MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Royce O'Neale scored 22 points and Baylor topped West Virginia 88-75 Saturday in a battle of Big 12 teams striving to make noise in front of the NCAA Tournament.
O'Neale enjoyed a career day, connecting on 8 of 8 field goal attempts, including 4 of 4 from long range. He entered the game at six points per game, and had two points in the last meeting between the teams.
Isaiah Austin had 19, Cory Jefferson 15, Kenny Chery 13 and Brady Heslip added 12 for Baylor (18-9, 6-8 Big 12). It was Baylor's fourth consecutive league victory.
Leading 67-65, O'Neale knocked down a triple with 6:16 left to spur a 12-3 run as Baylor opened a 79-68 lead. The Bears made 7 of 8 free throws over the final 2:32 to preserve the win.
Baylor took its first lead since being ahead early when Gary Franklin made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 50-49 with 13:41 left. The lead switched back and forth until Austin tied it up with free throws at 12:31 to make it 54-all.
But Chery, who grabbed six rebounds and handed out seven assists, made a bucket and O'Neale's make at 11:02 gave the Bears their biggest lead to that point at 58-54.
Once again WVU tied it at 58 with 4:59 to go, but a Baylor 9-1 run had the Bears ahead 67-59 with 7:59 to go.