Iowa State Beats Baylor 71-62

Baylor tried to stick a 7-foot-1 reserve center on Iowa State's Craig Brackins, the latest effort by an opponent to stop the Cyclones star.

Though it worked to start the game, the Bears could only keep Brackins and his teammates down for so long.

Brackins scored 19 points -- all in the final 30 minutes -- and grabbed 12 rebounds as Iowa State beat Baylor 71-62 Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Bryan Petersen and Diante Garrett each added 10 points for the Cyclones, who led by as much as 20 late in the second half and won for just the second time since Jan. 14.

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Iowa State coach Greg McDermott praised his team's work ethic and attitude after the game, saying the win was a prime example of how neither has wavered despite the Cyclones struggles.

"I'm getting a lot of questions about what are you doing to motivate this team. Fortunately for me, I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys that, I don't have to come up with any crazy ways to motivate them to practice hard and get ready for the next game," Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said. "They've stuck with one another"

Iowa State broke open a tight affair with a 13-4 run to open the second half. The Cyclones (14-14, 3-10 Big 12) pushed a four-point halftime lead to 46-33, and Petersen's transition layup with 12:31 left put Iowa State ahead 53-37.

Diante Garrett's jumper with 4:49 left made it 67-47. The Bears closed the second half on a 15-4 run, making the final score appear closer than the game really was.

Tweety Carter had 20 points and Curtis Jerrells added 11 for Baylor (16-11, 4-9), losers of eight of its last nine games.

The Bears, who opened the game with a 15-5 run, shot 4-of-27 from 3-point range and fell to 0-8 at Hilton Coliseum.

"We missed a couple bad shots and then things went downhill," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Once we got down, it seemed to snowball."

Iowa State opened the second half with five quick points, as Lucca Staiger's 3 push Iowa State's lead to 38-29. Drew then picked up a technical foul, and Petersen hit both free throws. Justin Hamilton followed with a putback, and Petersen wove through three Baylor defenders for a transition layup that made it 46-33.

"This was the first time all season I was disappointed with our effort, especially in the first 10 minutes of the second half," Drew said.

Baylor held Iowa State just one field goal in the first six minutes and jumped ahead by as much as 15-5.

McDermott played 11 different players in the first half as he tried to find a combination that worked. The Cyclones eventually responded with a 13-2 run, capped when Wes Eikmieier buried a long 3 to put the Cyclones ahead 18-17.

"The fact that they stuck with it and trusted each other -- Craig was really patient tonight, and let it come to him -- and the rest of the guys made that extra pass against the zone defense," McDermott said.

The Bears started center Mamadou Diene for the first time since Jan. 14 in an effort to stop Brackins. It looked like a smart move early on, as Brackins didn't score until midway through the first half.

Brackins got it going as the half drew to a close, though, throwing down a pair of highlight reel dunks -- including a one-hander off an inbounds pass -- to help Iowa State grab a 33-29 lead.

Brackins fell one point shy of his 10th game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.

Diene finished with four points, two rebounds and four fouls in just 12 minutes.

"I think the key for them was probably just to have him use his length to try and throw me off if I tried to throw up a shot or something," Brackins said. "We swung it around to our teammates and they came through."

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