AMES, Iowa (AP) — Senior point guard DeAndre Kane was supposed to be a one-year stopgap for Iowa State. Kane has evolved into one of the most versatile players in the country — and the surging Cyclones look like one of the best teams in the nation because of it. Kane had a season-high 30 points with nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals as No. 9 Iowa State rolled past No. 7 Baylor 87-72 on Tuesday night, setting a school record with its 14th straight win. Melvin Ejim added 18 points for the Cyclones (14-0, 2-0 Big 12), who outscored Baylor 47-34 in the second half and rolled to a surprisingly decisive win over a fellow Big 12 title contender. Gary Franklin and Brady Heslip both had 15 points for Baylor (12-2, 0-1), which saw its win streak snapped at six games.
Baylor couldn’t have asked for a tougher draw to open Big 12 play. The Cyclones had already beaten ranked teams Michigan and Iowa at home this season and entered play 39-3 in Ames since 2011-12. This was the first matchup of top 10 teams in Ames in 13 years.It could end up having a huge say in the Big 12 title race. Though Baylor and Iowa State were picked to finish behind Kansas and Oklahoma State, the prospect of the Bears and Cyclones competing for the league title suddenly looks a lot more realistic than it did in November.
The Jayhawks have already lost four times. The Cowboys dropped their Big 12 opener at Kansas State in their first game without center Michael Cobbins, who’s out for the season with an Achilles injury. Meanwhile, the Bears rolled into league play with just one loss — No. 2 Syracuse in Hawaii — and Iowa State’s start remains the best in school history.