No. 12 Baylor will look to continue its dominance against host Iowa State when the teams open Big 12 play on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
The Bears have defeated the Cyclones six straight times and in nine of the past 10 meetings dating to the 2017-18 season.
Baylor (10-2) is coming off an 85-56 rout of visiting Nicholls on Wednesday that was the Bears’ fifth straight win, while Iowa State (9-2) hasn’t played since its 73-57 victory over Western Michigan on Dec. 18. The Cyclones’ Dec. 21 game against Omaha was canceled due to weather concerns.
The Bears dominated Nicholls from the opening tip, jumping out to a 14-3 lead in the first 5:54 and leading by as many as 17 in the first half before opening a 30-point advantage with 2:17 remaining.
Keyonte George, who averages 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists. Adam Flagler, who averages a team-high 16.1 points per game, added 20 points and five rebounds.
Langston Love chipped in 17 points, with Josh Ojianwuna finishing with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Bears shot a sizzling 11 of 24 (45.8 percent) from 3-point range and scored 24 points off Nicholls’ 20 turnovers. Baylor forced the Colonels to shoot 23 of 62 (37.1 percent) from the field and 2 of 18 (11.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
“Yeah, I definitely think that this was preparation for the Big 12,” Flagler said. “Nicholls is a very, very elite team, and they’re probably going to win their conference. So we just wanted to come out there and have a good start. We haven’t been doing that in all these games, so we wanted to just go out there and punch them in the mouth early and finish strong at the end as well.”
Iowa State, which has won four of its past five games, jumped out to a 17-3 lead over Western Michigan before leading by as many as 22 in the second half.
The Cyclones shot 31 of 49 (63.3 percent) from the field, including 7 of 18 (38.9 percent) from 3-point range, while forcing the Broncos to shoot 20 of 52 (38.5 percent) from the field, including 13 of 34 (38.2 percent) from beyond the arc.
Caleb Grill, who averages 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, had 14 points and six rebounds. Gabe Kalscheur, who averages 9.5 points per game, added 11 points.
Jaren Holmes, who averages a team-high 13.8 points per game, chipped in 10 points and five rebounds, with Robert Jones finishing with 10 points and five assists.
Tre King added 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go along with two rebounds in his first game for the Cyclones after the NCAA ruled him eligible. King transferred from Eastern Kentucky last season but was forced to sit out due to transfer rules.
“He did a really good job,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said of King. “We talked to him about being a guy we can throw it in to, being a great cutter like he did on the baseline on that dunk. … He’s worked really hard to get this opportunity. It’s been a while.”
–Field Level Media