Feb. 13, 2012
WACO, Texas (AP) - Perry Jones III and Baylor never lost confidence, even while losing consecutive games for the second time in a month.
They got back on track in a hurry.
Jones rediscovered his shooting touch with 18 points and the ninth-ranked Bears rebounded from two big losses with a 79-64 victory over Iowa State on Monday night, two days after losing at Missouri by the same margin.
"The coaching staff and my teammates kept me confident even though my shot didn't fall the past week or so," Jones said. "They still kept me shooting the ball. It'll go in. It's just not going in right now. At first, I was sort of down because I felt like I wasn't making nothing and hurting my team, but they kept me in the groove."
Jones already had 10 points by halftime, one more than he had combined last week when Baylor (22-4, 9-4 Big 12) lost to No. 4 Kansas and No. 3 Missouri in consecutive games for the second time this season.
The Bears are undefeated against the rest of the Big 12 and everybody else they have played, and clearly proven themselves as the league's third-best team for now. Iowa State (18-8, 8-5) had won four of its previous five games to tie them for third place.
"We definitely needed to bounce back," freshman Quincy Miller said. "Our confidence was still up, but those were very hard blows."
Miller, who matched Jones with 8-of-13 shooting, added 16 points for the Bears. Anthony Jones had 12 points and Quincy Acy 11.
Jones, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, was a combined 3 for 20 in the two games last week.
In Baylor's previous home game last Wednesday, Jones dunked an alley-oop pass to start the game but missed his next seven shots while scoring only five points in the 68-54 loss. Jones was only 2-of-12 shooting Saturday in a 72-57 loss at Missouri.
Melvin Ejim had 17 points to lead the Cyclones. Royce White added 14 points with seven turnovers after scoring a career-high 25 points in a 69-46 win over Texas A&M.
"We were great, had probably our best effort against A&M on Saturday, and that's got to be the constant," Iowa State coach Fed Hoiberg said. "You have to defend every night to give yourself a chance to win. I don't get how we defended as well as we did on Saturday and turn and come back tonight and have the type of effort that we did."
Baylor shot 60 percent (33 of 55) in the game, with 24 assists and only eight turnovers.
Even when the Cyclones shot 55 percent (16 of 29) in the second half, Baylor made 72 percent (21 of 29) in that same span - many on dunks while scoring 32 points in the paint
Baylor never trailed. Brady Heslip opened the game with a 3-pointer before Jones had two free throws and then made a 13-foot jumper for a 7-0 lead.
"This is a much better press conference than the last two," coach Scott Drew said after the game. "Everyone's going to face adversity, it's really how you get up from it. We've had outstanding leadership this entire year and I thought they did a great job getting us ready to play today. ... The guys really responded and played well."
The Cyclones were within 48-42 when Tyrus McGee hit a 3-pointer from the left side with 12:42 left.
After a timeout, Jones scored on thunderous dunk off an alley-oop pass from Miller, who then responded with a one-handed slam after White had gone around him on the other end for a dunk.
Baylor stretched the lead to 58-46 when Jones drove hard for a layup. Another dunk off an alley-oop by Jones, this one from Acy, made it 72-57 with just under 3 minutes left.
The Cyclones have lost six consecutive games in Waco, where they last won in 2000. The teams play again in the regular season finale March 3 at Iowa State.
White's jumper about 8 minutes into the game had gotten Iowa State within 13-9.
But Anthony Booker was called for a technical foul after the made basket, with officials reviewing the replay that showed him tied up with Acy.
Pierre Jackson made both free throws on the technical. Baylor retained possession and Gary Franklin hit a 3-pointer for an 18-9 lead.
The closest Iowa State got after that was 22-19 after Ejim's steal led to Perry Gibson's layup.
Baylor put an end to that 8-0 spurt with Miller's pass to Jones for another two-handed slam. That was already his third field goal, matching his total from last week.
"This is the way we're supposed to play," Miller said of his connection with Jones. "It's coming along well."