Baylor (23-6, 10-6) fell to Iowa State (19-9, 11-5) 72-69. The loss moves the Bears to fourth in Big 12 play.
Baylor made it close late. Al Freeman nailed a 3-point shot, then Johnathan Motley threw down a dunk. Baylor trailed just 62-61. But Deonte Burton banked in a 3-point shot on the next possession. Good defense, but not much you can do. The story of the day and how Baylor lost a tough one in Ames.
Even after it seemed like the game was over, Baylor once again had a shot. Ish Wainright hit a 3-point shot, then Solomon Young missed two free throws. King McClure drained another 3-point shot, and suddenly Baylor was down just two points. But with 4.3 seconds left, there wasn’t much time left. The Bears took too long to foul Monte Morris. He missed 1-of-2. The Bears had a chance. Ish Wainright found Johnathan Motley, who hit a trailing King McClure for a 3-point attempt. The shot fell short. A good look for the time remaining, but still just a little too difficult.
The Bear’s poor shooting from 3-point range doomed them. Many of the shots Baylor missed were pretty good, but as it has been for much of the season, they just missed. Baylor finished 8-of-23 from deep. Excluding Al Freeman, they shot 4-of-19.
Iowa State had an incredible offensive game. The Cyclones have been a different team since falling to Vanderbilt last month. After that game, Iowa State looked like a bubble team. But in February, the Cyclones have looked like an Elite Eight team.
Baylor’s work on the offensive glass wasn’t enough. The Bears came away with 20 offensive rebounds. And Johnathan Motley was dominant. He finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Normally that would be enough. But Iowa State has not been a normal team lately.
Baylor did not have a poor defensive game. Rather, Iowa State just hit shots. In one stretch in the second half, Monte Morris and Deonte Burton hit three consecutive mid-range contested jumpers. Those are the worst shots in basketball. For Iowa State they were swished jumpers.
Al Freeman was great. He had 14 points and was 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Ish Wainright also had a good game. He worked well in the paint and finished with 14 points.
Manu Lecomte went out early in the second half and did not return. Lecomte injured his ankle against Kansas and appeared slightly limited in the first half. After he attempted to take a charge against Burton, he came up limping. Jake Lindsey was the point guard for the remainder of the contest.
Terry Maston only earned two minutes today. The offense was decent, but that might be the one lineup decision to wonder about. He’s been excellent against Iowa State the last few times.
This was a tough loss, but there’s not much you can do in Ames without Lecomte and when Iowa State shoots so well.