Mar 5, 2022; Waco, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Gabe Kalscheur (22) drives on Baylor Bears guard Dale Bonner (3) during the first half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
There are plenty of things that can be questioned about this year’s Iowa State men’s basketball team, but this squad’s resolve is not one of them.
The Cyclones trailed by as much as 25 points during the first half on Saturday in Waco before battling back to even take a brief lead against No. 3 Baylor, but failed to execute well enough in crunch time and walked away with a 75-68 loss to close the regular season.
The Bears exploded out of the gates to build a 29-4 lead on the Cyclones with less than seven minutes left in the first half of the game. Iowa State then closed the half on a 25-10 run that cut the deficit to 10 points at the halftime break.
That first-half surge was fueled by efficient play from center Robert Jones, who finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
The Cyclones slowly chipped away at the deficit during the second half led by Gabe Kalscheur, who scored 13 of his team-high 18 points after the intermission.
Iowa State finally broke all the way through with a 10-0 run spanning roughly two minutes to take a 60-58 lead on an Aljaz Kunc layup with 7:51 to play.
Baylor promptly responded with an Adam Flagler 3-pointer and a free throw from James Akinjo to make it 62-60, but Iowa State unleashed another quick 4-0 run to make it 64-62 with 3:52 left.
The Cyclones’ run ended there, though, as Baylor scored 13 of the game’s final 17 points to seal the win.
Iowa State also got a double-figure scoring performance from Izaiah Brockington, who finished with 11 points on an out-of-character 4-of-13 performance shooting from the field. Tyrese Hunter also recorded 13 assists while breaking the program’s single-season record for assists by a freshman.
The Cyclones will now head to Kansas City as the Big 12 Tournament’s No. 6 seed and play third-seeded Texas Tech on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.