MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Jared Butler scored 25 points before fouling out, Davion Mitchell hit the go-ahead basket in overtime and No. 3 Baylor beat No. 6 West Virginia 94-89 Tuesday to clinch the Bears’ first Big 12 regular season championship.
Baylor (19-1, 11-1 Big 12) bounced back in a big way from its only loss of the season at No. 13 Kansas on Saturday. Baylor struggled in its two previous games coming off a nearly three-week layoff because of COVID-19 issues in the program.
After managing just 58 points against the Jayhawks, the Bears maintained their energy and scoring touch until the very end against the Mountaineers (17-7, 10-5).
Baylor coach Scott Drew jumped on Mark Vital’s back and pointed a finger in the air after the title was secure. Butler ran onto the court to hug every teammate in sight.
Mitchell scored four of Baylor’s 13 points in overtime and finished with 20. Matthew Mayer had a season-high 18 points for the Bears.
Taz Sherman came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points for the Mountaineers. Miles McBride added 19 points and Sean McNeil scored 18, including 15 after halftime.
West Virginia managed just one field goal in overtime.
Baylor jumped out to a quick double-digit lead and for a time the game was looking like a rout. But the Bears went scoreless for nearly six minutes before halftime, allowing West Virginia to keep it close the rest of the game.
Butler’s layup with 2.7 seconds left in regulation sent the game into overtime tied at 81. But he fouled out with 1:15 remaining in overtime and West Virginia’s Taz Sherman hit one of two free throws to put the Mountaineers ahead 89-88.
Mitchell’s layup with 59 seconds left in overtime put Baylor ahead to stay. He then took a charge against McBride with 27 seconds left, and Mitchell hit two free throws with 18 seconds left for the final margin.
Baylor: It’s the first conference title for the Bears since they won the 1950 Southwest Conference championship. The Bears improved to 4-0 against top 10 teams this season.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers saw a three-game winning streak snapped but are still looking at a solid NCAA Tournament seeding. West Virginia is 9-5 since big man Oscar Tshiebwe left the team. But the Mountaineers’ offense has steadily improved because his exit enabled other capable playmakers to getting extra court time while the defense hasn’t suffered much. The five losses have been by a combined 17 points.
Baylor goes for a regular-season sweep of No. 17 Oklahoma State at home on Thursday.
West Virginia hosts TCU on Thursday. The Mountaineers beat the Horned Frogs last week in Fort Worth, Texas.