was the most upset I’ve been all year at halftime,” Coach Bob Huggins admitted. “We just couldn’t grind for a long enough time. We get ahead and we can’t grind. We gave those points off the free throws. We had opportunities and we just wouldn’t grind.”

But when they needed it most, Staten was there to deliver with a truly spectacular play.

“Juwan makes a heckuva play after going 1 for 6 from the foul line,” Huggins said. “He’s really the guy you want there. I know it would have crushed him if we hadn’t won.”

Baylor Coach Scott Drew called time out after the basket, set up a play, only to have Huggins call time out.

When play resumed, Drew set up a play for Kenny Chery, who took a couple of dribbles and launched an off-balance, three-point shot that banked in and would have won the game but came just a millisecond after the final buzzer went off.

Staten finished with 15 points and a season-high 9 assists, while Remi Dibo scored 13; Eron Harris, 12; and Terry Henderson, 11. WVU won the game by scoring 18 points off of turnovers while giving up none.

The game is hard enough to play when you are playing the players you want out there, but for the second game in a row, foul trouble put handcuffs on the Mountaineers as both Devin Williams and Eron Harris picked up a pair of early fouls and found themselves on the bench for most of the half.

Fortunately, Remi Dibo this time had his six-guns loaded.

Dibo came off the bench and hit two of three 3s in the first half and finished with eight points, joining both Terry Henderson and Juwan Staten with eight at the half.

Staten had a huge half as he accounted for 20 points, eight that he scored and then 12 that came on six assists.

West Virginia finished the half shooting 46.4 percent, which you have to do on the road, especially when Baylor’s Rico Gathers is completely dominating the boards, pulling down eight first-half rebounds.

That was just one fewer rebound than WVU pulled down as a team in the first half as Baylor led 20-9 in rebounding.

The Mountaineers were able to hang on to a 36-33 halftime lead because they valued the basketball while Baylor played giveaway, turning it over 11 times to just four for WVU.

The result was that WVU outscored Baylor, 15-0, off of turnovers during the first half.

WVU’s rebounding situation didn’t get helped any early in the second half when within the first two minutes of play Kevin Noreen picked up two fouls, giving him four and forcing him to the bench. Less than two minutes later, Brandon Watkins was hit with a foul, which sent another rebounder to the bench as Nathan Adrian came in.

Undaunted, WVU kept the pressure on with Harris hitting a pair of baskets off nifty fast break feeds from Staten as they kept the advantage at 7 points, but more foul trouble was about to occur.

Devin Williams was stuck with his third foul with 14:57 left, forcing him to the bench as Watkins returned with 3 fouls.

It took less than a minute and Watkins had his fourth foul although Huggins made his mind up to play through it as Baylor cut it to 47-45.

The Mountaineers had a chance to take control of the game again when an intentional foul was called sending Staten to the free throw line for a pair, but he missed both and on the ensuing possession Baylor turned up the defensive heat and the Mountaineers couldn’t get a shot off.

Corey Jefferson tied the game at 47 with a drive, but WVU came back down the court and got a 3 from Henderson, his third of the game, to make it 50-47 for a momentary lead that would be erased by a 3-point shot from Chery.

Watkins made his presence felt with a basket for a 52-50 lead, but moments later he fouled out with 9:18 left in the game, Noreen coming in as Baylor hit one free throw to narrow it to 52-51.

WVU kept pushing the pressure, Dibo hitting a 3 and a 2 to reach 13 points and stretch the advantage to a game-high 8 points, 64-56.

But down the stretch things came apart for WVU, going without a field goal for nearly five minutes as Baylor battled back to tie the game at 64-64 with 36.5 seconds left on one of two free throws by Rico Gathers, setting the stage for Staten’s heroics.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter at @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads