"I'm really proud of the way the guys responded after not making a good start," ISU head coach Greg McDermott said. "We exploited a few things with the ball screens annd defense, and were able to get baskets in the first seven or eight possessions after that."
ISU went into the break with a 33-29 lead despite falling behind 15-5 in the opening minutes. Craig Brackins had 11 first-half points behind four monster dunks.
The Cyclones went up by seven points (33-26) after Jamie Vanderbeken nailed a trey with :09 seconds left, but Curtis Jerrells came down and buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to four.
Vanderbeken's 3-pointer was ISU's sixth of the first period and the Cyclones' 204th of the season, breaking the shool's team single-season trey mark. The previous record was 203 set by the 2006-07 squad.
The Cyclone lead ballooned to 13 points (42-29) at the first media timeout, as ISU scored the first nine points of the second period. Lucca Staiger hit a trey and Justin Hamilton scored on a put-back to help get the Cyclones off to a fast start after intermission.
ISU maintained its comfortable lead with 9:55 left in the game after Staiger hit another trey to push ISU up 56-42. Diante Garrett later knocked down a jumper to give the Cyclones a 67-47 lead with 4:50 left.
"We've had some rough stretches in conference play, but I refuse to believe these guys are as poor shooters as the numbers would indicate," McDermott added. "I'm lucky because I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys that stick with one another, and that's a big reason we got the win tonight."
ISU outrebounded Baylor, 37-31, improving to 9-1 this season when outboarding its opponent. The Cyclones made 15-of-16 free-throws in the win.
Garrett and Bryan Petersen each added 10 points for the Cyclones.