Freshman Jackie Stanley scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed six rebounds, leading the K-State women’s basketball team to an 87-38 victory over Southern Utah on Monday at Bramlage Coliseum.
“It’s obvious she’s going to be someone we can rely on,” said coach Deb Patterson. “We are a significantly deeper team than in the past.”
Junior Shalee Lehning added 16 points, six rebounds and a game-high six steals. Three other Wildcats (2-0) recorded double-digit points, including senior Kimberly Dietz (15), sophomore Kari Kincaid (10) and junior Marlies Gipson (10).
“There is nobody on this roster that we don’t trust with the ball, and that is what is exciting,” Lehning said.
K-State’s bench proved successful, scoring 37 of the team’s points, most of which were from Kincaid and Stanley.
“We made the early substitution in the first half,” Patterson said. “We just wanted to be in a position early in the game to work on extending our pressure a little bit.”
Lehning tallied a game-high eight assists, while Dietz and Kincaid each added three. Lehning’s eight move her into sole possession of third place on K-State’s career-assist leader board with 387.
As a team, K-State grabbed 49 rebounds, compared to Southern Utah’s 24.
“I was most pleased with the fact that we stepped it up on the boards from both the perimeter and our post players,” Patterson said. “That was a priority going into this game.”
In her second collegiate game, freshman Shalin Spani recorded three rebounds and two assists.
The Wildcats started the game with a press defense, causing six turnovers in the first five minutes. Southern Utah did not score in its first seven possessions and ended the half with 14 turnovers.
“I thought we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Southern Utah coach Steve Hodson. “They put some pressure on, and their half-court trap looked decent.”
K-State led Southern Utah 44-18 at halftime.
The Wildcats started the second half with a 28-9 run, including two 3-pointers from Kincaid. Dietz led K-State’s 3-point attack, making 3 of 6. K-State shot 40 percent from behind the arc and was 8 of 11 at the end.
The Wildcats snatched 12 steals, nine of which were in the first half. Lehning led the effort with six.
“(It was) good stuff from our defense, especially in the first six to eight minutes of the basketball game,” Patterson said. “I thought our players did a nice job of playing to assignment but staying aggressive.”
Southern Utah’s Anne Westwood led her team in scoring with 11 points. She was the only Thunderbird in double-digit scoring.
The Wildcats’ first away game of the season is at Wyoming on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.