AMES, Iowa -- The cloud hanging over Iowa State was its inability to finish off the last few minutes of its conference games.
Its five-star freshman ensured that wouldn’t happen against Baylor.
The Cyclones and Bears traded the lead 12 times, but ISU outlasted Baylor 75-65 in the final minutes to pick up its first conference win of the season.
“I thought down the stretch we executed,” ISU coach Steve Prohm said. “We made great steps today.”
ISU (10-6, 1-4) was the last Big 12 team to win a league game. The Cyclones (10-6, 1-4) suffered overtime losses to Texas and Oklahoma State in which they led late and saw a 73-73 game in the final four minutes against Kansas get away from them at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this week.
ISU freshman Lindell Wigginton had a career-high 30 points and added in 39 minutes with five 3-pointers. Redshirt freshman Cameron Lard, who fouled out late, added 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Junior Nick Weiler-Babb had 15 points, nine assists and seven boards.
ISU built a seven-point lead through the first half with Wigginton hitting three of the Cyclones first four 3-pointers. Foul trouble from Lard and sophomore Solomon Young, though, saw that lead disappear in the second half.
Lard and Young each went to the bench in the first few minutes of the second half with three fouls apiece, and the Bears tied the game at 42-42 with just less than 13 minutes remaining. ISU went 0 for 8 from the field and a scoring drought of 2 minutes, 11 seconds.
ISU shot its way back into the lead, though, and another Wigginton 3-pointer put ISU ahead four with 6 minutes, 6 seconds remaining. ISU made 5 of 7 shots to build a six-point lead with just more than four minutes remaining and were able to hold on the rest of the way.
After falling behind by three with under 8 minutes to play, the Cyclones outscored Baylor 22-10 to claim victory.
“I thought that we took a lot of hits that they gave us, and we delivered them right back,” Nick Weiler-Babb said after his day of 15 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. “We haven’t really put a complete game together, and I thought today was one of our more complete games we’ve played so far.
“I think we definitely played more tough than we have.”
Jeff Beverly started ISU’s first 14 games before moving to the bench for freshman Lard. He played just six minutes that first game as a reserve before not seeing the floor Tuesday against Kansas.
He played 10 minutes against Baylor, scoring five points and grabbing two rebounds.
“I wanted to give Jeff an opportunity,” Prohm said.
Jakolby Long and Zoran Talley Jr., though, did not get that opportunity. Both usual contributors did not see action against the Bears.
“You can’t keep analyzing who you’re going to play,” Prohm said. “You’ve got to roll with it, and then the next game it may be somebody different. That’s what they have to understand.
“They’ll get their opportunity.”
The Cyclones travel to TCU on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. tipoff (ESPNU).