Cyclones top Baylor with great shooting effort

Chris Cuellar

There are some days at Hilton Coliseum when everything seems to go right for the home team. 

The Cyclones had that day on Saturday, following up a close defeat to No. 3 Kansas on Wednesday with an exciting 72-57 win over Baylor.

Iowa State (14-4, 1-2) drained 14 of its 25 three-pointers and lit up the long, athletic Bears (12-4, 2-1) with series of roar-inducing plays and shots, fueled by veterans Jamie Vanderbeken and Scott Christopherson.

“It was just one of those days, like throwing a rock into the ocean,” Vanderbeken said after a 21-point night that included seven three-pointers.

Baylor came into the game with a reputation for big plays and big shots and was an Elite Eight team just a season ago. Adding one of the top recruits in the country in forward Perry Jones III just seemed to give a stacked deck more cards, but the Cyclones shook off the hype like senior Diante Garrett shook Jones with a crossover dribble in the second half.

“It’s real fun, to go out there and create for those guys and get shots like that? I’ll do that all day,” Garrett said.

Vanderbeken, Christopherson and Garrett were the three Cyclones to finish the game in double-digits scoring, and the three went a combined 20-of-34 from the field. Baylor was led by senior guard LaceDarius Dunn, who finished just under his average with 20 points, but he didn’t get enough help on Saturday.

“I thought Iowa State really came out and shot the heck out of the ball,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “Even if we left them wide open for every shot, when you go 7-for-8, you gotta give them credit. Obviously, defensively was where we lapsed today, but I have to give Iowa State credit. We’ve got to learn from that, grow and move on.”

The effort made the arena more raucous than it had been in the 12 previous games in the Hoiberg era, partially due to the opponent and partially due to the performance.

“I thought the fans did a good job giving their team a lift when we had the lead and they got it close,” Drew said.

Besides the shots raining in from everywhere all night, the Cyclones made all the hustle plays at the right times and set the tone from wire-to-wire.

Iowa State’s consummate role player, freshman forward Calvin Godfrey logged nine points and seven rebounds, being the first man to get to the ball in many battles with the longer, more experienced Bears forwards.

“He was great,” Vanderbeken said of his front-court mate. “Energy was there, he worked his tail off every time, I thought he was fantastic,”

The referees let the guys in the jerseys play, calling only 23 fouls all game. Subsequently, the Bears only shot eight free throw attempts and the Cyclones just seven, but it was the pace of the game that gave the Cyclones the edge.

“It feels good, hopefully I’ll sleep tonight,” Hoiberg said half-jokingly. “I haven’t slept after the last two. You just beat yourself up, what could we have done? I love the effort of the last two games. If you play with that type of energy every night, the wins will come.”

The Cyclones have now won nine-in-a-row over the Bears at Hilton Coliseum. Baylor has never won on Iowa State’s current home floor.

Iowa State’s next home game is Wednesday, Jan. 26 against Texas Tech. The Cyclones travel to Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Jan. 19 for their fourth Big 12 game of the season.