The Bears fall 73 - 58 to the Cyclones to conclude the regular season. The Bears shot the ball poorly: 35.8% from the field, 35.7% from three, and 55.6% from the free throw line. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise with Iowa State having the best defense in the Big 12. The offensive woes really put stress on the Bear defense ultimately leading to a loss.
The most positive part of the day came pregame and postgame when the program recognized the Seniors. There was a tribute to each Senior, and then Coach Drew gave each guy a chance to address the fans following the game. This was a humbling reminder following a tough loss of how special this program really is.
The team will move forward to post season play, with winning a National Championship still the goal.
No Grill, no problem, Iowa State cooked. The only thing tighter than Iowa State Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger’s polo was the Cyclone defense.
The first half started with the Baylor defense incredibly focused as the first two ISU possessions ended in a shot clock violation. The Bears looked connected on defense throughout the first few minutes of the half and committed to making the Cyclones beat them in the paint, which backfired.
The Bears offense struggled in the early minutes of the game, a theme that continued, but a Jalen Bridges three broke the scoreless streak with 17:01 left in the first half on a zip pass from Keyonte George.
The first half continued in a back and forth fashion with Iowa State making a point to hunt switches and take advantage of Cyclone big men on Baylor guards. Iowa State got a ton of easy looks at the rim and was converting at a high level.
Despite a lack luster start, a positive sign early for Baylor was Keyonte George finishing an impressive bucket. George showed the ankle was just fine when he converted a layup over contact with a sweet finger roll, unfortunately missing the free throw on a potential and one.
Iowa State continued their physical play, mucking up the game at both ends of the floor and we were in a barn burner with the Cyclones leading 9 - 7 at the under 12 timeout.
ISU came out of the under 12 timeout in a 1-3-1 which led to a series of ill advised jumpers by the Bears and a cold offensive streak. The Cyclones continued to find great looks off switches and extended the lead to 13 - 7 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Coach Drew subbed the starters back in looking for a spark, that unfortunately wasn’t found. Flagler converted on a floater through contact on what very well could have been another and one look, but other than that the Bears continued to struggle on offense.
The first sign of life from the team or the crowd came with 5:30 left in the first half when LJ Cryer hit a deep three, immediately to be silenced on another Cyclone drive and bucket by Jarren Holmes bringing the game to 24 - 14.
The Bears quickly turned the ball over leading to a fast break layup by Holmes and he extended the Iowa State lead to 12 at 26 - 14.
For the first time there was extended energy in the building when Big Dale Bonner hit a three to give Baylor some life and brought the score to 28 - 17.
Strap in because there was a 2-minute run where it was the Big Dale Bonner show. Bonner attacked the basked with a disgusting hesi sending a defender into the shadow realm and Baylor cut the lead back to 10 with the score 29 - 19.
Iowa State picked up two free throws off a Scott Drew technical foul only to be answered by more Big Dale Energy. Big Dale Bonner continued to cook and the Ferrell erupted when he hit an and one layup, and knocked down the free throw cutting the lead to single digits at 31 - 22
A big ISU dunk concluded the 1H scoring and the Bears go to the break searching for answers down 33 - 22.
In the second half Baylor came out in a 1-3-1 defense in attempt to adjust to the ISU mismatches and force the Cyclones to beat them with jumpers. This worked, albeit briefly, and the Bears brought some hope to the Ferrell Center.
A highlight of the game came early in the second half on an impressive Keyonte George floater that showed why he is a lotto talent.
Baylor clearly was making a point to attack the basket with Flagler getting downhill, following an ISU mid range jumper miss, he got to the line. Flagler knocked down one of two free throws cutting the lead to 10, 36 - 26 with 17:04 left.
This brought us to a very rare moment in college basketball where both teams were playing a 1-3-1 zone. LJ Cryer knocked down an open three bringing the lead to single digits for the first time in a long time 36 - 29.
This is where Baylor really peaked in the game, a big stop for the Bears defensively lead to a LOUD Adam Flagler three ball on Senior Day and Baylor found themselves down by just 4 with 15:08 left, 36 - 32. This is unfortunately as close as the game would get.
We take a break from the “play by play” to highlight that at the 15 minute mark in the second half Baylor was shooting just 32% from the field, 26% from three, and 50% from the free throw line…and only down 4.
This is when it gets really messy, Iowa State responded with a 11-0 run over a 4 minute stretch expanding the lead to 15 with 11 minutes left to play.
A few back and forth baskets and more disconnected play brought us to the under 12 timeout and the Bears trailed 47 - 34 with 10:48 left. A complete change of play would be needed for Baylor to get back in this game, spoiler alert…not happening.
Keyonte George tried to spark a comeback and hit a nasty pull-up three to bring the lead to 9 with 7:53 left. The Bears were in desperate need of a stop, but Gabe Kalscheur answered with a three of his own, completely deflating the Bears and fans.
Iowa state continued to get good looks and get to the free throw line while Baylor came up empty on a series of offensive possessions and the lead ballooned to 18 with the Bears down 58 - 40.
To spare all of us some agony the second half continued on a similar trajectory and with 3:36 left Flagler went to the line for three shots and missed all three…this game pretty much summed up in a nutshell.
The last few minutes of the game really don’t matter, other than Scott Drew getting Jordan Turner and Zach Loveday some minutes in their last game at the Ferrell Center.
All in all the Bears finish the regular season in an incredibly disappointing showing. The attention of the program and fans turns to the Big 12 tournament before we go dancing in March.