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.”