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Baylor pounds West Virginia for third straight win

Feb 7, 2015 - 8:16 PM Morgantown, WV ( - Rico Gathers poured in 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, leading 19th-ranked Baylor to an 87-69 rout of No. 15 West Virginia on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum.

Royce O'Neale and Taurean Prince each scored 15 for the Bears (18-5, 6-4 Big 12), who ripped off 21 straight points early in the contest to make it a laugher.

Kenny Chery and Al Freeman contributed 11 points apiece in the victory. Baylor shot 54.9 percent overall en route to its third straight dominating win. The Bears beat Texas by 23 and TCU by 20 in their previous two games.

"We really shot the ball well, and if we hadn't, those misses would have led to shots in transition and this game would have been completely different," said Baylor coach Scott Drew. "I was pleased with how we executed against a team who is extremely difficult to prepare for and Coach Huggins has done a great job with them all year."

Devin Williams led West Virginia with 20 points and 15 rebounds. It was a second straight dismal outing for the Mountaineers (18-5, 6-4), who were coming off Tuesday's 71-52 drubbing at Oklahoma.

Williams' layup opened the scoring for West Virginia and a free throw by Daxter Miles Jr. soon after gave the Mountaineers a 3-2 lead, but it was all Baylor from there.

Consecutive 3-pointers from O'Neale, Chery and Lester Medford fueled a 21-0 run for the Bears. Prince also hit from beyond the arc during the surge, which Gathers capped with a basket for a 23-3 cushion with just under 11 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Baylor lead reached as many as 22 during the opening 20 minutes and the Bears were comfortably in front by a 46-30 margin at the break.

A layup by Jonathan Holton opened the second half for West Virginia, but that was a close as the Mountaineers got.

Baylor followed with the next four points and the lead reached 21 a few minutes later on a jumper by Chery. The Bears led by as many as 26 down the stretch.

Jevon Carter scored 13 points for West Virginia, which shot just 36.4 percent and has dropped two in a row for the first time this season.

"We're going to be alright," said Huggins. "I think the opposition has stepped up (recently), but that doesn't mean you stop doing what you're doing."

Game Notes

The teams will meet again on Feb. 28 in Waco ... Baylor owns a 5-1 lead in the all-time series and is unbeaten in three trips to Morgantown ... Gathers has 19 career double-doubles, including 12 this season ... Williams notched his 15th career double-double and his 17th career double-figure rebounding performance ... Baylor won despite committing 19 turnovers that led to 27 West Virginia points.