Iowa State falls to No. 2 Baylor despite strong showing in first half


Jack MacDonald/Iowa State Daily

Senior Seanna Johnson drives to the hoop during Iowa State’s 83-52 loss to No. 2 Baylor. The loss dropped the Cyclones to 12-10 (3-8 Big 12). 

Tyler Julson

After only trailing at halftime by seven points, the Cyclones were unable to get anything going in the second half Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. Baylor came out on top by a score of 83-52.

The Cyclones (12-9, 3-7 Big 12) entered the contest against Baylor (21-1, 10-0 Big 12) knowing they had a tall task in front of them, literally.

Baylor has six players on its roster who stand over 6 foot 2, and it was no secret that the size differential was going to have a major impact on the game. But in the first half, both teams were even with 18 points in the paint, and Iowa State was out-rebounded by only three boards.

The Cyclones went into the halftime break with just a seven-point deficit and what appeared to be a good shot at hanging around with Baylor through the rest of the game.

Senior guard Seanna Johnson talked about why she thought the team was able to stay so close.

“I think we were all getting to the basket, we were running plays that got me, Jadda [Buckley] and Brigdet [Carleton] going to the basket,” Johnson said. “We did a really good job at finishing, especially in the first quarter. We were just really aggressive going into the half.”

In the first meeting of the year between the two teams in Waco, Texas, Iowa State held Baylor to its second lowest scoring game of the season (68 points). If the first half was any indication, it was once again looking good for Iowa State to keep the Baylor score to a minimum.

When the teams emerged for the second half, however, the scoreboard did not remain close for long. In the third quarter alone, Iowa State was outscored 21-6, and the points in the paint stat was 28-18 in favor of Baylor. 

The Cyclones only shot 14.3 percent, 2-for-14, from the field in the third quarter and just 20 percent, 1-for-5, from the charity stripe, a category in which they entered the night ranked in the top three in the nation.

Coach Bill Fennelly explained what he thought was the difference maker from the first to second half.

“No. 1, you got to credit Baylor, they’re a great team,” Fennelly said. “No. 2, there were times we just didn’t do the things we needed to do.

“The thing about Baylor is, unlike maybe any team we’ve ever played, when they see blood they’re coming after you, and they came after us hard. We just could not respond.”

On low-scoring night for the Iowa State, the team was led in scoring by junior guard Jadda Buckley with 13 points. Buckley also pulled in three rebounds and dished out three assists.

Emily Durr, Seanna Johnson and Bridget Carleton each had seven points.

“We were in it, shots were falling, our defense was clicking, so yeah we felt good,” Buckley said. “I think they just came out with a lot more pressure and aggressiveness. They were looking to push the ball a lot more and get up in our grill.”