No. 6 Baylor 83, West Virginia 81

Pierre Jackson made the most of his return to his hometown.

Jackson scored eight consecutive points during regulation and

overtime to lift No. 6 Baylor to an 83-81 victory over West

Virginia on Friday night in the Las Vegas Classic championship

game.

Jackson finished with 23 points while Brady Heslip added 19 and

Quincy Acy had 15.

Baylor (12-0), one of six unbeatens in Division I, tied the game

at 76 on Jackson’s 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in regulation.

Acy’s shot from just inside the free throw line bounced out at the

buzzer.

The Bears led 83-78 with 2:02 left in overtime following another

3 by Jackson and field goals by Gary Franklin and Acy.

Jabarie Hinds’ 3-pointer brought the Mountaineers (9-3) within

83-81, but his shot at the buzzer fell short of the rim.

”Pierre is so quick,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. ”Pierre

has a winner’s heart. He will not shy away from taking a big shot.

What’s most about that is that he makes them. I think him being

back in Vegas is great.”

Kevin Jones had 28 points and 17 rebounds for the Mountaineers

while Hinds had 18 points and seven assists and Darryl Bryant had

16 points.

”Kevin Jones is a stud,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.

”Twenty-eight (points) and 17 (rebounds) against that offense;

he’s a good player.”

The Mountaineers rallied from a 69-63 deficit and tied the score

on consecutive 3-pointers by Hinds and Bryant. They took the lead

for the first time since halftime at 74-71 when Bryant made three

free throws with 2:51 left.

The remainder of the Mountaineers’ points in regulation were

scored by Rutledge with two free throws with 2:23 left, the last

scoring until Jackson made his 3-pointer with 18 seconds left.

”With 22 seconds left you don’t give a guy (Jackson) a 3 when

you’re up three,” Huggins said. ”We had the ball to win the game

and we didn’t get a good shot.

”I told them we’ve got to stop taking plays off. We dribbled

the ball, dribbled the ball and let them back in. If West Virginia

is happy with moral victories . we’re past that.”

Drew was impressed with his team’s win.

”West Virginia is always well-coached, disciplined and they

play hard,” Drew said. ”They are getting better. That’s evident

by their win (over Missouri State) last night. They got up, we came

back.”

The Bears took a 32-30 lead on Acy’s putback and then outscored

the Mountaineers 8-3 over the rest of the first half.

Heslip scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the first half

while Jones had 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the

opening 20 minutes.

”My teammates found me when I was open,” Heslip said. ”I was

able to hit my first two 3s. We got down and you know our team has

got a bunch of hearts. We’ve been there at BYU when we came back.

We had high energy, were able to get back into our game.”

Acy said West Virginia came out with a lot of energy.

”I mean it was a big game,” Acy said. ”He (Heslip) is our

3-point shooter. He works hard for those moments.”

There were two lead changes during the first half and four for

the game.

”This is a learning experience for us,” Jones said. ”We’ve

got to get better. The guards played well but we’ve got to guard

people for 40 minutes-plus. Topsy-turvy games like this are a

learning experience.”