Despite being double digit underdogs and down King McClure and playing a hobbled Makai Mason, Baylor (17-9, 8-5) completed the season sweep of Iowa State (19-6, 8-5) 73-69. Baylor has now swept Iowa State three times in the last five years.
Freddie Gillespie had a career high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. His work on the short-roll and near the paint freed up Baylor’s offense. Iowa State trapped Makai Mason, which worked for a time. But the Bears fought back and once again proved Hilton Magic is not real.
Jared Butler was also spectacular. He had 17 points and went 5-of-8 from three. He hit a late three, which kept Baylor up by multiple possessions.
After leading almost the entire game, Iowa State took a lead at the under 12 timeout. But Baylor answered right back. Jared Butler hit a big three, and Mario Kegler went coast-to-coast for a layup. Freddie Gillespie kept scoring and rebounding. Baylor’s fight was too much.
The Bears struggled on defense early in the second half. Iowa State scored 1.45 points per possession the first 14 minutes of the second half, which is well above what the nation’s best offense scores. Baylor went under a Marial Shayock screen—a giant mistake given he could be the Big 12 Player of the Year. They also lost Tyrese Haliburton four times on the perimeter. He leads the league in 3-point percentage, and he made all three of those looks.
But the defense showed up when it mattered. Iowa State went six minutes without a field goal from the 6:30 mark to 35 seconds left in the game. Mark Vital, playing with four fouls, switched onto Iowa State’s guards and fought hard through screens. Butler also contested a late Shayock jumper.
Credit to Mason for playing through injuries. He went just 4-of-18 from the field, but he made a few big shots and nailed late free throws. He also helped keep Butler and Bandoo fresh.
Behind a 14-0 run, Baylor built an early 19-11 lead. The Bears collected eight offensive rebounds in the first eight minutes. That early stretch highlighted the rest of the evening’s formula—offensive rebound and make some threes.
This was a fantastic win. Baylor grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and found a way to win. It’s fitting Fred Hoiberg was in attendance to watch the passing of the baton. With a winning record in Hilton Coliseum in the last five years, Scott Drew is now the mayor of Ames.