Thomas, No. 9 Iowa State beats No. 7 Baylor 87-72
DeAndre Kane had a season-high 30 points with nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals as No. 9 Iowa State rolled past No. 7 Baylor 87-72 on Tuesday night, setting a school record with its 14th straight win.
Melvin Ejim added 18 points for the Cyclones (14-0, 2-0 Big 12). They outscored Baylor 47-34 in the second half and rolled to a surprisingly decisive win over a fellow Big 12 title contender.
Kane had 17 points in the first half, helping his struggling teammates take a two-point lead. The rest of the Cyclones got untracked early in the second half and blew past the Bears with a 28-12 run.
Gary Franklin and Brady Heslip both had 15 points for Baylor (12-2, 0-1), which saw its win streak snapped at six games.
Baylor couldn't have asked for a tougher draw to open Big 12. The Cyclones had already beaten ranked teams Michigan and Iowa at home this season and entered play 39-3 in Ames since 2011-12.
The Bears hung around until early in the second half, when Iowa State slowly but surely overwhelmed yet another visitor.
The Cyclones pushed their lead to 63-51 as Kane, a senior transfer from Marshall, and Monte Morris answered what seemed like a momentum-killing 3 from Heslip with layups.
Taurean Prince was called for a flagrant foul on Kane with just under 10 minutes left. Kane hit both free throws, and Naz Long's 3 put Iowa State ahead 68-54.
This was the first matchup of top 10 teams in Ames in 13 years.
It could end up having a huge say in the Big 12 title race.
Though Baylor and Iowa State were picked to finish behind Kansas and Oklahoma State, the prospect of the Bears and Cyclones competing for the league title suddenly looks a lot more realistic than it did in November.
The Jayhawks have already lost four times. The Cowboys dropped their Big 12 opener at Kansas State in their first game without center Michael Cobbins, who's out for the season with an Achilles injury.
Meanwhile, the Bears rolled into league play with just one loss — No. 2 Syracuse in Hawaii — and Iowa State's start remains the best in school history.
Baylor looked the part early, opening with three straight 3s to put the Cyclones in an early hole. But Kane kept Iowa State afloat with 15 of its first 19 points, and the Cyclones got around Baylor's size advantage by burying seven 3s for a 40-38 halftime lead.
The Bears had no answer for Kane — or Kane's teammates in the second half.
Isaiah Austin had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Baylor, which had 19 turnovers.
Official Gerry Pollard was injured early in the second half and didn't return.
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