No. 8 Iowa State falls to No. 1 Baylor, ends perfect start to season


Tyrese Hunter looks for a teammate on offense in No. 8 Iowa State’s game against No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 1, 2022.

James Powell

Once the Big 12 schedule came out, T.J. Otzelberger and his team surely knew that the Baylor Bears would be coming to town on Jan. 1 as a highly-ranked squad.

Little did anyone know that Iowa State would be right up there with them at No. 8.

A battle of two 12-0 teams took place on New Year’s Day in Hilton Coliseum, as Baylor and Iowa State opened their Big 12 slates with a top-10 matchup after getting through non-conference play unscathed. 

The game started out as expected, with defensive intensity from both teams. Eight minutes in, the score was 13-10 with the difference being a Baylor three-point basket. The Bears started one of four from deep while the Cyclones missed their first five from long range.

The Cyclones got early production from a very consistent source, that being Izaiah Brockington. He had eight points through the first 12 minutes and added four rebounds.

Baylor led throughout the first half and got it up to 10 multiple times. Iowa State was 0-7 from deep with under four minutes left in the first half, while Baylor was 4-9.

The score at halftime was 41-33 as James Akinjo led all Baylor scorers with 10 points and Flo Thamba added nine points on 3-5 shooting.

Brockington led all scorers with 12 points and Tristan Enaruna, who scored 19 points against Chicago State, started well again picking up 10 points and five rebounds in the first half. Four of those five were on the offensive end.

The deficit continued to hover around six through the early stages of the second half, as every time Iowa State would gain momentum a player like Akinjo would silence the Hilton crowd with a tough basket.

Iowa State didn’t do itself any favors, making just one of their first 10 shots from three-point range. Their lack of shooting from deep hadn’t caught up to them in non-conference play, but it was rearing its ugly head at the wrong time against the No. 1 team in the country.

Baylor got the lead up to 11 halfway through the quarter but Iowa State continued to hang around thanks to forcing 13 Baylor turnovers.

The Cyclones’ only problem is they had 14 of their own through 30 minutes of game action.

Tristan Enaruna had 23 points on 8-11 shooting with about three minutes remaining. He also made seven of eight free throws. The Baylor lead got up to 14, but the Cyclones never showed any signs of quit.

Some full-court pressing allowed the Cyclones to work their way back into the game and they had the ball down seven with two and a half minutes to go and Tyrese Hunter got the Cyclones back within five.

But Akinjo continued his stellar afternoon and put the game out of reach. He had 14 points and always seemed to have an answer on offense.

Iowa State saw their record fall to 12-1 and Baylor moved to 13-0. The Cyclones next game is at home against Texas Tech on Jan. 5.