Big 12 Basketball

Iowa State Was ‘Hungry’ For Win over Baylor Going Into Big 12 Tournament

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Wisconsin vs Iowa State

WACO, Texas — For Iowa State, the 73-58 win on the road at Baylor on Saturday was more than just snapping out of a losing streak that dated back to Feb. 18.

It might be a signal that Iowa State is ready for the rigors of the Big 12 Tournament, which starts on Wednesday in Kansas City at T-Mobile Center.

 

But Iowa State won’t play that night, thanks to the win. The Cyclones will play Thursday, a relief as ISU tries to win its first Big 12 Tournament since 2019.

“We were hungry,” Iowa State guard Gabe Kalscheur said. “We did a great job just coming up and saying what we’re going to do and execute. We had everyone on the bench with a job and they brought great energy. We made great plays offensively and defensively. Tre (King) took over with dominant boards. It was the whole team. Everyone just bought in.”

The Cyclones (18-12, 9-9 in Big 12) snapped a four-game losing streak with Saturday’s win over the Bears.

It ended up being a complete effort on the Cyclones’ part. Jaren Holmes led with 16 points and Tre King added with 13 points. Kalscheur added 12 points. Six other Cyclones scored in the game.

 

Iowa State shot better than 50 percent nearly the entire game, and it helped the Cyclones build a 33-22 lead at halftime.

It was the best the Cyclones have played in three weeks and a good momentum boost going for the Big 12 Tournament.

“You’re gonna have some tough times and we certainly have that you know, nobody’s gonna feel sorry for you. You’ve got to dig deep. You got to find a way.”

The game was also the first since the dismissal of guard Caleb Grill from the team earlier this week. Otzelberger made a lineup change based on the projected starters, flipping King into the starting lineup and moving Aljaz Kunc to the bench. The move seemed to agree with both players and having King inside helped the Cyclones deal with Baylor’s bigger front line, led by Flo Thamba and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua.

 

The Cyclones are guaranteed to be no worse than the No. 6 seed in Kansas City at the Big 12 tournament next week. Iowa State could be No. 5 if TCU loses later on Saturday. But, the win helped the Cyclones avoid the Wednesday night games. The Cyclones could have fallen into that night had they lost and Oklahoma State won later Saturday.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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