NCAA News Wire

Baylor 74, Iowa State 61

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WACO, Texas — The Baylor Bears can sleep a little easier.

Baylor, on the NCAA Tournament bubble, scored the game’s final 13 points and notched a 74-61 victory over the 16th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones on Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.

With just over two minutes remaining in a tie game, Baylor guard Brady Heslip pump-faked to get Iowa State guard Naz Long in the air behind the 3-point arc. Heslip dribbled a step to his left and nailed a 3-pointer that gave the Bears a 64-61 lead.

Iowa State committed its 13th turnover on its ensuing trip down the floor, and Baylor guard Kenny Chery followed with a jumper that gave the Bears a five-point lead with 1:27 remaining. Iowa State would not recover, and it didn’t score over the final 4:09.

Baylor (20-10, 8-9 Big 12) might have desperately needed the win, or at least that was how the Bears played as they scratched and clawed in the second half. Baylor seniors Cory Jefferson and Heslip, playing their final home game, made sure the Bears got the victory.

Jefferson finished with 21 points, while Heslip had 18, going 5-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc. Chery added 16 points.

The Bears earned their third victory over a Top 25 opponent this season.

Heslip boosted the Bears to a six-point lead when he hit his third trey of the second half at the 16:15 mark.

Iowa State (22-7, 10-7) battled back throughout the second half and hit 12 3-pointers in the game, but it wasn’t enough.

Guard DeAndre Kane led the Cyclones with 20 points, and forward Dustin Hogue scored 12.

The Cyclones committed five turnovers early in the first half as they struggled to pass the ball in the interior against Baylor’s zone defense. However, Iowa State remedied the turnover problems by shooting over the Bears’ zone.

Kane hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, both on assists from Long, and then Long pitched in with another trey to put Iowa State ahead 18-12.

Iowa State hit eight 3-pointers in the first half, led by Kane’s 4-of-6 performance from beyond the arc. Kane finished the first half with 17 points.

Baylor’s backcourt eventually heated up. Bears guard Gary Franklin hit a 3-pointer to edge the Bears ahead by a point with 1:17 left before halftime. Iowa State answered with a 3-pointer from forward Dustin Hogue. Heslip was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and hit all three free shots, giving the Bears a 36-35 lead at the break.

Jefferson refused to let the Cyclones pull away, scoring 15 first-half points.

NOTES: Iowa State came into the game with a four-game winning streak against Baylor, including a 15-point victory over the Bears in Ames, Iowa, on Jan. 7. … The loss at Iowa State began the Bears’ tailspin in which they lost eight of 10 and fell out of the Top 25 after they were ranked seventh. Baylor since recovered, winning six of seven through Tuesday. … Iowa State, atop the Big 12 in scoring offense at 83.2 points per game entering Tuesday, has a chance to be the first Big 12 team to feature three players averaging more than 17 points in conference games. Cyclones F Melvin Ejim leads the Big 12 at 19.5 ppg, G DeAndre Kane averages 17.8 and G Georges Niang averages 16.9. … Kane had a huge game in the first meeting with Baylor, finishing with 30 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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