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Big 12 Tournament: Iowa State gets its mojo back in win over Baylor

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Facebook Email Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest 'Been a long time coming': Iowa State gets it mojo back in win over Baylor Iowa State coach Steve Prohm reminded his team of all the good things they had accomplished before the Big 12 Tournament.

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'Been a long time coming': Iowa State gets it mojo back in win over Baylor Tommy Birch , Des Moines Register Published 4:05 p.m. CT March 14, 2019 | Updated 5:25 p.m. CT March 14, 2019 CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN COMMENT EMAIL MORE KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Earlier this week, Iowa State coach Steve Prohm gathered his team at the Sukup Basketball Complex. Before the Cyclones started watching film, Prohm went through his team's season and started highlighting some of their big accomplishments: 20 victories, a finish in the top half of the Big 12 Conference standings and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament that was coming their way.

Prohm wanted to remind his team that despite all the struggles they had been going through lately, the Cyclones were still a talented team that could do a lot of damage down the stretch. The hope was to instill some confidence in his struggling team and let them know they were as good as anybody.

“We’ve got a good team,” Prohm said. “You’re not going to keep a really good team (down). We’re not going to go out like that.”

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Mark Vital #11 of the Baylor Bears and Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones compere for a rebound during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen Baylor guard Mario Kegler (4) lands on the floor after being fouled by Iowa State forward Michael Jacobson, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie (33) ties up Iowa State guard Nick Weiler-Babb, bottom, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen Baylor guard Devonte Bandoo, middle, passes to a teammate while covered by Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton (22) and forward Michael Jacobson (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie (33) blocks a shot by Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen Baylor guard Jared Butler (12) knocks the ball away from Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen Baylor head coach Scott Drew yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Orlin Wagner, AP Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Lindell Wigginton #5 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives toward the basket during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament against the Baylor Bears at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Lindell Wigginton #5 of the Iowa State Cyclones shoots as King McClure #3 and Mark Vital #11 of the Baylor Bears defend during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Mark Vital #11 of the Baylor Bears passes over Lindell Wigginton #5 of the Iowa State Cyclones after recovering a loose ball during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Marial Shayok #3 of the Iowa State Cyclones shoots over Freddie Gillespie #33 of the Baylor Bears during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones shoots as Jared Butler #12 of the Baylor Bears defends during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones shoots over Mario Kegler #4 of the Baylor Bears during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Lindell Wigginton #5 of the Iowa State Cyclones scores during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament against the Baylor Bears at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Freddie Gillespie #33 of the Baylor Bears battles Talen Horton-Tucker #11 and Michael Jacobson #12 of the Iowa State Cyclones for a rebound during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Mark Vital #11 of the Baylor Bears and Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones compere for a rebound during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Tyrese Haliburton #22 of the Iowa State Cyclones scores on a fast break during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament against the Baylor Bears at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Lindell Wigginton #5 of the Iowa State Cyclones shoots a free throw during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament against the Baylor Bears at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 14: Cameron Lard #2 of the Iowa State Cyclones celebrates with Talen Horton-Tucker #11 after a basket during the quarterfinal game of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament against the Baylor Bears at Sprint Center on March 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 20 2 of 20 3 of 20 4 of 20 5 of 20 6 of 20 7 of 20 8 of 20 9 of 20 10 of 20 11 of 20 12 of 20 13 of 20 14 of 20 15 of 20 16 of 20 17 of 20 18 of 20 19 of 20 20 of 20 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Iowa State is making sure it won't. The fifth-seed Cyclones took down fourth-seed Baylor, 83-66, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center on Thursday. With the win, Iowa State moved into Friday’s semifinals and in the process, may have finally gotten back on track.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Iowa State point guard Nick Weiler-Babb.

It certainly has for Iowa State, which has been in a funk it seemed like it couldn’t snap out of for nearly a month. It started at the end of February, when the Cyclones dropped back-to-back games with Baylor and at Texas Christian. The Cyclones followed that up with a win against Oklahoma but dropped devastating road losses at Texas and West Virginia. They closed out the regular season with a loss to Texas Tech.

When it was all said and done, Iowa State, which was once in the hunt for a Big 12 regular season title, was out of the picture and its hope of making a run in March seemed to be dying. Fast.

"I think that we weren’t in the mood and things like that," said Iowa State guard Lindell Wigginton. "And we weren’t locked in and focused."

Sensing that his team’s confidence had taken a hit, Prohm gathered his team before they left for Kansas City and took them on a trip down memory lane to remind everyone of some of the brighter moments in Iowa State’s season. The Cyclones just needed to duplicate their level of play from that time: fight for rebounds, stay committed on defense and come together as a team.

“I really thought that, sometimes, seasons get long,” Prohm said. “Sometimes, you get hit a little bit and you’ve got to figure out how they’re going to respond. You knew they were going to respond at some point.”

NEWSLETTERS Get the High School Sports newsletter delivered to your inbox We're sorry, but something went wrong Highlights and top stories on high school sports and athletes. Please try again soon, or contact Customer Service at 1-877-424-0225. Delivery: Mon-Sun Invalid email address Thank you! You're almost signed up for High School Sports Keep an eye out for an email to confirm your newsletter registration. More newsletters The Cyclones did Thursday.

CLOSE Talen Horton-Tucker was a star on the Big 12’s big stage Randy Peterson, rpeterson@dmreg.com

They shot 51.7 percent (30-for-58) from the field including 52 percent (13-25) from 3-point range. Three players scored in double figures, including Talen Horton-Tucker, who poured in a game-high 21 points. And Iowa State clamped down defensively, like Prohm had hoped, allowing the Bears to shoot just 43.1 percent (25-58) from the field while forcing 14 turnovers. His goal for his team was to limit Baylor to eight 3-pointers or fewer. The Bears tallied nine, but the final didn’t come until late in the second half when Iowa State was already well on its way to a win.

“I think everybody in the league knows: When they’re on, they’re capable of being a Final Four team,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew.

And more importantly, Iowa State showed some toughness that Weiler-Babb said he thought the Cyclones were missing over the stretch their losing streak and during both their regular season losses to the Bears.

"I thought we just played tough," Weiler-Babb said. "We played gritty. We played grimy. And that's how you've got to win this time of year. Everybody's good. With a team like Baylor, that plays big like that, we just have to be playing grimy and get those 50-50 balls."

Babb said he sensed things were trending in the right direction when the Cyclones gave Texas Tech a scare in their regular season finale before falling. That's why he was excited to get another shot at the Bears.

"It was really good to see them in the first round today, just to show that we kind of bounced back from what we've been doing."

They've come so far, so fast that Prohm said Thursday's victory reminded him of Iowa State's win at Kansas State back in February. That ended up being Iowa State's last victory before the Cyclones went into a tailspin. Now, the goal is to build momentum, something Iowa State's struggled to do this season. But the Cyclones have faith they've turned the corner, for good.

"We feel like we've been to the mountain top and we've been to the bottom," Horton-Tucker said. "Just being able to get back, creep back on top — it's going to be good for us. I think that we're able to do that."

CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN COMMENT EMAIL MORE Share your feedback to help improve our site experience! NEWSLETTERS Get the High School Sports newsletter delivered to your inbox We're sorry, but something went wrong Highlights and top stories on high school sports and athletes. Please try again soon, or contact Customer Service at 1-877-424-0225. Delivery: Mon-Sun Invalid email address Thank you! You're almost signed up for High School Sports Keep an eye out for an email to confirm your newsletter registration. More newsletters More Stories Iowa State dominates Baylor in Big 12 Tournament March 14, 2019, 5:26 p.m. Study: Des Moines is one of the worst college hoops cities. Our response: What a joke. March 14, 2019, 10:02 a.m. Megan Gustafson, Bridget Carleton named ESPN all-Americans March 14, 2019, 12:08 p.m. Iowa State gets back on track in win over Baylor March 14, 2019, 5:25 p.m. Mailbag: Will Iowa capitalize on TE success? Bowen Born's stock? March 14, 2019, 3:06 p.m. Peterson: Momentum, not seeding, the Big 12 goal for Iowa State March 13, 2019, 1:48 p.m. Subscribe Now