Published March 16, 2014
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - DeAndre Kane supplied 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and No. 16 Iowa State used a late spurt to secure its first Big 12 Tournament title in 14 years with a 74-65 triumph over Baylor.
The Cyclones (26-7) didn't take their first lead until 2013-14 Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim followed a Naz Long 3-pointer with a triple of his own to give Iowa State a 53-50 edge with under six minutes left.
Baylor's Isaiah Austin answered with a three-point play and added a jumper shortly thereafter before Brady Heslip buried a trey for a 58-56 Bears' lead with four minutes remaining.
However, Long and Ejim countered with back-to-back triples to spark a decisive 10-2 swing from the Cyclones.
Baylor (24-11) got as close as four following Cory Jefferson's tip-in with 1:08 left, but ISU went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to seal the outcome.
Georges Niang netted 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Dustin Hogue and Long each scored 12 points, and Ejim finished with 10 points and nine boards for the Cyclones, who claimed their second Big 12 Tournament title in school history and first since 2000.
"It was all about keeping our composure down the stretch," Ejim said. "We knew that we were going to make a run just like they made a run and it was just a matter of time until shots started falling and we were going to jump out on them."
Kenny Chery registered 16 points and Heslip supplied 14 for Baylor, which fell to 0-3 in Big 12 Tournament Championship games.
"They've got a great team," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said of the Cyclones. "And as I told them before the game, hopefully I see them at the Final Four the next time. So that's what we'll both work for."
Baylor led 32-27 at the break and held the Cyclones at bay for the first half of the final frame, as a Jefferson jumper gave the Bears a 49-41 edge with just under 10 1/2 minutes to play.
The Cyclones turned up the intensity on the defensive end from there, as they held Baylor without a field goal over the next four-plus minutes.
During the drought, ISU reeled off a 12-1 run, culminating in consecutive 3- pointers from Long and Ejim to give the Cyclones their first lead.
Iowa State struggled to find the bottom of the net in the early going, missing its first 13 shots from the field to fall behind by 10 points just over seven minutes into the game.
Long finally drained a 3-pointer with 12:27 to play in the first half and Kane followed with two free throws to get ISU within five, but the Cyclones failed to get any closer until late in the frame.
With the margin at eight, 28-20, and just under two minutes left before the break, Monte Morris sank a 3-pointer and Niang converted back-to-back buckets during a 7-1 swing that got the Cyclones within 29-27.
However, Chery hit three free throws with two seconds left to send Baylor into the break with a five-point lead.
The fourth-seeded Cyclones became the first team in the 18-year history of the Big 12 Conference Tournament to win the crown when seeded lower than No. 3 ... Iowa State leads the all-time series, 17-10 ... The Bears also played in and lost the championship game in 2009 and 2012 ... Iowa State shot 50 percent from the floor, including 53.3 percent from 3-point range ... ISU outrebounded Baylor, 38-28.