No. 4 Baylor's defense too much for Iowa State

Cyclones score 2 points in first quarter, lose 79-50

Iowa State's Bridget Carleton, pictured in this season's first meeting with Baylor, scored 24 points Wednesday in a 79-50 loss to the Bears. (USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State's Bridget Carleton, pictured in this season's first meeting with Baylor, scored 24 points Wednesday in a 79-50 loss to the Bears. (USA TODAY Sports)

AMES – Baylor knew what the Iowa State women’s basketball players were going to do before the Cyclones did. At least it seemed that way.

Iowa State looked lost, helpless and hapless against the unrelenting Baylor defense. The Cyclones routinely dribbled around the perimeter, back and forth, searching for a crack in the fortified walls of the Bears’ defense.

Iowa State (8-10, 2-5 Big 12) lost to No. 4 Baylor (16-1, 6-0) 79-50 on Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum.

“We held them to 50 points. Our defense is pretty good,” Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey said. “I thought we helped each other a lot tonight on picks and I thought we were very willing to switch and we kept them off the foul line there in the first half.”

The Cyclones’ first basket didn’t come until the six-minute mark in the first quarter when Bridget Carleton hit a fadeaway at the elbow. Those were the only points Iowa State scored in the quarter. The Cyclones shot 1 of 17 from the field in the first quarter.

It took until the 5:21 mark in the second quarter for someone other than Carleton to score – Emily Durr hit two free throws.

Carleton scored 12 of the first 14 points for Iowa State and nearly half of Iowa State’s total points, finishing with 24.

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“Yeah, it was nice to hit some 3s finally,” Carleton said. “And then my free throws, I haven’t gone a game in a while without missing a free throw. That felt good. It definitely felt good.”

Despite Carleton’s strong performance, as a team, Iowa State shot 24.6 percent from the field and 17.9 percent from 3-point range.

“They’re a great defensive team,” Carleton said. “When you have two girls that are over 6-foot-4, with their wing span, they’re able to block shots like that. It’s hard to get into the paint and draw the defenders in for a kick-out, so that’s difficult. And then their guards are so athletic. All around they’re a great defensive team.”

Baylor’s Lauren Cox blocked nine shots.

“Just good defense,” Cox said. “Coach emphasizes that all the time. I just tried to move my feet, I had to play inside and out and I knew that was going to be tough. I knew I was going to have size on them, so it was going to be easy to get some of those blocks.”

Baylor used an unrelenting low-post attack to gain its advantage on the offensive end. Baylor’s two post players, 6-foot-7 Kalani Brown and 6-foot-4 Cox seemingly got whatever they wanted. The tandem ended with 46 points.

“They’re a monster,” Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said. “We had no answer for their inside, obviously.”

It wasn’t all bad for Iowa State, the Cyclones showed signs of life in the third quarter, outscoring the Bears 17-14 and holding Baylor to just 4-of-13 shooting. But the Bears had already put the game away.

“I thought the second and third quarters we competed,” Fennelly said. “They don’t sub much so it’s not like they went to the bench. We competed, I thought Bridget had a great second and third quarter. We showed some signs of life after that first quarter.”

Fennelly found one more positive outside the strong third quarter.

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“The only good thing about tonight is we don’t have to play them again,” Fennelly said.

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