GAME NOTES: West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins takes his place on the sidelines at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas as his Mountaineers clash with the Baylor Bears in Big 12 Conference action on Wednesday night.
Over the weekend, Huggins coached the 1,000th came of his career against TCU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth and came away with a 63-50 victory, which means he now has a record of 722-278 as a collegiate coach. The victory also has the program earning a split in the first 10 games of Big 12 play after moving over from the Big East.
WVU has now won three consecutive outings after a stretch where the squad was dropped in five of six contests.
As for the Bears, they too were in action over the weekend and managed to snap a three-game slide with a 75-48 thrashing of Texas Tech at home. With the triumph, Baylor is now 6-4 in conference play, but that still leaves the program just a step ahead of the Mountaineers in the standings.
Baylor won the only previous meeting between these teams last season as part of the Las Vegas Classic, claiming an 83-81 overtime affair in the Silver State. Two weeks from now, the Mountaineers will host the Bears in Morgantown to complete the season series.
Terry Henderson led the way for the Mountaineers with 17 points in just 19 minutes of action off the bench, scoring all but two of those in the first half, as the team moved to 2-0 all-time against TCU with the victory in Fort Worth. Also scoring in double figures for WVU were Eron Harris and Jabarie Hinds with 14 and 12 points, respectively, the latter also accounting for four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
At this stage of the campaign, the Mountaineers are one of just a handful of college teams without a single player averaging in double figures. The squad is generating just 66.6 ppg, which certainly has something to do with it, but so does inconsistent play from those who were expected to be leaders on the squad this year. Aaric Murray is responsible for 9.5 ppg and Juwan Staten 9.1 ppg, but perhaps the biggest disappointment has been Deniz Kilicli with just 7.7 ppg, as he shoots 51.9 percent at the free-throw line.
Isaiah Austin registered a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, as the Baylor Bears captured a resounding 27-point win against the visiting Texas Tech Red Raiders in a Big 12 affair last Saturday. Also posting a double-double for the Bears was Cory Jefferson with 15 points and 10 boards, while Pierre Jackson responded with 15 points and seven assists for the hosts as well.
Jackson, who has held at least a share of the scoring lead for the Bears in each of the last six games, is putting up 19.1 ppg at this stage of the season, making him one of the top scorers in the conference. But more than that, Jackson also ensures that his teammates get involved at the offensive end of the floor, having issued 133 assists. Austin is seemingly always on the verge of a double-double for the program with averages of 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per outing, as the team outscores the competition by 12 ppg and beats them on the glass by more than four per game as well.
The Mountaineers are an enigmatic bunch that need to get into gear sooner rather than later if they hope to be playing beyond the conference tournament. Perhaps this nationally-televised contest will spur them onto victory, but nothing is certain anymore with Huggins and his bunch.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 66, Baylor 64
02/13 10:31:36 ET
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