WACO, Texas – Iowa State (8-8, 1-3 Big 12) fell 68-55 at No. 2 Baylor (14-1, 4-0 Big 12) on Wednesday night. The Cyclones were done in by a cold shooting night, connecting on 39.7 percent from the field, including just 35.7 in the first half.
How It Happened
Wednesday night’s game was a defensive battle from the start, with the two teams combining to shoot just 35.1 percent in the first stanza. The Bears jumped out to an early 14-8 lead as the Cyclones struggled to find a rhythm on offense, connecting on just one field goal over a 4:57 stretch. The Cyclones answered quickly with an 8-1 spurt, capped by a Zion Griffin triple to push Iowa State in front, 16-15, with 6:07 to play in the half.
However, Baylor scored six of its final eight points at the free throw line, and enjoyed a 16-5 advantage in free throw attempts in the half to surge ahead 30-25 at the intermission. Rasir Bolton led the Cyclones with six first-half points, followed by five each from Zion Griffin and Michael Jacobson.
The Bears showed why they are the country’s second-ranked team early in the second half, firing on all cylinders after the intermission. Baylor scored the first 10 points of the half to surge ahead 40-25 with 16:54 left to play. Davion Mitchell, who tallied 17 points on the night, sparked the fast BU start, knocking down a pair of triples early in the half to push the Baylor lead to double digits.
George Conditt IV converted an and-one opportunity to slow the Baylor run, but it would be Iowa State’s only field goal over the half’s first 5:46 as the Bear advantage grew to 47-28.
The Cyclones continued to battle, with Prentiss Nixon scoring seven straight points for the Cyclones, including buckets on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to 59-46 with 6:58 to play. However, that was as close as the Cyclones would get until the game’s closing moments, with the Bears reeling off a 7-0 run in response to help put the game away.
One final Iowa State push via a 9-0 spurt would not be enough, as Baylor went on to win, 68-55.
Players of Note
Prentiss Nixon gave the Cyclones a second-half boost, scoring all nine of his points in the second half. Nixon was 4-of-8 from the field and grabbed two rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
Tyrese Haliburton stuffed the stat sheet despite a difficult shooting night. The sophomore tallied six points, nine assists and eight rebounds to go with three steals and two blocks.
Iowa State returns to the Lone Star State to take on No. 23 Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday at 3 p.m.