Cyclones make up for missed 3s, beat Baylor


Will Clyburn gets ready to shoot the ball in the win 79-71 on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Hilton Coliseum. Clyburn had a total of 28 points in the game. 

Alex Halsted

When the 3-pointers rolled around the rim and clanged off the side, the Cyclones were forced to adjust.

The biggest weapon for Iowa State (15-6, 5-3 Big 12) rarely fell through the net Saturday, yet they still found a way to adjust to beat Baylor 79-71, extending their winning streak at Hilton Coliseum to 19 consecutive games.

The win came on the heels of a two-point loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday and kept the Cyclones in the Big 12 race as one of four teams tied for third in the conference.

“This was a huge game for us,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg. “Our guys battled back once again and they’ve continued to do that throughout this year.”

The task became more difficult as Iowa State went 0-for-10 beyond the arc in the first half. The Cyclones entered the game leading the Big 12 in 3-pointers with an average of 9.3 per game.

Baylor (14-7, 5-3) put focus on denying 3-point attempts from Iowa State, but ultimately the team’s shots simply couldn’t find the bottom of the net. 

“Some nights you don’t make some shots, and they probably missed some open ones,” said BU coach Scott Drew. “For the most part, we tried to make sure that we contested them as well as we could.”

Three more 3-pointers failed to drop in the first 2:10 of the second half before forward Georges Niang, freshman, put one through on the team’s 14th attempt of the night with 16:40 remaining in the game. The Cyclones ended the night 4-of-24 on 3-pointers for a 16.7 shooting percentage.

That mark fell five 3-pointers below Iowa State’s season average, but it wasn’t enough to hinder the team.

“It’s just a part of basketball,” said ISU guard Will Clyburn, senior. “Your shots aren’t always going to fall, so you have to try to get to the free-throw line and try to get something inside.”

Clyburn led Iowa State with 28 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. The senior scored 17 of his points in the second half to help lift the Cyclones and was helped by Niang, who scored 17 points in the win.

In all, three of the team’s 3-pointers came from Clyburn, who Drew said “went to the NBA-and-beyond line” in the second half to make the shots.

Iowa State adjusted to the lack of 3-pointers by getting to the free-throw line. The Cyclones went 25-of-30 from the charity stripe.

“When your shot isn’t falling you talk to your guys about attack,” Hoiberg said. “[Baylor was] switching some ball screens and I thought we did a good job taking advantage of the mismatch either getting it in the post or driving it past their bigs.”

The adjustments helped Iowa State keep pace in the Big 12 without its biggest weapon, and that was just fine with Hoiberg. 

“It’s a great sign,” Hoiberg said of winning despite a lack of 3-pointers. “Great teams find a way when your shots aren’t falling. We found a way tonight.”