LAS VEGAS - When Missouri State's Nathan Scheer received the inbound at the top of the key with 5 seconds remaining in overtime and a two-point deficit, a 3-point attempt was virtually inevitable.
His teammates cleared the lane, Scheer pump-faked and drove for a wide-open layup.
When the ball rolled off the rim, there was disbelief on the Missouri State bench and celebration for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins joined the 700-career victory club in his team's 70-68 victory at the Las Vegas Classic.
WVU's fifth consecutive victory - which includes a double-overtime win against Kansas State on Dec. 8 - leads to its final game in the Las Vegas Classic at 9 p.m. today against Baylor.
"When you've been in this 30 years and you don't win games, they're going to fire you," said Huggins of winning his 700th game. Coincidentally, Huggins got his 600th victory on this same date four years ago against Canisius.
The No. 7-ranked Bears were 10-0 entering Thursday night's Las Vegas Classic game against St. Mary's.
The Mountaineers (9-2) didn't hold a lead after halftime until grabbing a 67-65 advantage with 3:15 left in overtime.
After the teams traded baskets, freshman Aaron Brown grabbed WVU's 15th offensive rebound and scored for a 69-68 advantage.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the Bears 40-27 and held a 16-2 edge in second-chance points.
Bears point guard and DePaul transfer Michael Bizoukas was fouled at the other end, but the fifth-year senior - a 42.1 percent free throw shooter entering the game - missed both foul shots.
WVU guard Truck Bryant hit the first of two free throw attempts on the Mountaineers' next possession, leading to Scheer's heartbreaking miss.
Missouri State (7-4), which suffered through a three-game losing streak that included road defeats to Oral Roberts (Nov. 30) and New Mexico (Dec. 3) and a home loss to Oklahoma State (Dec. 7), faces St. Mary's at 10:30 p.m. today in Las Vegas.
The WVU victory gives Huggins a 110-44 record at his alma mater.
Freshmen Aaron Brown and Gary Browne gave the Mountaineers a spark off the bench, combining for 27 points. Browne was second in rebounding with seven boards.
It was Browne's 3-pointer at the end of regulation that sent the game into overtime.
"He hits that shot to send it into overtime and that's really not what it was supposed to be," Huggins said. "He was supposed to penetrate and then kick it out but it didn't happen."
Kevin Jones had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Bryant had 15 points.
Caleb Patterson led all scorers with 18 points for the Bears. Bizoukas added 10 assists.
Huggins' coaching record
Year School Record Postseason
1980-81 Walsh 14-16
1981-82 Walsh 23-9 NAIA district
1982-83 Walsh 34-1 NAIA finals
1984-85 Akron 12-14
1985-86 Akron 22-8 NCAA (0-1)