No. 7 seed K-State beats Drake 67-54 in NCAA tourney opener

Kansas State's Shaelyn Martin (50) gets past Drake's Brenni Rose (12) to put up a shot during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Breanna Lewis had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Kindred Wesemann added 16 points and seventh-seeded Kansas State beat No. 10 seed Drake 67-54 on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats (23-10) took the lead in the game’s opening minutes and never relinquished it, even though the Bulldogs (28-5) never made things easy. That allowed Kansas State to ease into a matchup with No. 2 seed Stanford on Monday night for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Like they had against Drake, the Wildcats will again have the benefit of playing at home.

The NCAA selection committee awarded them the right to host the opening rounds when Stanford had a conflict at Maples Pavilion, a testament to the crowd support Kansas State has enjoyed over the years.

Lizzy Wendell scored 17 for Drake, which carried the nation’s second-longest winning streak at 22 games into the tournament. Becca Hittner added 13 points and Sammie Bachrodt had 10.

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