Courtesy: K-State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kansas – Kansas State looked for its second straight win over a ranked opponent, but eighth-ranked Texas held off K-State’s rally for a 75-64 win on Sunday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
Kansas State (9-6, 1-3 Big 12) was paced by junior Kayla Goth and sophomore Peyton Williams with a combined 39 points. Goth registered 17 points, which was her 14th game in double figures this season and the eighth time she has led the team in scoring. She also pulled in five rebounds and handed out five assists.
Williams added 12 points and four rebounds. This was the 10th game in double figures for points this season for Williams.
Senior Shaelyn Martin tallied nine points, nine assists and four charges drawn. With her nine assists, the guard/forward from Salina, Kansas, moved past Brittany Chambers (2009-13; 363) for eighth on the K-State career assists list with 366. She needs two assists to pass Nicole Ohlde (2000-04; 367) for seventh.
Texas (12-1, 3-0) was led by Lashann Higgs with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and a 5-of-6 effort from the foul line.
Kansas State held an 11-6 lead after the first six and a half minutes of the contest. Goth staked K-State to the five-point lead with a midrange jumper. The Wildcats held the Longhorns to 2-of-10 shooting during the stretch.
Texas ended the first quarter with a 6-2 run to pull within three, 15-12, entering the second quarter.
K-State would rebuild its lead at five, 20-15, as Rachel Ranke connected on her first 3-pointer of the afternoon with 6:47 remaining in the opening half. Ranke paced a K-State bench that outscored the Texas bench, 21-9, with her 11 points. Ranke has now reached double figures in 10 games this season.
Texas would charge back with a 19-6 run to end the half and hold a 34-26 lead at the break. The Wildcats were held without a field goal for the final 3:18 of the second quarter, as Texas outscored K-State in the quarter, 22-11.
K-State shot 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, while Texas tallied a 37.1 percent effort (13-of-35). The Longhorns held a 10-2 advantage in second chance points.
Texas dashed out to a 13-4 run to begin the third quarter and build a 47-30 lead. K-State was 2-of-7 from the field during the stretch, while the Longhorns were 5-of-10. Ariel Atkins registered seven points, while Jatari White added the other six during the stretch. Atkins finished the game with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Kansas State outscored Texas, 14-9, to end the quarter as Ranke banked in a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer to end the third and bring K-State within 12, 56-44. The Wildcats used a 7-0 run to close the gap, as Kaylee Page started the rally with a 3-pointer at 4:18 of the quarter.
Goth converted a layup in a half court set, while Williams added a pair of free throws with 2:28 to play in the third quarter.
In the early stretches of the fourth quarter, both teams traded field goals as the Wildcats were unable to pull closer than 11, 66-55, with 5:05 remaining. A Goth 3-pointer brought the Wildcats to within 11, but Higgs answered with a 3-pointer on the other end that started a 9-0 that sealed the win for the Longhorns.
K-State shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the field, while Texas was held to 40.3 percent (29-of-72). The Longhorns out-rebounded K-State 47-26, including a 26-11 advantage in the second half. Texas finished with a 24-4 lead in second chance points.
Sunday’s game marked the fourth straight game against an Associated Press top 25 opponent for Kansas State. This was just the third time that any Big 12 team has started its league schedule with four straight ranked opponents and the first time since 2008-09 when Colorado opened with four ranked foes.
Kansas State returns to action on Wednesday, as the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State. Game time at Hilton Coliseum is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday’s game will be available on the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com.
What They Said
Kansas State Head Coach and Player Quotes
Kansas State Head Coach Jeff Mittie
On the game…
“We had two stretches that really killed us. The 12-0 run in the second quarter really hurt us and the stretch in the third really hurt us, as well.”
On giving up the 12-0 run in the second quarter…
“Their pressure defense kind of got into us in that stretch, they got some run-outs and our execution bogged down. We missed some shots that maybe we normally make but I do think that is part of a team that wants to speed you up and be physical with you. We have got to handle that play better. Our decision making in that stretch was not good. Texas was pretty good and we were kind of our own worst enemy.”
On the good start…
“I thought we were battling hard defensively. We were battling on the boards and not giving them the second chances. That wore on us over the course of the game. Offensively, I thought our execution was pretty decent. Both ends of the floor were solid at the start.”
On going through the toughest start in Big 12 history…
“Well, I think every night in the Big 12 has its own challenges, so while this was stacked with a lot of teams that had played well in the non-conference, we know the next 14 games are going to have challenges, as well. For us, not having classes and those things, this could be a tremendous amount of time for growth. You can see where if we will continue to take this kind of uncomfortable and learn how to play under duress and pressure better, then we can be a better basketball team. That remains to be seen. There were some good things in here today. I thought Shaelyn Martin played well. She took some charges early in this game that were big and she ends up with nine points and nine assists. Kayla [Goth] only had two turnovers against a team that was trying to lock on her. Rachel [Ranke] found her way to some points. Our bench came in and our two centers did some good things when they came in the game. We are still not playing with a sense of urgency every possession, which is necessary to be good against a team like this. How correctable is that? Well, we better get it corrected because there are 14 more of these and they are all going to be a little bit different in one way or another.”
On areas of growth…
“I will reserve some judgment until I look at the film, but the areas that I did not think we made growth started with the transition defense. I thought they were getting their offense initiated before we were organized. Offensively, we still had penetrate-and-kick to Kali Jones who does not want the ball in that situation and we do not need to be giving her the ball in that situation. We outleted the ball to Ashley [Ray] one time and there were 5000 people that knew that ball was not supposed to be outleted to Ashley, but the speed of the game got us into some uncomfortable situations. We have to play better in those situations.”
On pushing the ball on the offensive end…
“We did want to push the ball. We wanted to find some more three opportunities. We have been wanting to do that for a while. We did feel like we wanted to get offense initiated before they were organized. It was still too spotty for us. Our spacing in that situation is not very good and that is an area we can get better in.”
Kansas State Junior Guard Kayla Goth
On Texas’ run at the end of the first half…
“It is a similar stretch that we have been getting at the start of games and it is tough to come back from. You can push and push and push but it is really tough to come back from against a top team in the country. I think we have to eliminate those and we have to play a full 40 minutes at some point.”
On going through the toughest start in Big 12 history…
“I think it is about trying to get better every day. Coach Mittie told us at the beginning that it was going to be a tough start and we all kind of knew it. Especially us veterans coming back who know Baylor, Texas and West Virginia. I think it is just trying to take a step back. It was good to get our newbies in there and push them in head first. So, I think we learned a lot from it and hopefully we keep moving that forward.”
Texas Head Coach Quotes
Texas Head Coach Karen Aston
On the game…
“I thought our team struggled from an energy perspective. Sometimes I think we let our energy level be dictated by shots going in, and they did not go in as much as we’re used to. I think that we played pretty good in spurts, I thought our leadership today was terrific for our team, I thought Ariel’s [Atkins] leadership was terrific for our team.
“I have to credit K-State’s defense for throwing us off balance for a little bit, but it definitely wasn’t one of our better performances. I thought we did a pretty good job on their key offensive players.”
On the run after the half…
“I thought it was good, it was kind of a deep breath. The half gave us the chance to regroup, talk about some things and have fun.”
On the K-State defense…
“Their length sometimes makes you think you are open when you are not. The other thing about that is sometimes they are able to disguise again whether you are open or not. They are definitely longer than a lot of teams that we have played this year and they do a great job with that zone.”