By Associated Press
AMES, Iowa —Iowa State’s surprisingly strong non-conference record would have seemed a bit more hollow with another Big 12 loss.
The Cyclones responded by running away from Baylor and handing coach Fred Hoiberg the biggest win of his young career.
Jamie Vanderbeken scored 21 points on seven 3-pointers, Scott Christopherson added 17 points as Iowa State knocked off Baylor 72-57 Saturday to snap the Bears’ four-game winning streak.
Diante Garrett had 16 points and 11 assists for the Cyclones (14-4, 1-2), who picked up their first Big 12 win and improved to 9-0 against Baylor at home.
Vanderbeken and Christopherson, who looked like he’s finally over a nagging sore elbow, combined to shoot 12 of 16 from 3-point range, helping turn a tight game into an easy one in the second half.
“It was just one of those days,” Vanderbeken said. “Like throwing a rock into the ocean.”
Iowa State let the Bears get within a point early in the second half before pulling away with a 15-5 run midway through the second half. Vanderbeken then drained a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Cyclones ahead 69-53 with 4:19 left.
LaceDarius Dunn had 20 points to lead Baylor (12-4, 2-1), which next hosts No. 3 Kansas on Monday night. The Bears, who entered play with one of the nation’s top scoring defenses, let Iowa State shoot 50 percent from the floor and 56 percent from 3-point range.
Baylor looked on the verge of reasserting itself in the Big 12 after beating Texas Tech and Oklahoma. But the Bears let Iowa State control the game for the final 30 minutes and paid for it with their first blowout loss of the season.
That’s not a good sign with the unbeaten Jayhawks set to visit Waco.
The Bears pulled within 45-44 on a 3-pointer by Anthony Jones early in the second half. Christopherson and Vanderbeken got the Cyclones rolling again, though, nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to put Iowa State ahead 55-48 with just over 12 minutes left.
Garrett got into the act after that, taking Perry Jones III off the dribble from the point and faking back to create enough space for an easy 10-foot bank shot to make it 60-51. Garrett then ripped the ball from Dunn on the wing and hit a trailing Calvin Godfrey for a one-handed dunk that put the Cyclones ahead 62-51 with 9:01 left.
Vanderbeken’s open 3-pointer made it a 16-point game — and he added one final rock in the ocean with 51 seconds left.
After trailing by as many as eight points midway through the first half, Iowa State closed with a 25-10 run and took a 39-32 lead into halftime.
“We just kept playing, that’s all. Playing with poise and being smart and not taking any plays off,” Garrett said.
A.J. Walton scored 12 points and Jones III added 10 for the Bears, who were ranked as high as ninth a month ago.
A 1-3 skid that included neutral-court losses to Gonzaga, Washington State and Florida State sent them tumbling out of the polls, but none of those losses was by more than seven points.
We knew they had some shooters on their team and we had to stop them,” Dunn said. “But we just didn’t.”
Iowa State’s first two Big 12 games were encouraging for a team picked to finish last in the league, but the Cyclones didn’t produce any wins. They blew a late lead at Nebraska and lost 63-62, then gave Kansas all it could handle before falling short.
Iowa State finally got that first league win with a strong effort against the Bears — one it really needed with road games at Oklahoma State and Missouri on tap for next week.
“It feels great. Hopefully, I will sleep tonight,” Hoiberg said. “I haven’t slept through the last two.”
Baylor remained the only Big 12 team to never win at Hilton Coliseum. It looked like Saturday might have been the day the Bears snapped that streak, but they allowed the Cyclones to shoot their way to another victory in Ames.
“Our defensive lapsed today and we have to give Iowa State credit,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “You need to bring ‘The Mayor’ in here and congratulate him on many wins to come.”