Takeaways: Turnovers, 3-pointers and runs spoil Iowa State’s upset bid

Tyler Harris shoots a 3-pointer Feb. 2 at Hilton Coliseum. 

Zane Douglas

Facing one of the top teams in the nation and the only remaining unbeaten Power Five conference team, the Iowa State men’s basketball team came close to pulling off a shocker Tuesday in Waco, Texas.

The now 2-17 Cyclones lost by five points to No. 2 Baylor in a game that came down to the wire, with the Bears only leading for the last few minutes.

The Cyclones only have wins against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Jackson State — two Southwestern Athletic Conference teams — but Iowa State came close all the same.

First-half run erases big start

The final 6:24 of the first half was not good for Iowa State Head Coach Steve Prohm and his team.

While the Cyclones started the game on fire, jumping out to a double-digit lead early and extending that lead to 17 points with just 6:24 left, that lead wouldn’t stay for long.

What happened in those next six minutes gave the momentum squarely back to the Bears. They outscored the Cyclones in that span 17-5 while forcing turnovers and missed shots on the defensive end.

The once safely in front Cyclones had to go into the break up just five and with the 17-0, No. 2 team in the country firing on all cylinders.

Thanks to a big half from Adam Flagler, who ended as Baylor’s leading scorer, the Bears grabbed momentum and clawed back into the game.

3-ball goes out the window

Something that really worked for the Cyclones in half No. 1 was the 3-point shot. It worked specifically well for a couple guys — Tyler Harris and Rasir Bolton — who combined to go 6-8 from distance in the first 20 minutes.

The team buried seven of its 10 tries with Tre Jackson hitting his only attempt in the first half.

The second half was a different story.

Harris, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Javan Johnson all went 1-3 from beyond the arc, Jackson went 0-2 and Bolton didn’t even attempt a 3-pointer in the final 20 minutes.

The team finished 10-21 from deep, but the second half resulted in a 3-11 effort.

Overall, Iowa State shot well from three, and even in the second half, some of the biggest shots of the game, including a run-breaking Johnson three, a clutch crunch time Coleman-Lands triple and a heat check Harris three from straightaway, but the poor percentage crept up on the Cyclones late.

Turnover bug squashed

Whatever Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew said to his team at halftime about taking care of the ball worked.

Iowa State’s defense in the first half was good, especially before the Bears ripped off their big run. A big part of that was an ability to force turnovers Iowa State hasn’t seen often this season.

Usually, the Cyclones are on the wrong end of a bad shooting night or several turnovers, but in the first half, the Cyclones forced 10 Baylor turnovers.

The Cyclones did have 11 of their own and that was a big part of why Baylor was still in the game, but the Bears didn’t look like themselves with the ball.

In the second half, Baylor got it together, giving away only two turnovers. The Cyclones only gave up six themselves, but both teams didn’t shoot well, making it a close one down the stretch.