Williams Leads K-State to Win over Little Rock

Courtesy: K-State Athletics

Courtesy: Kansas State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kansas – After a 10-day break for first semester final exams, Kansas State resumed its five-game home stand on Saturday afternoon with a 66-51 win over Little Rock. K-State is 5-0 at home this season.

Kansas State (7-2) was led by sophomore forward Peyton Williams with a career-high 25 points on a career-best 9-of-15 shooting and a 6-of-7 effort from the foul line. Williams also pulled in seven rebounds. This was her third time in double figures in K-State’s last four games.

Freshman Rachel Ranke added 13 points, which included a 3-of-8 effort from beyond the arc. The product of Burnsville, Minnesota, has six games in double figures this season.

Junior guard Kayle Goth finished with eight points, a career-high tying 10 assists and two steals. This was her first game this season without 10 or more points, but her second game with 10 assists.

Senior Shaelyn Martin hauled in 11 rebounds, her third game in the last four with 10 or more rebounds. In her career, Martin has 11 games with 10 or more rebounds. She ranks 15th in school history for career rebounds with 636.

Little Rock (3-7) was led by Raeyana DeGray with 14 points, while Keanna Keys added 12 and Anna Hurlburt chipped in with 11.

Kansas State trailed Little Rock, 14-9, with 2:56 to play in the opening quarter. The Trojans went in front using a 10-0 run over a four-and a half minute stretch.

The Wildcats stormed back and ended the first frame on a 10-0 run over their own, to take a 19-14 after the first. Williams scored the first six points of the run before Ashley Ray added a layup and Goth knocked down a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left. The Wildcats were 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) from the field in the opening quarter.

Little Rock started the second quarter with four quick points to pull within one, 19-18, at 9:02. K-State answered with a 13-2 run over a seven-minute stretch to build a 32-20 lead with 1:52 remaining in the first half. Williams registered six points during the run, while Goth added four and Rachel Ranke buried K-State first 3-pointer of the afternoon.

The Wildcats would outscore the Trojans 15-7 in the second quarter and hold Little Rock without a field goal for the final 5:39 of the quarter.

Williams finished the opening half with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and five rebounds. Goth added eight points and seven assists.

K-State shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the field in the opening half and were a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul line. Little Rock registered an opening half effort of 34.6 percent from the field (9-of-26).

The Wildcats would build their lead to 19 points, 49-30, as K-State went on a 10-3 run over two and a half minutes midway through the third quarter. Kaylee Page started the run with her first 3-pointer of the afternoon with 5:27 to play in the quarter. Mary Lakes then finished a jumper in the lane, followed by five quick points by Ranke to force a Little Rock timeout.

After the timeout, Ranke buried her third 3-pointer of the game and the second in the quarter to send the Wildcats in front 52-32. Ranke finished the quarter with 10 points, while K-State was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc in the frame.

Williams scored five or K-State’s first seven points in the fourth quarter to push the Wildcats into their largest lead of the afternoon of 27, 61-34, with 6:32 remaining in the game. Little Rock would narrow the game to its final margin of 15, with the help of a 14-2 run over the final 4:26 of the quarter.

K-State finished the game shooting 47.9 percent from the floor (23-of-48) and were 15-of-17 (.882) from the foul line. Little Rock tallied a 32.3 percent (20-of-62) performance from the field, including a 3-of-20 effort from beyond the arc.

Kansas State continues its five-game home stand on Monday night, as the Wildcats host Chicago State at 7 p.m. Monday night’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and available on the K-State Sports Network.

What They Said
Kansas State Head Coach Jeff Mittie
On the game…
“It was a good thing to get back on the floor, that’s the first thing I’ll say, good to get back out there. It’s been a little longer break than normal, which I was looking forward to the break going into it, but it did feel like it drug on a little bit. It probably didn’t feel that way to the players because they were so busy with finals, but from a coaching perspective I felt like we were having trouble making progress in some areas because of all the duties they had, but we came out and played decent at times today.”

On Peyton Williams…
“Peyton had some advantage in there today that she took advantage of. I thought her positioning was good down there. We had decent ball screen action with her in the game. I think she is reading that better than she was a couple weeks ago.”

Sophomore Forward Peyton Williams
On scoring opportunities during the game…
“There was a lot of opportunities I had off of ball screens, where Kayla Goth got me the ball a lot this game. I had to muscle up a couple of shots this game, which I haven’t been hitting the shots where I had to go through someone. I told myself before the game I have to be tougher this game.”

On the 3-pointer she hit in the third quarter…
“It’s really fun. We work on it in practice and stuff, but it’s still newer for me. So it’s exciting for me every time.”

Little Rock Head Coach Joe Foley
On K-State’s zone defense…
“We struggled scoring over their size. We got it inside and got several shots in there but we just could not finish. They were just too big for us inside.”

On the team without their two leading scorers today…
“I thought we did good. We were playing a lot of freshmen so I think we are improving. I thought we improved some today and if we start knocking down a few shots we will be alright.”

On Anna Hurlburt…
“Anna is a sophomore and she is learning. She has a nice touch but she just has to get a little more confidence. That was one of the things we were trying to do today – get her some confidence.”

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