WACO, Texas (AP) — Juwan Staten made up for all those missed free throws with a game-winning drive for West Virginia.
Staten drove the baseline for a reverse layup with 3.1 seconds left, after missing three free throws in a 74-second span, and the Mountaineers held on for a 66-64 win at slumping Baylor on Tuesday night.
"I was shocked," WVU coach Bob Huggins said of the late misses by Staten, who made only 1 of 6 free throws. "After he missed the front end, I thought he would step up and make those two."
Despite the struggles from the line, Staten finished with 15 points and nine assists, both game highs. He was 7-of-13 from the field.
The Bears tied the game three times after halftime, including at 64 when Rico Gathers made only the second of his two free throw attempt with 36 seconds left before the final possession by West Virginia (12-9, 4-4 Big 12).
Gathers said things would have been a little different had he made both free throws for the lead.
"If I made that free throw, and Staten comes down and goes to the hole, I foul him and take my fifth foul," Gathers said. "He had just missed two."
Kenny Chery banked in what would have been a game-winning 3-pointer for Baylor (13-7, 1-6), but it came after the buzzer sounded. Officials looked at replay to confirm that he didn't get the shot off in time.
Baylor coach Scott Drew said that wasn't the planned play. The Bears were playing for overtime, especially when Cory Jefferson got wide open underneath the basket.
"We didn't execute," Drew said. "Look at the replay, I think we've got a dunk. ... I sure like my odds with Cory making a dunk."
The Bears lost their fifth straight, the longest losing streak since dropping six in a row five years ago. They have lost three in a row at the Ferrell Center after a 13-game home winning streak.
"The frustration is definitely there. The main thing after a game like this is to look at our fight to try to win," Gathers said. "Everybody was on task. Really and truly, the game wasn't decided until the last 30 seconds."
The Mountaineers had gone nearly 5 minutes without scoring, blowing an eight-point lead in the process, before Staten's game-winning shot.