Behind a strong fourth quarter, No. 1 seed Baylor was able to take down No. 2 seed Iowa State 67-49 in the Big 12 Tournament Championship game.
Baylor finished the Big 12 slate as the top team in both the regular season and Big 12 tournament. Iowa State struggled to score, and the team struggled shooting the three ball. Despite struggles offensively, the game was close until the fourth quarter where Baylor vastly outplayed the Cyclones.
A Baylor sweep
It was the third game played between the Cyclones and Baylor. Baylor won the first game 84-69 and won the second game 73-60.
This season, Baylor has had a historic season where it has swept the Big 12 regular season, going 18-0 and capturing the Big 12 regular season title while also taking home the tournament trophy.
In the Big 12 Tournament, Baylor won its first game versus Texas Tech 100-61 and followed that win with another against Kansas State, 88-60.
If Iowa State would have won the game, it would have been the team’s first Big 12 Championship since 2001. The team has won two total tournament championships with the first coming in 2000.
During the game, Iowa State shot 37.7 percent overall and 20 percent from three.
The Cyclones shot 15 threes with only three of those shots connecting, which isn’t a recipe for success for a team reliant on the three ball and lacking size to battle with Baylor in the post.
Of all of Iowa State’s points scored this season, 33.9 percent of those points have come by way of 3-point tries.
Carleton, Middleton lead Cyclones
Iowa State’s Bridget Carleton, who won Big 12 Player of the Year, scored 13 points, had six rebounds and registered two assists.
Carleton was the league’s scoring leader in the regular season and has averaged 21.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
Meanwhile, Carleton’s teammate Alexa Middleton totaled 18 points to lead all scorers. She added three assists.
After the game, both Carleton and Middleton were announced as being members of the Big 12 Tournaments All-Tournament team along with Baylor’s Lauren Cox, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the championship game.
Baylor’s Kalani Brown was named the tournament's MVP and against the Cyclones she had 17 points and seven rebounds.
The only other Lady Bear in double figures during the game was Chloe Jackson with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Baylor dominated the game in the paint and only attempted three 3-point attempts with none of them connecting.
Despite poor shooting from the Cyclones, the score was 48-44 in favor of Baylor entering the fourth quarter. The Lady Bears went on a run and held Iowa State on defense.
Baylor scored 19 fourth quarter points while the Cyclones only managed five.
Moving forward, both teams are predicted to be high seeds in the NCAA Tournament, which begins March 22.
Baylor figures to be the tournament's No. 1 seed due to the team's No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 and an automatic bid from winning the Big 12 Tournament.
Iowa State is slated to be a 4 seed as an at-large bid according to ESPN's bracketologist Charlie Creme.
Teams seeded 1-4 in the NCAA Tournament host the first two games on their home campus. Iowa State was ranked as a 4 seed in the NCAA's latest top-16 reveal on March 4.