WACO, Texas (AP) — Brady Heslip’s final regular-season game at the Ferrell Center may just be the victory that helps get Baylor back into the NCAA tournament.
Heslip scored 18 points, with all five of his 3-pointers coming in the second half, and the Bears got a much-needed boost with a 74-61 victory over No. 16 Iowa State on Tuesday night. His tiebreaking 3 with 2:14 left started a game-ending 13-0 run.
There were 15 lead changes and four ties before Heslip put the Bears (20-10, 8-9 Big 12) ahead to stay.
And now the Bears, who have won seven of eight games since starting 2-8 in Big 12 play, feel confident they have what’s needed to get back in the NCAA field after having to settle for the NIT championship last season — a year after making it to an NCAA regional final.
The Cyclones, who lost at Kansas State on Saturday, were held under 70 points for the first time this season. Melvin Ejim, the Big 12’s leading scorer, had only six points — 13 below his average.
The Cyclones didn’t score after DeAndre Kane’s wide-open 3 tied the game at 61 with 4:10 left. That was their 12th 3-pointer in the game, only the second after halftime.
Kane had 20 points for Iowa State and Dustin Hogue added 12 for the Cyclones, who are home Saturday against Oklahoma State.
Ejim, playing on his 23rd birthday, missed his first eight shots before consecutive layups midway through the second half put the Cyclones up 49-48. The second layup came after a steal by Hogue. Ejim finished 3-of-14 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point attempts, and had nine rebounds.
Iowa State (22-7, 10-7), in the mix for the No. 2 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament, lost its second road game in four days.