LJ Cryer poured in a career-best 25 points and Matthew Mayer added a career-high 20 as No. 5 Baylor outlasted West Virginia on Tuesday in Big 12 Conference play in Morgantown, W.V. to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Bears (16-2, 4-2 Big 12) led by four points at halftime and by 66-59 with 5:19 to play after a back-and-forth first 15 minutes of the second half. Baylor pushed its advantage to 10 points on a bucket by Cryer and a 3-poiner by Adam Flagler, the latter with 3:22 remaining, and the Mountaineers never seriously threatened again.
Flagler hit for 14 points and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua had 10 for the Bears, who played without starting guard James Akinjo because of a back injury.
Malik Curry led the Mountaineers (13-4, 2-3) with 19 points while Taz Sherman had 18 and Sean McNeil scored 17. West Virginia, which shot just 39.3 percent, has dropped two straight, both to top-10 ranked teams.
The Bears started the game on fire, using a 24-5 run in the middle of the first half to turn a 9-6 deficit into a 30-14 lead. Mayer had 11 points with three 3-pointers during that spurt, and Tchamwa Tchatchoua produced a pair of thunderous dunks as Baylor had its inside-out game rolling.
But the Mountaineers countered with a 14-0 run of their own behind Sherman, Curry and McNeil to draw within 30-28 with 4:24 to play in the half. Baylor held on for a 37-33 advantage at the break.
Mayer's 11 points in the half paced the Bears as they outshot the Mountaineers 50 percent to 41.7 percent and allowed the home team no second-chance points over the first 20 minutes of play. Sherman also had 11 points to lead West Virginia, which offset its deficit in field goal shooting by hitting all 10 of its free throws in the half.
The Mountaineers took a 45-44 lead on Jalen Bridges' driving layup five minutes into the second half. Baylor responded with a 9-3 run to move back on top at 53-48 after Mayer's 3-pointer with 11:20 to play.
Curry's bucket with 9:57 remaining ended a stretch of 11 straight misses by the Mountaineers and pulled them to within three points.
--Field Level Media