Cyclones Surge Past No. 9 Baylor On Senior Night
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit to down No. 9 Baylor, 80-72 Saturday night in Hilton Coliseum. Scott Christopherson was outstanding on senior night, pouring in 23 points to help the Cyclones improve to 22-9 overall and 12-6 in the Big 12.
Baylor (25-6 overall, 12-6 Big 12) received 35 points from Pierre Jackson, but it wasn't enough, as the Bears fell for the 10th time in Hilton Coliseum in as many tries.
Iowa State, the third-seed in the Big 12 Championship, tied a school record for home conference wins in a season with eight and beat its second top-10 opponent at home. It marks the first time ISU beat two top-10 teams in a season since 2001.
The game was tight throughout most of the first half. BU was up by six on multiple occasions, but an 8-2 Cyclone run tied the game at 27-27 with 3:12 remaining before intermission.
Jackson then took over, scoring 10 points in the final 2:21 of the half to help the Bears to a 37-30 halftime lead. Jackson had 18 points in the first half. Iowa State was just 2-of-13 from beyond the arc in the opening period.
Iowa State kept chipping away in the second half. A Chris Babb 3-pointer cut the Baylor lead to 51-48 with 14:20 left in the game. The Bears were up 58-54 after a Perry Jones basket, but the Cyclones answered with another Babb trey and five points from Christopherson, including a long 3-pointer, to give the Cyclones a 62-60 lead with 7:17 remaining.
After a pair of Melvin Ejim free-throws put ISU up 64-61 with 6:10 left, both teams went scoreless for three minutes. Christopherson ended the drought with a putback to give ISU a 66-61 lead with 3:14 remaining.
Quincy Acy finally got the Bears back on the board with a score down low, converting a 3-point play to cut the lead to 66-64.
Tyrus McGee then hit a huge 3-pointer from the corner to give ISU a 69-64 lead with 1:25 left in the game. McGee then made a pair of free-throws with 0:59 seconds left to move the Cyclones up 71-64.
Iowa State made 11-of-12 free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.
The Cyclones won nine more league games this season, the largest improvement in Big 12 history.
Royce White recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Ejim tallied 15 second-half points to aid the comeback.
Iowa State made nine 3-pointers in the game, breaking the school's season record for treys with 279.
Iowa State will battle Texas at the Big 12 Championship, Thursday March 8 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m.
Post-Game Locker Room and Celebration