The Bears had chances in this game. They just missed so many shots in the 2nd half, especially late. The Bears lost their first game with a halftime lead this year. The Bears got to 60 points off of a Anthony Jones layup at the 8:16 mark of the game. They would score just 1 more point until the 1:51 mark. 1 point in 6 minutes and 24 seconds.
Let me repeat that. ONE POINT! In SIX MINUTES AND TWENTY-FOUR SECONDS. In that same span, the Cylcones scored just 9 points. so the defense did its job. The Bears played good enough on defense to win this game. They just missed shots. A lot of shots. They missed 5 shots and had just 1 turnover in those 6 minutes.
Pierre Jackson was the best player on the court for either team, he just did not get enough help. Pierre had 35 points on 11-19 shooting, made 5-10 from the three-point line, and only had 2 turnovers. However, most of his game was one-on-one isolation so he was limited to just 3 assists.
Perry Jones III played pretty well, and had another double double. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and was active on both sides of the court. This was not his best game, but he played solid.
Outside of those two players though, the Bears had no one else over 6 points. Quincy Acy was in foul trouble for most of the game, but had no points until the last 2 minutes. In 25 minutes, he only had 5 rebounds. Quincy Miller's offensive struggles continued as he had just 6 points on 3-9 shooting. Brady Heslip also had just 6 points on 3-9 shooting and was 0-5 on three-point shots.
The bench gave the Bears some good things. Cory Jefferson had a very nice 5 points and 6 rebounds in just 11 minutes. He was very active, and I thought he deserved more time in the 2nd half. AJ Walton's hot shooting seemed to be a 1-game mirage. He was 0-3 in this game, and badly missed two 3-pointers. Gary Franklin had a few nice plays, but missed several shots late and was a bad 1-6 from the floor. He did tie Pierre for the team lead in assists with 3 though.
The Bears in the first half played zone mainly, and the Cyclones struggled to hit 3-pointers. That was not the case in the 2nd half, as they ended shooting 9-25 from the 3-point line, and hit many several feet beyond the line. They were led by Scott Christopherson who had 23 points on 8-16 shooting, and really hurt the Bears by getting into the paint repeatedly. All five of the Cyclone starters had at least 10 points.
Let's take a deeper look at the keys to the game, and how the Bears lost this one after the jump.
5 Keys to the Game
1. Make White earn it from the line
This part of the game plan worked very well. White attempted 10 free throws, all in the first half and hit just 5. He was held to just 11 points on 3-8 shooting. The Cyclones went completely away from him as a facillitator in the 2nd half, and that is when their offense started clicking. The Bears really focused on taking him away, and that allowed their shooters to get open and Melvin Ejim to break to the bucket for easy looks.
2. Transition Defense, slow the Cyclones down
The Bears did a good job of not turning the ball over with just 11 turnovers. They did a good job of getting back into their transition defense, and that might have hurt them on the offensive glass a little, as they just had 8 offensive rebounds, led by Perry Jones III with 4. Baylor really focused on getting back and making sure the Cyclones did not get open 3-pointers. I count this section as a win too.
3. Stay close on 3-pointers
The Bears made 6-24 from behind the arc, while Iowa State made 9-25. Baylor stayed close, but they were very inefficient and were forced to jack up a lot of these attempts late to come back. Quincy Miller and Brady Heslip were a combined 0-6, and the bench was just 1-8. Luckily, Pierre Jackson was 5-10 to keep the Bears close.
Most of the damage from the 3-point line for the Cyclones was in the 2nd half. With only 2 makes at mid point, they hit 7 in the second half to get back into the game and then to extend their lead. The Cyclones did not shoot the ball great in either half, but made enough to impact this game.
4. Spread the wealth
I wanted 18 assists, and the Bears ended with 9. I think this was the difference in the game. Baylor's offense devolved into too much dribbling and isolation play late, and the lack of movement caused the Bears to not get good looks. Too much watching the ball and standing still will kill any offense, and it killed the Bears.
5. Win the Battle of the Naismith Candidates
This one was close to a draw. Neither player really dominated this game, as the guards led the charge in this one. But both player finished with a double double (10/12 for Perry, 11/11 for Royce White). Neither player stepped up late much, as again, the guards did the heavy lifting. White did finish with 4 assists and 3 turnovers, but didn't really stand out on much else.
Perry was the best player for either team on the glass, and looked very aggressive on rebounds. He still missed a few close shots, including a tough ally-oop and a few layups off of offensive rebounds. He also struggled a bit with lapses in defense, but overall, this was a good game for the Sophomore.
The Bears will finish tied for 3rd in the Big 12, but will get the 4th seed in the Big 12 tournament and face Kansas State in the first game. The blame for that will simply be their shooting. Too many times this year, the Bears offense has just disappeared. That cost them against Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State and now Iowa State. Baylor needs to get more consistent on offense and make sure they don't get another 6 minute drought.