Iowa State vs Baylor

Time: 07:00 P.M. EST
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Baylor is still uncertain of gaining an NCAA tournament at-large berth, but beating a ranked team can only help.

The Bears are 2-7 against Top 25 opponents and will play their final home game Tuesday night against No. 16 Iowa State.

Baylor (19-10, 7-9 Big 12) won for the fifth time in six games with Saturday's 59-49 home victory over Texas Tech. The Bears continue to dig their way out of a 2-8 Big 12 start after being ranked as high as No. 7 in the Jan. 6 poll.

''How we've approached the last six games has been...we gave ourselves a chance to win. And as long as we're playing, we control our own destiny,'' coach Scott Drew said. "I think the best thing this year is the Big 12 being ranked No. 1 conference in the country and the non-conference successes that the Big 12 had, I think that'll all play out Selection Sunday and that's when you're rewarded for playing in a great league."

Iowa State (22-6, 10-6) has less at stake, although it is in a tight race to finish second behind No. 8 Kansas. The Cyclones have won four straight in this series and are looking to get back on track after their four-game win streak ended with Saturday's 80-73 loss at Kansas State.

"When you feel like your back is up against the wall like Baylor does, you know you're definitely going to come out fighting," said Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim, who had 30 points and 16 rebounds against the Wildcats. "That's a tough situation to play against, when you know a team is going to come with everything they've got."

Baylor seniors Cory Jefferson, Brady Heslip and Gary Franklin will all play their final game at home, barring a contest in a postseason event other than the NCAA tournament.

"We want to send them out the right way, that's for sure," Drew said.

Jefferson will want to fare better than he did Saturday when he made 1 of 7 shots for eight points to go with seven rebounds in his penultimate home game. The Bears' top scorer averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds over his previous four contests.

"He's a guy I think has a long career ahead of him in the game of basketball at the highest level," said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg about Jefferson. "He's got great length, explosiveness, he can knock down shots, he does everything."

Jefferson was held to seven points in an 87-72 loss at Iowa State on Jan. 7. Heslip and Franklin led Baylor with 15 points apiece.

Franklin was starting at point guard at that time over Heslip, who has taken over to start the last 10 games. Cyclones freshman point guard Monte Morris was a reserve in that contest, and he has started the last nine and continues to lead the nation with a 6.06 assist-to-turnover ratio.

DeAndre Kane finished with 30 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals in the last meeting for Iowa State, which prevailed despite being outrebounded 40-31. The Bears lead the Big 12 in rebound margin at plus-8.1.

"We definitely want to get in there and crash and box those guys out," Kane said.

Ejim, who is tied with teammate Dustin Hogue for second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.6 per game, had 20 points and 12 boards in last season's 87-82 road win that ended the Cyclones' six-game slide in Waco.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Kansas13-527-93
Iowa St.12-625-99
Oklahoma12-624-1118
W. Virginia11-725-1024
Baylor11-724-1010
Texas8-1020-1442
Oklahoma St.8-1018-1449
Kansas St.8-1015-17100
TCU4-1418-15131
Texas Tech3-1513-19184

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