Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones dominate No. 7 Baylor on the road


Tyler Coe

Tre King runs down the floor after forcing a West Virginia shot clock violation on Feb. 27, 2023.

In the last game of the regular season before tournaments begin, the Iowa State men’s basketball team looked to bring their spark back and grab a win on the road.

The Cyclones took on the No. 7 Baylor Bears Saturday morning in hopes to start fresh and push past their recent losses. Whereas Baylor had won seven of their last eight games, the Cyclones had won just two of their last eight games.

Nonetheless, the Cyclones did just what they had hoped, grabbing a win. Here are the three big takeaways from Iowa State’s 73-58 road win.

Everybody plays

With Caleb Grill no longer on the team, the Cyclone starting lineup looked a bit different from what it has all year.

Robert Jones and Tre King took the spots of Osun Osunniyi and Aljaž Kunc while Gabe Kaslcheur, Tamin Lipsey and Jaren Holmes were the other three starters.

King made his second start of the season with his last start being against Missouri on Jan. 28. Jones made his first start of the season.

It was clear that with a recent change to the team, every Cyclone would get their chance on the court.

Five minutes in, freshman Demarion Watson appeared on the court. Minutes later, freshman Eli King and Kansas football transfer Conrad Hawley got their turn.

Prior to the game against Baylor, King had played a season-high of seven minutes with Hawley having a season-high of four minutes. Both of their minutes came from Iowa State’s matchup against IUPUI on Nov. 7.

Shortly after came senior Hasan Ward who had not been on the court since Feb. 8 at West Virginia where he played just two minutes. Coming off the bench, however, Ward put up a basket.

Feeling confident

While turnovers came relatively quickly for Iowa State at the start of the game, the Cyclones also quickly found their groove.

Baylor grabbed the tip-off but was not able to score and it was followed by an Iowa State shot clock violation. Three minutes in, Baylor was on the board first after a three-pointer from Jalen Bridges. Jones then put up a basket to get Iowa State on the board.

The Bears struggled to put up points in the first half shooting just 28% from field goal range but 50% from behind the arc. The Cyclones shot 54% percent and 56% from three-point range.

Iowa State led 13-7 midway through the first and went on a 6-0 run over the Bears with three minutes remaining to take a 33-22 lead to start the second half.

Moreover, Iowa State had 22 rebounds in the first and was given two free throws after a technical foul was given to Baylor head coach Scott Drew.

Baylor’s 22 points in the first half was the fewest points scored for the Bears in any first half this season.

For Iowa State, seven out of their 11 players had scored at least once by the end of the first half. As the game came to a close, Eli King and Hawley were the only two to not score.

It’s tournament time

Tre King came out of halftime with a three-pointer following the start of the second half but the Bears would soon go on a 10-0 run to cut the Cyclone lead to just four.

Nonetheless, Iowa State would bring their lead back to double digits and lead 47-32 with an 11-0 run.

That lead was then extended to 58-40 with a 9-0 run and six minutes remaining and would end with a superior win over a top-ten team.

Holmes led the team in points with 16. Tre King had 13 with Kaslcheur at 12. The Cyclones also had 22 points from the bench.

With Iowa State grabbing the win over Baylor, they have now earned themselves a quarterfinal spot in the Big 12 tournament meaning they will not have to play Wednesday and will instead start tournament play on Thursday.