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January 7, 2014

Iowa State 87, Baylor 72

After giving up nine straight points to Baylor to fall behind early in the second half, Iowa State was ready to make a statement.

The Cyclones went on a 44-21 spree over a 15-minute stretch of the second half to win going away in a battle of top ten teams Tuesday night at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. ISU's 87-72 triumph established a new school record for consecutive wins at 14 as Iowa State improved to 14-0 on the year and made its case for being ranked even higher than this week's #9 in the media poll and #7 in the coaches poll.

But, of course, ISU will have to answer one more big challenge before the next polls come out. The Cyclones go back on the road Saturday for a Big 12 game at Oklahoma.

Iowa State got a huge night from DeAndre Kane in the win over the Bears. Kane scored 30 points on the night, including 17 in the first half. Melvin Ejim had 18 points in the game and Monte Morris scored 13. Kane also had eight rebounds and nine assists in the win, flirting with a triple double as he played his best game as a Cyclone.

The Cyclones led by seven points on two occasions in the first half, the last coming at 40-33 with 1:38 to go before halftime. But Baylor scored the final five points of the first half and the first four points of the second half to take a 42-40 lead with 18:42 to go in the ball game.

That was when Iowa State exploded. An Ejim bucket tied the game at 42 and Kane scored six in a row for ISU to make it 48-45 Cyclones at the 16:43 mark. Ejim threw down an acrobatic two-handed dunk off an assist from Kane to make it 52-45 with 15:31 left in the game. But Ejim was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim after the spectacular play. That put damper on the potential ISU momentum and Baylor continued to hang around.

A Naz Long three made it 55-48 with just under 14 minutes to play. An Ejim layup pushed it to 57-48 at the 13:32 mark and the Cyclones had their first double-digit lead with 11:46 to go on a layup by Morris. And Long made another three with 9:29 left in the game to give Iowa State its biggest lead to that point at 68-54.

Again, Baylor had a brief answer. The Bears scored five straight points to get back within nine at 68-59. Then Iowa State put together a 16-4 salvo over the next five minutes and change in the game. Jumpers by Morris and Georges Niang made it 72-59 and then back-to-back layups by Hogue and Kane bloated the lead to 76-59 with just over six minutes to play.

It was Morris who gave Iowa State its biggest lead of the game at 84-63, tossing in a long-range three-pointer as the shot clock was winding down and the Cyclones led by 21 with 2:52 to go.

Early on, Iowa State looked like anything but a team that was destined to score 87 points on the night. Baylor jumped out to a 9-2 lead and ISU only had six points with eight minutes gone from the start of the game. The Cyclones took their first lead on a Kane three-point play to make it 19-18 with 8:14 to go in the first half. Kane had 15 of ISU's 19 points at that juncture.

The win was Iowa State's 12th in as many meetings with Baylor at Hilton Coliseum. The teams play again Tuesday, March 4th, in Waco, Texas.

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