Baylor falls to No. 16 Iowa State, 74-65

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 15, 2014 at 11:20 pm •  Published: March 15, 2014
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nobody could blame Baylor coach Scott Drew for shaking hands with Iowa State counterpart Fred Hoiberg, turning on his heel and promptly walking up the tunnel of the Sprint Center.

He had already seen a championship celebration from the losing bench. Twice.

After winning three games in three days to reach the Big 12 tournament title game, his No. 7 seed Bears finally ran out of steam. DeAndre Kane scored 17 points, Georges Niang added 13 and the No. 16 Cyclones rallied for a 74-65 victory and their first championship since 2000.

"I was really proud of our fight and our effort," Drew said in a back room, where he could still overhear the Cyclones' celebration on the floor. "They deserved to win."

Kenny Chery had 16 points for Baylor (24-11), which has never won a postseason conference tournament. Brady Heslip added 14 points, and Isaiah Austin and Royce O'Neale each had 10.

The Bears were trying to become the first champion to win four games in four days. Instead, they'll head into the NCAA tournament with plenty of momentum, a one-time bubble team that has won nine of its last 11 games — several of them in lopsided fashion.

"We've had ups and downs. We've been through it all," Heslip said. "We've been through more than probably any other team in our position has been in. We wanted to win this championship bad, but that isn't going to change how we approach the NCAA tournament."

Naz Long and Dustin Hogue had 12 points apiece for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (26-7), while Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Cyclones were buoyed by a group of supporters dressed in red, eager to see whether Hoiberg — who has already restored Hilton Magic — could start bringing home trophies, too.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Iowa State coach rounded the court with his finger raised — No. 1, as in the top of the Big 12, for only the second time in school history.

"The fist pump was such an emotional feeling for me," said Hoiberg, who dedicated the win to his beloved mentor, Johnny Orr, the former Cyclones coach who died in December.

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