Cyclones found a new formula for victory if the 3’s aren’t falling.

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The Iowa State men’s basketball team is 12th nationally in scoring, and it leads the Big 12. Scoring offense is one of the two statistical categories the Cyclones are in the nation’s top dozen teams.

The other is three-point field goals and ISU is fifth nationally and, not surprisingly, leading the conference. It’s logical to link those stats. Iowa State scores a lot of points – and gets wins – because of its success on three pointers.

Perhaps, a new formula emerged Saturday in a 79-71 win over Baylor.

Iowa State’s 79 points were 15 more than the league scoring average and eight more than the Cyclones’ league-leading norm. The four made three-point baskets, however, tied for its fourth-fewest of the year.

Coach Fred Hoiberg’s team overcame its frigid shooting from the outside by getting to the line. The 30 attempts and the 25 foul shot conversions were season bests in league play, In fact, ISU had made just 28 of 50 free throws in the prior four games combined (before Baylor).

Mix in just 10 turnovers against the Bears – tied (with K-State) for ISU’s fewest in Big 12 play – and a new formula for victory has emerged.

The Cyclones will keep shooting 3’s, lots of them. But, finding a new way to win was surely a good sign for the road ahead.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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