|West Virginia's Dominique Rutledge (1) battles for a rebound against Baylor's Quincy Acy (4), Perry Jones III (1) and A.J. Walton (22) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, in Las Vegas. Baylor won 83-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)|
No. 6 Baylor beat West Virginia in OT
LAS VEGAS—West Virginia did not have any letdowns early against No. 6 Baylor on Friday night, a day after coach Bob Huggins got win No. 700.
The Mountaineers, however, weren't able to avoid letdowns late in the 83-81 overtime loss in the Las Vegas Classic championship game.
Leading by three points, the Mountaineers turned the ball over and it led to a 3-pointer by Pierre Jackson with 22 seconds left in regulation. Trailing by two in overtime, Jabarie Hinds missed a jumper in the lane and West Virginia let one slip away.
Kevin Jones had 28 points and 17 rebounds but it was not enough for the Mountaineers (9-3).
"This is a learning experience for us," said Jones, who was 13 of 21 from the field. "We've got to get better. The guards played well but we've got to guard people for 40 minutes-plus. Topsy-turvy games like this are a learning experience."
Jackson scored eight consecutive points during regulation and overtime for Baylor and finished with 23 points while Brady Heslip added 19 and Quincy Acy had 15.
Baylor (12-0), one of six unbeatens in Division I, tied the game at 76 on Jackson's 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in regulation. Acy's shot from just inside the free throw line bounced out at the buzzer.
The Bears led 83-78 with 2:02 left in overtime following another 3 by Jackson and field goals by Gary Franklin and Acy.
Hinds' 3-pointer brought the Mountaineers within 83-81, but his shot at the buzzer fell short of the rim.
"Pierre is so quick," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Pierre has a winner's heart. He will not shy away from taking a big shot. What's most about that is that he makes them. I think him being back in Vegas is great."
Hinds had 18 points and seven assists for West Virginia and Darryl Bryant had 16 points.
"Kevin Jones is a stud," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "Twenty-eight (points) and 17 (rebounds) against that offense; he's a good player."
The Mountaineers rallied from a 69-63 deficit and tied the score on consecutive 3-pointers by Hinds and Bryant. They took the lead for the first time since halftime at 74-71 when Bryant made three free throws with 2:51 left.
The remainder of the Mountaineers' points in regulation were scored by Rutledge with two free throws with 2:23 left, the last scoring until Jackson made his 3-pointer with 18 seconds left.
"With 22 seconds left you don't give a guy (Jackson) a 3 when you're up three," Huggins said. "We had the ball to win the game and we didn't get a good shot.
"I told them we've got to stop taking plays off. We dribbled the ball, dribbled the ball and let them back in. If West Virginia is happy with moral victories . we're past that."
Drew was impressed with his team's win.
"West Virginia is always well-coached, disciplined and they play hard," Drew said. "They are getting better. That's evident by their win (over Missouri State) last night. They got up, we came back."
The Bears took a 32-30 lead on Acy's putback and then outscored the Mountaineers 8-3 over the rest of the first half.
Heslip scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the first half while Jones had 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the opening 20 minutes.
"My teammates found me when I was open," Heslip said. "I was able to hit my first two 3s. We got down and you know our team has got a bunch of hearts. We've been there at BYU when we came back. We had high energy, were able to get back into our game."
Acy said West Virginia came out with a lot of energy.
"I mean it was a big game," Acy said. "He (Heslip) is our 3-point shooter. He works hard for those moments."
There were two lead changes during the first half and four for the game.