Big 12 Notebook: SEC/Big 12 Challenge ends in 5-5 tie

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Sophomore guard Kerwin Roach drives in against West Virginia sophomore wguard Daxter Miles Jr. on Jan. 14 at the Frank Erwin Center. Texas lost the game 72-70, one of the Longhorns’ six conference losses this season. 

Photo Credit: Emmanuel Briseño | Daily Texan Staff

Iowa State drops the ball versus Vanderbilt 

Everything went according to plan for Iowa State early in Saturday’s game. The Cyclones jumped out to an early 11-point lead in the first half, but it wasn’t enough. 

 Vanderbilt scrapped its way back into the game and tied up the score by halftime. The Commodores imposed their will in the second half, leading by 15 at one point, before finishing off the Cyclones 84-78.

 Senior forward Luke Kornet and senior guard Nolan Cressler led the comeback effort for Vanderbilt, contributing a combined 41 points for the Commodores.

 Iowa State (13–7, 5–3 conference) faces West Virginia at home on Tuesday. 

West Virginia holds out at home against Texas A&M

The No. 18 Mountaineers achieved wins over No. 2 Kansas and Texas A&M this week, though they almost suffered the same fate as Iowa State against the latter.

West Virginia dominated the first half, opening with a 45-29 lead. The lead ballooned to 51-31 as A&M struggled against the Mountaineers’ press defense.

The Aggies, however, rallied behind sophomore guard Admon Gilder’s 24 points to inch within two points with 15 seconds left in the game.

Sophomore forward Esa Ahmad sealed the game for the Mountaineers after draining two free throws, giving West Virginia an 81-77 victory.

The Mountaineers (17–4, 5–3 conference) travel to Ames, Iowa to play the Cyclones on Tuesday. 

Baylor finds fifth straight win against Ole Miss 

No. 5 Baylor was one of three teams ranked in the AP Top-10 that did not lose this week. However, the Bears were dangerously close to joining the other seven.

Baylor did not lead until 10:25 remained in the second half after recovering from a 15-point deficit.

A trio of juniors sparked Baylor’s rally. Forwards Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. and Jonathan Motley each chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds, as guard Manu Lacomte dropped in 17 points to lead the team. 

Baylor has the second-best record in the country at 20–1 (7–1 conference). The Bears are set for a Big 12 showdown against No. 2 Kansas on Wednesday. 

Kansas edges out Kentucky on the road 

Both teams limped into Saturday’s action hoping to bounce back from disappointing losses. Last Tuesday, Tennessee upset No. 4 Kentucky 82-80, as No. 18 West Virginia handled No. 2 Kansas, 85-69.

It was the Jayhawks who rebounded with a monster triumph in a hostile environment at Rupp Arena. 

The key for Kansas was perimeter shooting. The Jayhawks were zero for eight from distance in the first half, which resulted in a 32-27 deficit at the half. 

 Freshman guard Josh Jackson nailed consecutive threes to start the second half, and Kansas ended up hitting 5-of-11 treys in the second half to secure the 79-73 win over Kentucky.

 The Jayhawks’ record now stands at 19–2 (conference 7–1.) Kansas hosts the Cyclones on Saturday.