AMES, IOWA — Even when Iowa State’s at times double figure lead began to evaporate in the final stretch Saturday, the group emitted what proved to be a deceptive feel of control at the comfy confines of home.
Those illusions took all of 78 seconds to disappear.
“We got just a little too comfortable,” Matt Thomas said. “I thought we were in control basically the whole game and then all of a sudden it was tied and then they took the lead. They just made big plays.”
Iowa State jumped to a 10-point lead less than five minutes into its matchup with Baylor and led by 11 with 14 minutes remaining at a place where few arrive and ultimately depart with a victory. Yet Baylor has now done just that in consecutive trips after two second-half runs led it to a surprising 94-89 win Saturday.
The Bears began their ascent to victory first at the 13:48 mark of the second half when they used an 11-0 run in a span of 1 minutes, 54 seconds to tie the game at 58-all with just less than 12 minutes to play.
Still, Iowa State felt and appeared in control.
The Cyclones nudged their lead to four and still led 73-70 seven minutes after the game had been tied when the barrage hit.
Baylor’s Johnathan Motley, who finished with 27, began the flurry when he hit a jumper and followed it up 16 seconds later with another to take the lead. Then Lester Medford hit a 3 and 22 seconds later completed an and-one.
In a span of 78 seconds, Baylor had taken an 80-73 lead.
“You’ve got to take care of home and we didn’t do it,” coach Steve Prohm said afterward. “The tough thing is we were really in control of the game really for most stretches in the game.”
The Bears shot 61 percent in the game’s second half, including 5-of-8 from 3. Iowa State, meanwhile, struggled from 3-point range outside of a late run from Monte Morris that came up short in the five-point loss.
“They went on a run and we sort of got punched in the mouth and we need to do better at responding,” said Georges Niang, who scored 22 points and added six rebounds and eight assists. “Coach has been preaching to us building on our foundation. This is a learning experience as much as it is a season and we’ve got to learn, come together and get stop and rebounds and punch them back."
Not doing so cost Iowa State on this Saturday.
“It happened fast,” coach Steve Prohm said of the runs. “That kills you. You’re up 11 [with 14] minutes to go at home you’ve got to close that game. Bottom line.”