With Baylor requiring a Top 25 road win that would fly off its NCAA competition continue, junior forward Freddie Gillespie conveyed bigly Tuesday night.
Gillespie recorded his first twofold of the period as he amassed 14 points and 10 bounce back as the Bears defeated No. 19 Iowa State, 73-69, preceding a stuffed place of 14,084 at Hilton Coliseum.
The success was the Bears’ first out and about over a Top 25 team this season as they improved to 17-9 overall and 8-5 in the Big 12 Conference with five regular season games remaining.
Playing his first period of Division I basketball after starting his career at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., Gillespie nailed seven of eight shots and blocked two shots. His rebounding helped the Bears win the boards, 44-28.
Huge numbers of his family and friends from Minnesota made the three-hour trek to Ames to watch him play on a cold night.
“I had my high school coach here, my mom, dad, sister and high school teammates and teammates from Carleton,” said Gillespie in his postgame radio interview. “The key to a big road win is to get going early. When the crowd does get going, you’ve got to calm down and take your best shot. I like shots under the basket because those are high percentage.”
Freshman Jared Butler led the Bears with 17 as he hit five of eight 3-pointers. Be that as it may, the nearness of senior point monitor Makai Mason can’t be thought little of.
In the wake of missing two of the last three recreations with a wounded toe, Mason hit only four of 18 field goals, but he nailed four clutch free throws in the final 35 seconds and got the ball to the right places for his teammates.
“We don’t win without him,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “Even if Makai misses a shot, he draws so much attention that he allows other people to have an advantage. It was a gutsy performance. Not practicing makes it a little tougher rhythm-wise. Hopefully from now on he won’t be sore because we like winning.”
Butler made one of the biggest shots of the game when he drained a 3-pointer to give the Bears a 69-65 lead with two minutes remaining. Then Gillespie blocked Nick Weiler-Babb’s shot before Mason hit a pair of free throws to give the Bears a 71-65 lead with 35 seconds to play.
Marial Shayok scored for Iowa State (19-7, 8-5) to slice Baylor’s lead to four. However, Mason hit two all the more free discards to put the game away for the Bears with 11 seconds remaining.
With Mason back in the lineup, the Bears appeared invigorated as they immediately jumped out to a 10-point lead midway through the first half.
After the Cyclones snatched a 9-4 lead with Talen Horton-Tucker’s 3-pointer, the Bears went on a 14-0 raced to get a 19-9 lead.
Butler started the streak with a 3-pointer before Mason nailed a short jumper. Mark Vital and Gillespie blocked Iowa State shots. Then the pair teamed up offensively as Vital rebounded a missed shot and passed to Gillespie for a dunk.
Butler pursued with his second 3-pointer before Flo Thamba and Mario Kegler scored on putbacks.
Despite the fact that Devonte Bandoo and Mason covered 3-pointers, the Cyclones started to wear down Baylor’s lead.
Both Lindell Wigginton and Horton-Tucker drove for baskets before Tyrese Halliburton stepped outside and drained a 3-pointer. Cameron Lard’s short jumper cut Baylor’s lead to 29-27 with 5:40 left in the first half.
All through whatever is left of the first half, Baylor and Iowa State traded baskets. Vital drove inside twice for baskets and Mason got loose for a layup. After Lard scored in the paint for the Cyclones, Kegler gave the Bears a 38-34 halftime lead by slicing inside for a basket.
The Cyclones at long last recaptured the lead out of the blue since the early minutes when Horton-Tucker scored on a switch layup to make it 44-42.
Be that as it may, Bandoo reacted with a 3-pointer before Gillespie scored on a putback to give the Bears a 47-44 edge.
The game continued to swing back and forth. After Kegler drained a 3-pointer, Wigginton answered with a trey for the Cyclones to cut Baylor’s lead to 50-49.
Following Shayok’s layup and free throw, the Bears regained the lead at 53-52 with Butler’s 3-pointer with 11 minutes remaining.