WACO, Texas – Baylor coach Scott Drew figures it will take his team some time to get back to normal after a three-week gap between games.
Even so, the No. 2 Bears are still undefeated. They finally overcame some of the rust and Iowa State for a 77-72 victory Tuesday night that made them 18-0 for the first time in school history.
“Really excited to win, really excited to be back,” Drew said. “Obviously does three weeks affect your play? 100 percent.”
Adam Flagler scored a season-high 22 points and Jared Butler had 15 of his 18 points after halftime for the Bears (18-0, 10-0 Big 12), who trailed by 17 in the first half, and never led until MaCio Teague made two free throws with 4:26 left in the game.
They hadn't played since an 83-69 win at then-No. 6 Texas on Feb. 2, when they had matched the best start in school history. Baylor then had six consecutive games postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the program, and hadn't even had another full practice until Sunday.
“The best way I can explain what was going on, guys were out for numerous reasons,” Flagler said. “Spending time apart makes it difficult to practice and everything."
With 6-foot-8 forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua out of the Baylor lineup, Mark Vital had 15 rebounds and three blocks.
Iowa State (2-17, 0-14) jumped out to a 15-4 lead in less than 6 1/2 minutes on a jumper by Tre Jackson. Their biggest lead was 32-15 when Tyler Harris made his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 6:24 left in the first half.