AMES — Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane flexed.
Baylor’s Isaiah Austin balled up with rage.
Body language — along with thrills, spills, dunks, bumps and bruises — told the tale of Tuesday’s nationally-televised matchup between the No. 7 Cyclones and the ninth-ranked Bears at a sold-out and amped up Hilton Coliseum.
And ISU struck a true Big 12 title contender’s pose before 14,384 fans, surging to an 87-72 blowout win that Kane led fiercely, with ample assistance from fellow senior Melvin Ejim, junior Dustin Hogue and freshman Monte Morris.
“Everybody’s included,” Cyclones Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “And that’s how you do it.”
Kane’s 30 points helped the Cyclones (14-0) cement their best start in program history, while dealing the seemingly battle-tested Bears (12-2) their most lopsided loss of the season by far.
It also sent the cardinal and gold-colored hype machine spiraling into overdrive.
“Iowa State, to me, is a team that can win a national championship,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team’s only other loss came to No. 2 Syracuse.
Kane — the X, Y and Z factor — nearly nabbed a triple-double, adding nine assists and eight rebounds to his scoring explosion.
When the Cyclones were 0-for-5 from 3-point range, he drilled one.
When they needed a rebound, he helped lead the charge.
When they needed a turnover, he helped coax five of the Bears’ 19 with his steals alone.
“I just try to do what I can do out there,” Kane said with a shrug. “I made a few shots. Melvin followed up right behind me.”
Again, “everybody’s included.”
“The 19 turnovers that we forced, that was as active as our hands have been all year,” Hoiberg said. “To get those deflections, to give us some run outs, to give us transition baskets, which really ignites the crowd, is huge.”
Ejim chipped in 18 points and Morris delivered three clutch 3-pointers.
Ejim’s rapid-fire pair of 3s interrupted briefly by Team Canada teammate Brady Heslip gave ISU a 30-26 lead with five minutes left in the first half.
The Cyclones trailed for precisely 39 seconds after that — and used a 17-6 second-half run to turn a tight, physical game into a rout.
“We’re playing at a really high level right now,” Ejim said. “We’re going to continue to keep this moving.”
The 6-6 Hogue kept the Cyclones from being utterly left behind on the boards, leaping for seven of his team’s 11 first-half rebounds as Baylor built a plus-ten edge on the glass.
“Without Dustin, we aren’t in that game,” said Hoiberg, whose team fell behind 9-2 before the Kane-led revival.
ISU shot 55 percent from the field and raced to 15 fast break points.
Baylor had zero.
“They shot the ball well,” said the Bears’ Gary Franklin, who along with Heslip scored a team-best 15 points. “That’s pretty hard to guard.”
Syracuse and Kentucky hard?
“I would like to see that matchup,” Franklin said of ISU facing either of those bluebloods.
But those dreams can wait.
For Hoiberg, anyway.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and we play Oklahoma on Saturday,” the even-keel coach said when told of Drew’s lofty praise. “That’s all I know.”
That and “everybody’s included” on this ride — wherever it may lead.
“Ames likes what it sees right now,” Morris said with a grin.
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