Behind Terry Maston’s career-high 23 points, Baylor (13-10, 3-7) beat Iowa State (12-10, 3-7) 81-67. Baylor still needs to go on a run to make the NCAA Tournament, but after losing four in a row, getting back in the win column is nice.
Baylor had a strong defensive first half. The Bears did a nice job blocking shots and held Iowa State to just .84 points per possession (PPP), which is worse than any offense in America averages. The Bears started hard hedging ball screens, and the Cyclones ended up turning it over nine times, an astronomical number for the Bears. If not for a 4-of-10 shooting half from deep, Baylor would have led.
Unfortunately, Baylor had a horrendous offensive first half. The Bears scored just .79 PPP. After hitting 15 threes against Oklahoma, Baylor made just one three in the first half. The Bears had 10 turnovers and eighteen missed shots. King McClure looked good on offense, but he picked up a second foul and only played nine minutes in the half. The Bears trailed 32-30 at halftime. Baylor has not led at halftime of a Big 12 game.
The second half started very well for the Bears. They averaged 2.1 PPP the first six minutes of the half. King McClure picked up an and-one, so did Manu Lecomte and so did Terry Maston. Steve Prohm was assessed a technical, and the Bears had a six point play. Add it all up, and Baylor started the half on a 15-0 run.
Iowa State tried to answer. The Cyclones were 7-of-14 from deep midway through the half. Baylor mixed zone and man-to-man, and the Cyclones couldn’t get anything going inside. Iowa State brought it within eight and had the ball, but the Bears started making shots and grabbing more offensive boards.
Terry Maston’s had some of his best games against Iowa State, and today may have been his best. He hasn’t shot well after breaking his hand against Xavier. But he had 23 points on 11 shots. Maston was money from the elbow and got to the hoop. If he plays this well, the Bears can continue to survive bad shooting days. Not many teams can blow out a top 100 team while shooting just 2-of-14 from three. But Baylor did.
The Bears take on Oklahoma State at 7:00 on Tuesday in Stillwater. The 2014 team the 2018 squad seems to love emulating picked up a giant victory against Oklahoma State in Gallagher-Iba. Hopefully this team can too.