AMES — No. 20 Iowa State dropped another one at home, making it two Hilton Coliseum losses in a row for the Cyclones.
Baylor was tougher than the Cyclones on Tuesday night, leading to a 73-69 Bears win.
Iowa State struggled to keep Baylor off the boards all night.
The Bears out-rebounded the Cyclones 44-28, including 18 offensive rebounds, and scored 18 second-chance points. The Bears rebounded nearly half of their 38 misses.
“If you play the way we play, it looks good (offensively), it’s pretty, the offensive numbers are terrific, all that pretty stuff,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “But if you’re going to win at the highest level, your substance better be real. It is some days, but our team is our team. If you want a write-up on our team, it’s inconsistency and toughness. It’s on me. We’re not tough enough and I have to figure out ways to get them tougher.”
The Cyclones were fine offensively, shooting the ball well until the final four minutes when Iowa State got desperate. Iowa State shot 50 percent in the first half, but just 38 percent in the second half, thanks to a lot of late misses. But the rebounding difference was the key.
Baylor was led by forward Freddie Gillespie, who had 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting — mostly layups and dunks — and 10 rebounds. Gillespie was a terror on the offensive boards, pulling down three. If he wasn’t getting the offensive rebound, he was tipping it out to a teammate.
Mark Vital only had six points, but he, along with Gillespie, was instrumental in Baylor’s offensive rebounding. Vital pulled down five offensive boards.
Iowa State took the lead on a Tyrese Haliburton 3-pointer with 7:14 left, but on the next possession, Baylor got an offensive rebound and freshman guard Jared Butler drilled a 3-pointer. Butler finished with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
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“Defensive rebound. Box out. Make 50-50 plays,” Prohm said. “They had 18 second-chance points and 30 points in the paint. I know we’re going to give some offensive rebounds up because of our size, but 18 is ridiculous.
“We have really good kids and that’s why the inconsistency is frustrating — at home and on the road. It’s really mind-boggling, to be honest with you. We didn’t play the right way and that’s why it’s frustrating.”
What does playing the right way look like?
“It’s tough to win at this level,” Prohm said. “So, attention to detail, toughness, execution, understanding the scouting report — all that stuff matters. If you’re not executing and doing it, it’s going to be tough to win.”
This is Iowa State’s third home loss this season in conference play and its second home loss in a row.
“It’s very frustrating,” guard Nick Weiler-Babb said. “We talked about it before the game — you’re not supposed to lose at home, especially at a place like this that has a history of winning at home. We’re not doing any justice to it. It’s embarrassing. We got out-toughed from the jump and we laid down and took it.”
Iowa State, which was one game back in the Big 12 title race, seems to have played its way out of it. With only five games left — three of which are on the road — Iowa State’s record is 19-7 overall and 8-5 in the Big 12.
The Cyclones’ next game is at TCU, a team that outplayed Iowa State on Feb. 9 at Hilton in a 92-83 Iowa State loss.
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