MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Baylor surged ahead early with a strong inside presence, then buried West Virginia with long baskets to win in a tough road venue and keep pace in the tight Big 12 race.

Freshman Ja'Kobe Walter scored 23 points to lead six Baylor players in double figures and the 12th-ranked Bears beat West Virginia 94-81 on Saturday night.

“I think our offense was flowing pretty well,” said Walter, who is Baylor’s leading scorer at 14.5 points per game and among six Bears averaging at least 10 points. “This was definitely a big game in a cool environment.”

Jayden Nunn added 20 points, RayJ Dennis had 18 points and eight assists and Yves Missi scored 13 for Baylor (19-6, 8-4 Big 12), which has won five of its last six.

“If you’re going into a game and you’re relying on one person, if they have an off night, you’re done,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “If the defense takes them away, you’re done. It’s great when you have balance, so when it’s not your night, you’ve got people to pick you up.”

Baylor remains in third place a game behind co-leaders Houston and Iowa State, which both won on Saturday.

After living in the paint early in the game, Baylor put on an impressive outside shooting display after halftime. There was little West Virginia could do to stop Walter and Nunn.

Nunn sank three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half, then hit another for Baylor’s largest lead, 71-49, with 10:50 remaining. West Virginia, which has both the Big 12's worst scoring offense and defense, got no closer than nine points the rest of the game.

Nunn finished with five 3-pointers after hitting six 3-pointers and scoring a season-high 27 points against No. 25 Oklahoma on Tuesday night. Walter made four against West Virginia.

West Virginia coach Josh Eilert said Walter “certainly didn’t back down on the road at all as a freshman. Sometimes you’ll see that. Guys get tentative on the road. And as a freshman, that’s a pretty incredible performance."

RaeQuan Battle scored 25 points and Jesse Edwards had 21 points and nine rebounds for West Virginia (8-17, 3-9).

Baylor had 22 points in the paint in the first half with the help of six layups and five dunks. The Bears scored nine points off four West Virginia turnovers in less than a three-minute span early to surge ahead for good.

“Really proud of the guys as far as getting off to a quick start,” Drew said. "We really wanted to do that. At the beginning of the game, I thought we really did a great job on the offensive end.”


Baylor could move up in the AP Top 25 poll after a 2-0 week.


Baylor: After Missi went to the bench with his third foul in the first half, Josh Ojianwuna was solid in his place. Ojianwuna’s second dunk gave the Bears their largest lead of the half, 37-26, and they were never really threatened after that. Ojianwuna finished with all 10 of Baylor's bench points. Langston Love, Baylor’s third-leading scorer and top player off the bench, missed his third straight game with an undisclosed issue.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers have their longest losing streak of the season at four games and fell into a last-place tie with Oklahoma State.


Baylor continues its long road trip when it plays at BYU on Tuesday night.

West Virginia hosts UCF on Tuesday night.

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