National Basketball Association
Baylor 81, West Virginia 77
When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, January 31, 2022
Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
# John Higgins, # Ron Groover, # Bert Smith
James Akinjo poured in 25 points and Matthew Mayer scored all nine of his points in the final 3:27 as short-handed No. 8 Baylor shrugged off a 10-point, second-half deficit and defeated struggling West Virginia 81-77 on Monday in Waco, Texas.
The game was tied at 66 after a jumper by the Mountaineers' Taz Sherman with 4:20 to play. That's when Mayer came alive, scoring his first points on a short baseline jumper with 3:27 left and adding another jumper and a 3-pointer to help Baylor take a 73-69 lead with 2:20 to go. The Bears were never behind again.
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua added 14 points and Jeremy Sochan contributed 13 for Baylor (19-3, 7-2 Big 12). The Bears played without leading scorer LJ Cryer (foot) for the second straight game, and key reserve Adam Flagler (knee) was out, too.
Sherman led all scorers with a career-high 29 points for West Virginia (13-8, 2-6), but he sustained a head injury with three minutes to play and did not return to the court. Sean McNeil added 16 points for the Mountaineers, who have lost six straight games.
The Bears won for the fourth time in five games.
Baylor roared out of the gate with its makeshift lineup and led by as many as 10 points, 20-10, after a layup by Kendall Brown with 11:20 to play in the half.
The Bears still had a seven-point lead with 4:50 to play in the half before West Virginia roared to life, finishing the period with a 16-1 run. Sherman poured in seven points during the surge, and Seth Wilson canned a 3-pointer at the buzzer to propel the Mountaineers to a 39-31 advantage at the break.
Sherman led all scorers with 15 points over the first 20 minutes. The Bears, who were paced by Akinjo's seven points, missed their final seven shots of the half.
West Virginia led by 10 points early in the second half and was still up by seven with 7:27 to play before back-to-back 3-pointers by Sochan and Akinjo brought the Bears to within 63-62. A put-back dunk by Tchamwa Tchatchoua capped an 8-0 Baylor run and gave the hosts a 64-63 lead with 5:24, setting the stage for the furious finish.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Taz Sherman 29
James Akinjo 25
Kedrian Johnson 4
James Akinjo 4
Sean McNeil 5
Jeremy Sochan 9
Kedrian Johnson 3
||Free Throws Made
James Akinjo 7
Jalen Bridges 1
Kendall Brown 2
Dimon Carrigan 2
Kendall Brown 1
Team Stats Summary