Do you believe in magic?
They say you live by the three and die by the three. Tonight, Baylor's living large. With 7:21 left, Lester Medford made a three. A possession later, Taurean Prince made a three. Then Kenny Chery, then Prince, and Prince again. That flurry of threes resulted in a 15-2 run in a mere 2:38. Iowa State simply had no answer, missing their last 5 shots from the floor, all three-point attempts.
Aside from the three point shooting, perhaps the most impressive part of the comeback is that it came with Rico Gathers on the bench. With 9:27 left, Gathers was called for a foul that pushed him over the edge. He was visibly upset during the timeout, yelling at teammates and kicking a chair. Whether that outburst was what led to his benching or not is impossible to know, but the fact of the matter is that Scott Drew turned to Johnathan Motley to lock down the defensive end. Over the last 7:21, Iowa State scored just 6 points. Once the lead grew and the Cyclones began to foul, Motley made his free throws. He came through big tonight, and that can't be overlooked.
The real hero, though, was Prince. He was 4-8 from three for 20 points to lead Baylor in scoring. In the last 7 minutes when Baylor made its run, Prince had 3 rebounds, 2 huge blocks, and saved a ball from going out of bounds that bounced off three people before falling into Royce O'Neale's hands. Prince's effort really lifted Baylor down the stretch. He was undoubtedly the player of the game.
Baylor had only one turnover down the stretch, and Medford snagged it right back with a refreshed shot clock. Drew had spent his last timeout with about 8 minutes remaining, and it seemed as though clock management would catch up with the Bears again. Not so. Baylor played the shot clock well, letting time wind away.
Four other Bears scored in double-digits. Chery had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and two steals that changed the game for Baylor. The first came after an O'Neale layup that broke through ISU's frantic defense, and one came in the closing seconds to ice the game.
Medford was 4-5 from deep and tallied 3 assists and 3 steals. O'Neale had 10 points and 4 assists, and Gathers finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
The starters + Prince were excellent tonight. Heck, even Austin Mills dropped a deep three.
Baylor finished 14-26 from three (53.8%). ISU was only 6-24 (25%), although they made up for it shooting 18-20 from the free throw line. Jameel McKay was unstoppable tonight. He had at least 5 two-handed slams, finishing with 21 points while making 9 of his 10 free throws. Until the last 7 minutes, Baylor had no answer for him.
This was the first win for Baylor in Hilton Coliseum in program history. It moves them to 21-7 on the season and 9-6 in conference play. With games against West Virginia and Texas Tech at home remaining, Baylor has an excellent shot at winning double-digit conference games. What a win.
|Royce O'Neale, F||3-5||2-4||2-2||0||2||2||4||0||0||1||3||10|
|Rico Gathers, F||4-10||0-0||2-4||3||4||7||0||1||0||0||3||10|
|Johnathan Motley, F||3-6||0-0||1-4||3||3||6||1||0||1||1||1||7|
|Kenny Chery, G||4-10||3-6||4-4||1||5||6||7||2||0||3||1||15|
|Lester Medford, G||4-7||4-5||0-0||0||1||1||3||3||0||1||4||12|
|Taurean Prince, F||7-16||4-8||2-5||3||3||6||0||1||2||2||1||20|
|Austin Mills, G||1-1||1-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Al Freeman, G||1-3||0-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||3||0||1||1||2|
|Ishmail Wainright, G||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Iowa State Cyclones|
|Georges Niang, F||4-12||0-5||6-6||2||4||6||3||0||0||4||2||14|
|Dustin Hogue, F||1-2||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||4||1||2|
|Jameel McKay, F||6-9||0-0||9-10||4||4||8||2||0||4||1||3||21|
|Naz Long, G||1-5||1-4||0-0||1||4||5||2||1||0||2||2||3|
|Monte Morris, G||3-6||2-4||1-2||0||1||1||6||0||0||1||2||9|
|Abdel Nader, F||1-4||0-2||0-0||0||1||1||3||0||0||0||1||2|
|Bryce Dejean-Jones, G||2-7||0-3||2-2||1||3||4||2||1||0||0||1||6|
|Matt Thomas, G||5-8||3-5||0-0||0||4||4||1||2||0||0||2||13|
Celebrate in the comments!