AMES — Senior point guard DeAndre Kane was supposed to be a one-year stopgap for Iowa State.
Kane has evolved into one of the most versatile players in the country — and the surging Cyclones look like one of the best teams in the nation because of it.
Kane had a season-high 30 points with nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals as No. 9 Iowa State rolled past No. 7 Baylor 87-72 on Tuesday night, setting a school record with its 14th straight win.
“He’s a mismatch nightmare out there, when you have a guy who is 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, strong as an ox and he’s experienced,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said of Kane, who transferred from Marshall in the offseason. “He’s a smart player.”
Melvin Ejim added 18 points for the Cyclones (14-0, 2-0 Big 12), who outscored Baylor 47-34 in the second half and rolled to a surprisingly decisive win over a fellow Big 12 title contender.
Kane had 17 points in the first half, helping his struggling teammates take a two-point lead. The rest of the Cyclones got untracked early in the second half, blowing past the Bears with a 28-12 run to secure their most impressive win of the season.
“I came here to win,” Kane said. “I just wanted to be a part of something special.”
Gary Franklin and Brady Heslip each had 15 points for Baylor (12-2, 0-1), which saw its win streak snapped at six games.
The Bears, like many teams before them, had no answer for Kane’s unique skill set.
He is averaging 16.1 points on 52 percent shooting to go along with 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists a game.
“When you see him in person, the size, the strength and the speed, he affects the game in a variety of ways,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “Coming in, I heard he was good. But I think he has far surpassed what people might have thought.”