MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Big 12 scoring leader Nina Davis’ worst game of the season wasn’t enough to trip up No. 5 Baylor.
Khadijiah Cave stepped in nicely down the stretch and finished with 20 points to lead the Lady Bears to a 66-62 victory over West Virginia on Saturday.
Baylor (14-1, 3-0) let a double-digit lead slip away before Cave scored six of the Bears’ final 12 points.
It marked the third-lowest point total of the season for Baylor. The Lady Bears had outscored opponents by an average of 31 points and only one other win had been by less than 10.
“When we play games like this, win over lose, it’s teaching them how to compete,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “We were fortunate to make plays in the end to win.”
Davis had nine of her season-low 10 points in the second half.
She had scored at least 20 points in eight of her last nine games. The sophomore, who averages 22.6 points, was hounded by West Virginia’s defense and went 4 of 11 from the field. But she scored a pair of baskets in the final 7 minutes to give Baylor a chance to pull out the win.
“I just knew my team needed me,” Davis said. “At halftime my teammates and coaches boosted me, and told me to figure it out. I knew without me we might not have gotten the win. I just have to contribute.”
Bria Holmes, the league’s second-leading scorer at 22.4 points, scored 17 for West Virginia (10-5, 0-3).
But Holmes attempted more than one-third of West Virginia’s shots and was limited to 6 of 25 shooting.
Mulkey said all in all, her defenders did a good job on the junior.
“We just threw a bunch of different kids at her,” Mulkey said. “There were a few things we wanted to take away from her. I thought three-fourths of the time we did that tonight.”
Averee Fields added 14 points and Lanay Montgomery had 12 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia saw its 16-game home winning streak snapped. The Mountaineers’ three-game losing streak is their longest since 2012-13.
“I thought our girls battled,” said West Virginia coach Mike Carey. “It’s just a little frustrating right now. We’re just not getting a stop when we need to.”
West Virginia came from 11 points down to take a 38-36 lead on Holmes’ layup with 14:47 remaining. The lead changed five more times, with Baylor struggling to make shots and going four minutes between field goals.
But West Virginia struggled from the line, making 4 of 11 free throws in the second half.
Cave’s layup put Baylor ahead to stay, 56-55, with 4:03 remaining.
Later she made a basket and two free throws 22 seconds apart for a 64-58 lead with 1:41 left.
Teana Muldrow then hit a layup for West Virginia and Holmes’ short bank shot pulled the Mountaineers within 64-62 with 49 seconds left. But West Virginia didn’t score again. Kristy Wallace made two free throws for Baylor with 22 seconds left.
Davis went 0-5 from the floor and sat on the bench for most of the first half, but West Virginia couldn’t take advantage of her absence. The Mountaineers shot 29 percent from the floor and trailed 30-26 at halftime.
Baylor: The Lady Bears’ bench outscored West Virginia 31-5.
West Virginia: The game marked the first time in program history that the Mountaineers had faced Top 5 teams in back-to-back games. No. 3 Texas beat West Virginia 61-55 on Wednesday night. … In all five losses this season, the Mountaineers have shot less than 40 percent from the field.
Baylor: Hosts Iowa State on Tuesday night. The Cyclones upset No. 3 Texas 59-57 on Saturday.
West Virginia: Hosts Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
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