Guard Makai Mason heated up in the second half to lead Baylor to a 73-70 victory over Iowa State on Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.
Mason, who finished with a game-high 25 points, tossed in a pair of key 3-pointers and sunk 5 of 6 free throws in the second half to help the Bears fend off the Cyclones.
Baylor (9-5, 1-1 Big 12) bounced back from a road loss in its Big 12 opener at TCU on Saturday.
Iowa State trailed by eight at halftime, but had pushed ahead by a point midway through the second half when Mason nailed a 3-pointer from the left side to put the Bears in front.
Mason kept it up as he hit another trey on the Bears’ next trip down the floor to give Baylor a 57-52 lead with 9:02 remaining. And the Bears guard extended the lead to seven with a fast-break jumper about a minute later.
Iowa State battled back to take a two-point lead when guard Talen Horton-Tucker hit a 3-pointer with 3:03 left.
So Mason answered again with a jump shot in the lane to tie it at 66. That was Baylor’s final field goal as Mason stepped to the line to make 5 of 6 clutch free throws to put the Bears in front and keep them there.
Guard Devonte Bandoo nailed a pair of free throws of his own with five seconds left that gave the Bears a three-point lead.
That forced Iowa State guard Nick Weiler-Babb to take a desperation 3-pointer with Mason tight on him. The shot didn’t come close and the Bears grasped their first conference win of the season.
Tristan Clark scored 16 points and Bandoo finished with 13 to join Mason in double figures.
Baylor went on a 17-6 run in the final 4:08 of the first half to take a 38-30 lead to the break. Bandoo started it with a 3-pointer and Mason finished the surge by driving toward the baseline and tossing up a soft jumper that found its way into the basket at the first-half buzzer.
Iowa State led by as many as 7, taking a 23-16 edge when Marial Shayok hit a jumper with 5:32 left in the half.
But the Bears found the range on the way to shooting 51.7 percent in the first 20 minutes and sinking 5 3-pointers.
Mason and Clark each scored 10 to lead Baylor in the first half.