WACO (AP) – Iowa State got key baskets from the perimeter and in the paint on Wednesday night.
Tyrus McGee scored 22 points, Melvin Ejim had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Iowa State hit 11 3-pointers in an 87-82 win over Baylor.
Korie Lucious added 16 points and Niang Georges 15 for the Cyclones (18-8, 8-5 Big 12).
Pierre Jackson scored 30 points and Cory Jefferson had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Baylor (16-10, 7-6).
After doing damage from behind the arc, Iowa State took advantage of a Baylor defense roaming the perimeter. After two free throws gave the Cyclones a 74-67 lead with 3:47 remaining, their next four baskets were scored in the paint, including two layups and an alley-oop dunk by McGee.
“We were rotating a lot on defense, so a lot of times people were missing their man on the defensive end whenever they shot, and that would leave them open sometimes to get offensive rebounds,” Jefferson said.
Isaiah Austin hit a 3-pointer for Baylor to make the score 84-79 with 23 seconds to play. After a missed Iowa State free throw, Jackson was fouled with 13.7 seconds left, but missed both free throws.
“I thought we kept our composure, we kept our poise,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It got under the four-minute mark, and they had shrunk the gap from a double-digit lead to four. The clock was our friend. Korie Lucious made some unbelievable plays down the stretch, getting to the basket and making some finishes.”
Jackson, who scored in double figures in 31 consecutive games before being held to seven points in a loss to Kansas State on Saturday, scored 10 points in the first 10 minutes on Wednesday.
Iowa State closed the first half on a 12-7 run to take a 41-36 lead into the break. Ejim and Lucious each hit a 3-pointer during the streak.
Both teams hit five 3s in the first half, and Iowa State leads the country with more than nine 3s a game.
Later, Iowa State used back-to-back 3-pointers to build a 58-50 advantage with 11:26 remaining.
“We gave them more looks than we did the first time,” in a 79-71 Baylor win in Ames on Feb. 2, Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “And at the end of the day, they’re a team that statistically, they make more than they miss. Last game, I thought we guarded them well, but they missed some shots. Today, we didn’t guard them as well, and they made shots.”
After a three-point play by Baylor’s Rico Gathers, Iowa State scored six straight points to take a 64-53 lead with 8:35 to play.
“Our guys just rose up and knocked down shots,” Hoiberg said, with “confidence, which we’ve been playing with a lot of behind the arc the last seven, eight games.”
The Cyclones had made at least 11 3s in seven of their last eight games. The only time they made less than that was their game against Baylor, when Iowa State made four of its 24 3-point attempts.
With 10:19 left in the first half, Jackson threw what appeared to be an alley-oop pass to Jefferson. Instead, the ball went directly into the basket for a 3-pointer that gave the Bears a 25-19 lead.
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