Jared Butler scored 21 points, 16 of them in a dominating first half, as top-ranked Baylor strolled to a 70-59 win over No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 Conference dustup in Waco, Texas.
The Bears (23-1, 12-0 Big 12) have reeled off a program-record 22 straight wins and have the second-longest active victory streak in the nation behind only undefeated San Diego State (25).
Even more impressive is that Baylor swamped the Mountaineers without leading scorer and guard MaCio Teague, who missed the game with a wrist injury and is considered day-to-day. It snapped Teague's streak of 90 consecutive games played.
The Bears never trailed, led by 11 at halftime, and pushed their advantage to 53-25 on a jumper by Matthew Mayer with 10:34 to play. From then on it was just a matter of how big the final margin would be as Baylor continued to clamp down on defense, eventually forcing West Virginia into 22 turnovers.
Davion Mitchell and Mayer added 13 points apiece for Baylor, which outshot the Mountaineers 51.8 percent to 34.5 percent and had 42 points in the paint to just 14 for West Virginia, a team that usually rules the lane.
Taz Sherman led West Virginia (18-7, 6-6) with 20 points off the bench while Oscar Tshiebwe added 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Mountaineers have lost three straight and endured a tough week, after losing 58-49 at home to Kansas on Wednesday.
Baylor's defense held the Mountaineers to only 30.8 percent shooting in the first half (8 of 26) and just 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. Tshiebwe led West Virginia with just 5 points, but he needed eight shots to get to that mark.
Butler (16 points) and Mitchell (nine) combined to score all but eight of the Bears' points in the half, after which Baylor led 33-22.
The Bears continued to pour it on in the early minutes of the second half, keeping West Virginia scoreless for the first four minutes while building a 41-22 advantage. The Mountaineers had five turnovers and missed all three of their shots during that stretch.
--Field Level Media