5 takeaways from Iowa State’s loss to Baylor


Lani Tons/Iowa State Daily

Abdel Nader, redshirt senior forward, fights to shoot the basketball against Zach Smith, an opponent from Texas Tech on Jan. 6. The Cyclones beat the Raider Reds 76-69.

Luke Manderfeld

Baylor upset No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum, completing multiple comebacks to win, 94-89.

Here are the five takeaways from the game:

1. Iowa State lets big lead get away

The Cyclones haven’t been immune to blowing big leads this season, and the comeback bug bit them once again Saturday. 

Iowa State led the Bears by 11 points with just more than 11 minutes to go. But Baylor followed it up with a 10-0 run to make the game close. 

“When you’re up by 11 at home with 11 to go, you’ve got to close that. Bottom line,” said ISU coach Steve Prohm. “I know that, and the guys know that.”

2. Cyclones struggle with Bears’ defense late in game

All week, the Cyclones prepared for the Bears’ triangle-and-two defense, which features three players playing zone and two players playing man-to-man defense. 

The last time Baylor came to Hilton Coliseum, it implemented the defense in the last few minutes of the game. This time around, the Bears did the same thing.

Even though the Cyclones prepared for it in the days leading up to the game, they couldn’t get past it. 

“We knew [the triangle-and-two] was coming,” said center Jameel McKay. “I guess we don’t have anything that works for it right now.”

The difference in the defense was that Baylor put a guard on Georges Niang rather than Monte Morris.

“It was a little different than what we had prepared for,” said guard Matt Thomas. “By the time Monte hit those shots late, it was too late. We had already dug ourselves into a hole.”

3. Cyclones fall to 1-2 in Big 12

In order to knock off Kansas for the regular season Big 12 crown, Iowa State will need to be perfect from here on out, so it seems. Kansas seems primed for a huge season, and losses won’t come easy for the Jayhawks. 

The Cyclones are already two games behind the Jayhawks in the conference standings.

“We’ve got to play like we always do,” Thomas said. “Maybe fans and [the media] think it’s added pressure, but we can’t look at it like that. We just got to play.”

4. Baylor continues success at Hilton Coliseum

In Iowa State’s last 32 games at Hilton Coliseum, only two teams have come out with a victory. Both of those teams are Baylor. 

Last season, the Bears were the only team to get a road win against the Cyclones, and this season, they were the first one. 

“We have some secret we give out at the pre-game meal,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew jokingly. “We’ve been blessed. We’ve played well.”

5. Three Cyclones grab 20-plus points 

Although the Cyclones didn’t pull out a win, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some big performers. 

Georges Niang, Monte Morris and Abdel Nader all racked up 20-plus points on the day, with Niang leading the trio with 22. Nader had the biggest overall game, putting up 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists. 

Morris put up eight of his points in the last minute and a half of the game, knocking down two 3-pointers and attempting to keep the Cyclones in the game.