Ames, Iowa—Baylor beat No. 12 ranked Iowa State 76-70, Saturday evening at Hilton Coliseum before a crowd of 11,788. The Cyclones fall to 15-6 overall and 7-4 in Big 12 action, while Baylor improves to 16-6 overall and 8-3 in conference play.
Baylor worked the block area, the Bears got 25 of their 28 fourth-quarter points off either shots in the paint or free throws in the fourth quarter.
Ja’Mee Asberry and Sarah Andrews combined to score 35 points, including 10 apiece in the fourth, helping Baylor (16-6, 7-3) win its third contest in a row, fourth against a top-25 team and 10th in its last 11 trips to Ames.
“I thought we played aggressive to the rim,” Baylor coach Nicki Collen said. “We put foul pressure on them, and we made enough free throws. We got some easy ones around the rim attacking. But really, down the stretch, it was our ability to play downhill, get some layups and get to the foul line.”
Iowa State trailed by two at the half 33-31 despite Ashley Joens’ 15 first-half points. The Cyclones had a 29-27 lead but didn’t score until the final 4:14 of the half. ISU entered the break trailing at the break at Hilton Coliseum for the first time this season.
Joens posted her 10th 20-point game this season and the 67th of her career, finishing with 23 for the game.
“They’re really well-coached and know what they’re trying to do,” Collen said of Iowa State, which lost its first home game of the season (10-1) and just its third over the past two seasons (26-3). “You’ve got to move to second and third options. I thought Ja’Mee Asberry did an unbelievable job down the stretch of attacking downhill, getting to the foul line and getting some and-ones, even.”
In the second half, Nyamer Diew scored 13 points in the third quarter and Joens put ISU ahead by one point with a free throw late in the third as the teams went into the final frame with ISU leading 49-48.
Diew finished 10-for-13 on the hardwood and 3-for-4 from downtown to post her first career game finishing with 20 points. She finished with 25 points and also had five rebounds.
The Cyclones held a 55-52 lead with 8:20 left in the fourth but the Baylor Bears went on a 24-15 run and made crucial stops down the stretch.
“I thought Buggs competed. The shot she blocked late was really big,”Collen said. “She finally recognized that you’re not done guarding (Joens) just because she gets down to the block. That’s when she starts to wheel and play under you. You’ve got to stay loose enough that you can go to the ball and get it.”
Asberry, who was scoreless in the first half, hit a runner in the paint and then knocked down two free throws to up the Bears’ lead to 70-64. Although Iowa State scored three buckets in the last 44 seconds, they never got closer than five points the rest of the game.
This was the 16th time this season, Baylor outrebounded its opponent, besting Iowa State, 37-34, on the boards.
Freshman Darianna Littlepage-Buggs recorded her third-straight double-double and team-high 10th of the season with 13 points and 12 boards. She made arguably the defensive play of the game when she blocked Joens shot with 2:16 left and Baylor holding on to a two-point advantage.
“Disappointed in the outcome,” said Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly, who was going for his 750th career win. We got beat by a better team. It’s a make-shot, miss-shot game – credit to them. It was a tough week by our team, but we’ll see how we respond and move forward.”
The Cyclones are back in action next Saturday at West Virginia at 5 p.m.