Cyclones come up just short at No. 2 Baylor
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor coach Scott Drew figures it will take his team some time to get back to normal after a three-week gap between games.
Even so, the No. 2 Bears are still undefeated. They finally overcame some of the rust and Iowa State for a 77-72 victory Tuesday night that made them 18-0 for the first time in school history.
“Really excited to win, really excited to be back,” Drew said. “Obviously does weeks affect your play? 100 percent.”
Adam Flagler scored a season-high 22 points, Jared Butler had 15 of his 18 points for the Bears (18-0, 10-0 Big 12), who trailed by 17 in the first half, and never led until MaCio Teague made two free throws with 4:26 left in the game.
They hadn’t played since an 83-69 win at then-No. 6 Texas on Feb. 2, when they had matched the best start in school history. Baylor then had six consecutive games postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the program, and hadn’t even had another full practice until Sunday.
“The best way I can explain what was going on, guys were out for numerous reasons,” Flagler said. “Spending time apart makes it difficult to practice and everything.”
With 6-foot-8 forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua out of the Baylor lineup, Mark Vital had 15 rebounds and three blocks.
Iowa State (2-17, 0-14) jumped out to a 15-4 lead in less than 6 1/2 minutes on a jumper by Tre Jackson. Their biggest lead was 32-15 when Tyler Harris made his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 6:24 left in the first half.
Harris had 22 points for the Cyclones with five 3-pointers. Rasir Bolton had 21 points and Jalen Coleman-Lands 13.
Teague, who had 14 points, put the Bears up 66-65 with his two free throws with 4:26 left. They never trailed again, but needed a go-ahead basket by Teague after Jalen Coleman-Lands made a tying 3 with 2:53 left.
The Cyclones have lost 13 games in a row, seven of those to ranked teams. They have been close and led in some of them, including in the second half at home against Baylor in a 76-65 home loss on Jan. 2.
Baylor: The Bears won’t play their full 18-game Big 12 schedule. Their maximum will be 14 after the Big 12 scheduled three makeup games for next week. As part of the adjustments, the Bears won’t play at home Thursday as scheduled against No. 10 West Virginia. That could be beneficial for the Bears to get some extra practice while trying to get back up to speed.
Iowa State is home against TCU on Saturday.
Baylor plays at No. 17 Kansas on Saturday before three makeup games in a six-day span next week.