It was a disappointing weekend for the Big 12 with both one-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and Baylor Bears going down in their respective NCAA Tournaments. But the Baylor men’s basketball team was able to showcase some of their best basketball all season in the NIT, culminating in a beatdown of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the tournament’s championship game.
Baylor took control in a very low-scoring first half at Madison Square Garden. Iowa was able to get it within two points early on in the second half, but the Bears pulled away and never looked back. This is the team’s first championship win in the NIT.
Pierre Jackson was one of three players who led the way for Baylor with 17 points and 10 assists. Despite a poor night shooting the ball at 4-11 from the field, three of those baskets were from 3-point range. The Bears shot 4-14 from the perimeter as a team.
Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin showed efficiency going 14-18 from the field combined. Jefferson led the team with 23 points and Austin led the team with nine rebounds and an astonishing five blocks.
Baylor had 19 assists on 26 field goals made and also grabbed nine steals.
Iowa’s offense ran out of gas hitting just 26.5 percent from the field and going 5-24 from 3-point range. Mike Gesell came off the bench and led the team with 13 points. Aaron White had 12 points and six rebounds, going just 4-13 from the field and missing both three-point attempts.
The Hawkeye starters combined for just 10-43 from the field.