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AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State’s Big 12 title hopes are suddenly in big trouble.
Taurean Prince scored 20 points and 19th-ranked Baylor upset No. 12 Iowa State on the road 79-70 for its third straight win on Wednesday night.
The Bears (21-7, 9-6 Big 12) shot 14 of 26 from 3-point range and hit their last seven, becoming the first team other than Kansas to win in Ames since 2012.
As a result, the Cyclones are now a game behind the Jayhawks in the Big 12 race with three games left to play.
Jameel McKay had a career-high 21 points for Iowa State (20-7, 10-5), which followed up road wins at Oklahoma State and Texas with its first home loss of the year.
“They got it going on us early again, and I just didn’t think our urgency coming out of the gate was very good,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You would have thought with the week that we had and what was at stake that we would have come out of the locker room with great urgency.”
Baylor hit five straight 3s late in a span of just 2:38, the last two by Prince, to take a 72-66 lead with 4:41 left. Its defense made sure the edge stuck.
“We just didn’t stay together as a team,” McKay said. “We stopped communicating. We lost our commitments, which led to open shots.
Iowa State and Baylor staged one of the best games in the Big 12 this season back on Jan. 14. The Bears squandered a 28-11 lead, but rallied for a 74-73 win on Kenny Chery’s jumper with four seconds left.
The rematch was in doubt until the Bears got rolling from beyond the arc.
Bryce Dejean-Jones gave the Cyclones a 50-48 lead by leaping over a foot above the rim for a spectacular put-back dunk, and Georges Niang found McKay for an alley-oop dunk pushed the edge to 60-54 with 8:28 left.
But Baylor held Iowa State to just four points in the final 6:26, and its hot streak helped the Bears sweep the Cyclones for the first time.
“You’re not going to do that a lot on the road. We made a lot of shots,” Drew said. “The other thing is we continued to compete.”
Chery had 15 points and seven assists for the Bears.
Niang had 14 points and Matt Thomas scored 13 for Iowa State.
Thomas has scored 30 points off the bench in his last two games, but all he could focus on was improving his defensive effort.
“The way I guarded was absolutely embarrassing,” Thomas said.
Iowa State: Starter Dustin Hogue committed three turnovers in the first four minutes of the second half. He played 13 minutes and had just two points and two rebounds.
Baylor: The Bears were 7 of 13 on 3s in the first half but just 3 of 7 from the line. They led 40-37 at halftime…Coach Scott Drew used all of his second-half timeouts in less than 12 minutes.
Lester Medford had 12 points on four 3s for Baylor…Iowa State is 0-6 when trailing at halftime this season…The Cyclones outrebounded the bigger Bears 32-31…Baylor forced Iowa State into 12 turnovers.
“We missed shots out there where we could have (eaten) a sandwich and shot the ball. We were absolutely wide open, and it affected us. It affected us on the other end,” Hoiberg said.
Iowa State travels to Kansas State on Saturday.
Baylor hosts West Virginia on Saturday.
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