The K-State women’s basketball team was out to protect an 11-game home winning streak against their in-state rival Kansas on Saturday, but failing to finish in key situations proved costly for the Wildcats.
In a game that saw a total of 24 lead changes and 19 ties, the Jayhawks capitalized with 15 points in the second overtime and came out with an 89-80 victory in Bramlage Coliseum.
“This game tonight I felt came down to playmaking on the defense and the offensive end of the floor,” said K-State head coach Deb Patterson. “KU made more plays. They stepped up and were more accountable. They were more aggressive in key possessions, and they did things that mattered down the stretch as it relates to winning games in the Big 12.”
The Wildcats came in with an undermanned lineup of only seven players with no true post players within the group.
The Jayhawks took advantage of the weakness and were guided by senior forward Carolyn Davis and her 29-point, nine rebound performance.
In total, KU scored 54 points in the paint and provided a consistent threat that the Wildcats were unable to contain.
Despite holding Davis to 9 points in the first half, Patterson said the team did a poor job of containing the senior starter.
“I don’t really think we held,” Patterson said. “She shoots 50 percent from the floor and scores 29 points; I don’t feel we held her in check at all. We worked at it, but I don’t think with either of their post players we did a good job. The priority is to work to keep them from scoring inside, and you look and they’ve [Davis and sophomore forward Chelsea Gardner) scored 48 points inside. So I think defensively we really played inadequate relative to the strengths they bring to the floor.”
Guard Mariah White was K-State’s most consistent threat to the Jayhawks; the senior tallied 18 points and 12 rebounds — a performance that Patterson says warranted a victory.
“I felt like Mariah wanted the win, I really did,” Patterson said. “I thought she was off the charts with respect to working on all ends of the floor. She played a great game.”
KU head coach Bonnie Henrickson said White’s efforts against the taller posts of the Jayhawks were impressive.
“She’s tough,” Henrickson said. “People have turned it over trying to throw it to the guy that she’s guarding. They bring help and they bring a lot of traffic, but she’s a real tough kid.”
With No. 21 Oklahoma coming to Manhattan next Wednesday, things will not get any easier for the Wildcats.
“They’re, in my mind, usually the most aggressive, confident team in terms of flow and their style and their disposition of anybody you ever play in the league,” Patterson said. “We better be ready to match it.”