Baylor spoils senior night

Mark Pawlak

Senior Angie Welle was having a storybook finish to her ISU career on senior night Wednesday against Baylor. Unfortunately, the eighth-ranked Bears gave the story an unhappy ending as they used a late comeback to edge the No. 10 Cyclones, 95-91 at Hilton Coliseum.

Iowa State, 9-7 in the Big 12 Conference and 21-7 overall, looked to have the game in hand when Melanie Bremer drained her fourth three-pointer of the night to give the Cyclones a 91-83 lead with 3:02 left in the game.

Unfortunately for Iowa State fortunes, that would be the last time it would score. Baylor went on a 12-point run to finish out the game.

“We’re up 91-83 and they make four shorts in a row,” ISU head coach Bill Fennelly said. “We miss two and have two turnovers; that’s the game.”

In the stretch run, the Bears, 12-4 in the Big 12 and 24-4 overall, used a three-pointer from Jordan Davis, a basket inside from Danielle Crockrom and a three-point play by Sheila Lambert to tie the score at 91-91 with 1:09 on the clock.

The Cyclones were not able to convert on their end of the court when Lindsey Wilson missed a field-goal attempt, and Baylor rebounded with 0:39 left.

Lambert held the ball for the Bears until the shot clock started to run down and drove the right side of the court. She found Nicole Collins in the wing.

Collins, who had hit only one three-pointer all year, calmly knocked in a shot from behind the arch to give Baylor a 94-91 advantage with :07 remaining.

“I didn’t want to let the team down and not hit that shot,” Collins said. “I really wasn’t thinking, and I think that was probably what was the best, just to step up and make it. I was fortunate that I did.”

After Iowa State called time-out, Tracy Gahan caught a pass at half court and drove to the three-point line, but her last second shot came up short with :02 left.

The Cyclones were disappointed, letting the game slip away at the end.

“We just didn’t finish. We played great for 38 minutes and did not play well the last two minutes,” Wilson said. “It’s pretty uncharacteristic of our team. We’re in a little bit of shock.”

Welle was outstanding for the Cyclones, scoring a career-high and Big 12 season-high 36 points. The senior All-American was able to score from all over the court, hitting a three-pointer, a jumper at the elbow and a wide array of baskets in the paint.

“It was an amazing effort by her – 36 points and 13 rebounds and played the entire game. The only thing that would have made it better, obviously, is we win the game,” Fennelly said. “It’s a pretty storybook thing to have your greatest game on senior night.”

The ISU “Big Three” was dominant as usual. All three played the entire 40 minutes. In addition to Welle’s performance, fellow senior Gahan scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Wilson added 20 points and nine assists.

The Cyclones went in at the half-time break with a 50-41 lead as Welle poured in 20 first-half points.

Iowa State shot 50 percent (27-54) from the field and from the three-point line (11-22).

Baylor had a hot shooting hand in the second half, shooting 64 percent (20-31). For the contest, the Bears shot 53 percent (36-67) and 47 percent (11-23) from behind the arc.

Lambert led the Bears with 26 points. Crockrom added 19, and freshman Davis hit five three-pointers and scored 16 points.

The Cyclones will now prepare for Big 12 Tournament play on Tuesday where they’ll face Nebraska in first-round action.

Box Score

No. 8 BAYLOR 95, No. 10 IOWA ST. 91

BAYLOR (24-4)ÿ

Crockrom 8-13 3-4 19, Richards 0-2 0-0 0, McCormack 3-6 1-2 7, Collins 4-5 2-3 12, Lambert 9-16 5-7 26, Stratton 2-5 0-0 5, Davis 5-9 1-2 16, Sords 1-2 0-0 2, Blackmon 4-9 0-0 8. Totals 36-67 12-18 95.

IOWA STATE (21-7)ÿ

Cofield 1-6 2-2 5, Bremer 4-7 0-0 12, Welle 11-16 13-16 36, Wilson 5-14 9-12 20, Gahan 5-8 2-2 15, Junod 0-0 0-0 0, Fox 1-2 0-0 3, Paustian 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 26-32 91.

Halftime-Iowa State 50, Baylor 41. 3-Point goals-Baylor 11-23 (Davis 5-9, Lambert 3-6, Collins 2-3, Stratton 1-4, Richards 0-1), Iowa State 11-22 (Bremer 4-5, Gahan 3-4, Welle 1-2, Fox 1-2, Wilson 1-3, Cofield 1-5, Paustian 0-1). Fouled out-Cofield. Rebounds-Baylor 29 (Blackmon 9), Iowa State 39 (Welle 13). Assists-Baylor 25 (Collins 10), Iowa State 19 (Wilson 9). Total fouls-Baylor 24, Iowa State 13. A-12,116.