Key moment: After trailing 27-22 at halftime, Iowa cut Baylor’s lead to two, 27-25, on an Eric May 3-pointer with 18:20 left in the second half. But the Bears went on an 11-2 run in the first six minutes of the second half to take a 39-29 lead. Baylor never looked back, outscoring Iowa, 47-32, in the second half to cruise to the 20-point win. Last year, Minnesota lost the NIT title game to Stanford.
Key player: Iowa had no answer for Baylor big men Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin. Jefferson finished with 23 points, while Austin had 15. They hit a combined 14-of-18 shots and had 17 rebounds and six blocks.
Key number: 26, Iowa’s field-goal percentage (18-of-68). That doomed the Hawkeyes on this night, as Baylor countered with 54 percent shooting. Time and again, Iowa missed point-blank shots. Aaron White led Iowa with 12 points; Mike Gesell had 10.
What’s next: Iowa will enter next season with a lot of momentum coming off this run in the NIT, finishing the season with a 25-13 mark. In fact, the Hawkeyes may be a favorite to win the Big Ten—depending on which players turn pro on other teams. Iowa knows it will have Roy Devyn Marble, Melsahn Basabe, Adam Woodbury, Aaron White, Anthony Clemmons, Mike Gesell, Zach McCabe, Gabriel Olaseni and Jose Oglesby back. The only regular contributor who is leaving is Eric May.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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