While Scott Drew’s 19th-ranked Baylor Bears entered Wednesday’s game at No. 12 Iowa State ranked eighth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage, shooting 43.2% from the field, they ranked among the league’s best in three-point shooting. Baylor was ranked second in the conference in three-point shooting, and it was their ability to shoot from beyond the arc that led to the Bears picking up their first-ever win at Iowa State.
Baylor shot 14-for-26 from beyond the arc, outscoring the Cyclones 42-18 from three, going on to win by the final score of 79-70. And the Bears were at their best from three during a second-half stretch in which they went on an 18-4 run that turned an eight-point deficit (62-54) into a six-point lead (72-66) with 4:43 remaining.
All 18 of Baylor’s points during that run were scored on three-pointers, and the Bears missed just one shot during the run (which was rebounded by Johnathan Motley and led to a three-pointer). In multiple games this season Iowa State’s excellence on the offensive end has helped them take over games, but on Wednesday it was Baylor’s offense that proved to be the deciding factor.
Taurean Prince scored 20 points off the bench to lead the way for Baylor, which finished the game with five double-digit scorers. And for a team that’s had issues with its overall shooting, Wednesday’s performance is a solid follow-up to the 48.2% they shot in the blowout win over Kansas State on Saturday. On seven different occasions in conference play Baylor has shot below 40 percent from the field, but this is a group capable of performing better in that area provided they exercise solid shot selection.
Baylor did a better job of that throughout Wednesday’s game, and it paid off in the end.
Defensively the Bears were able to keep Georges Niang in check, as he shot 4-for-12 from the field. Also of note was Iowa State’s cold perimeter shooting, as they shot 6-for-24 from three, and that falls in line with what the Cyclones have done in the majority of their losses this season.
Iowa State can get scoring from a number of players, and against Baylor Jameel McKay converted multiple opportunities around the basket on his way to 21 points, but the disparity in three-point shooting was too much to overcome. Kansas remains in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 with three games remaining as a result of this game, and Baylor adds another solid road win to its resume to go along with their win at West Virginia.