The women’s basketball team pulled off a stunning victory at home, beating Washington State 70-63 Friday night.
The game started off sloppy for K-State (1-2) as the Cougars (1-1) started the game on a 9-0 run,. Washington State played full court press to put stress on the Wildcats throughout the game.
Ashley Sweat, senior forward, scored the team’s first five points. The first point was a free throw with three and a half minutes already off the clock.
The Cougars showed their skills during the game as the defensive pressure made it difficult for K-State to score, putting the Wildcats in scoring droughts on several occasions.
Head coach Deb Patterson said they faced a tough team.
“Washington State is a high quality Pac-10 school,” Patterson said. “I’m proud of the improvement that our team brought to the floor.”
The Wildcats’ first lead of the game did not come until four and a half minutes remained in the first half, when the team led 24-23.
K-State went into halftime with a 35-27 lead, including Sweat’s 19 first-half points.
Sweat finished with a performance similar to last year when the Wildcats visited the Cougars. She had 30 points last matchup, and this year she finished with a 33-point game including 12-of-19 shooting from the field.
“My team did a good job of getting me the ball tonight,” Sweat said. “As a team, we found our groove in bits and pieces tonight. We had some flashes of when we do play together we can be really good.”
Freshmen guards Mariah White and Brittany Chambers not only helped in the scoring department, but combined for seven rebounds. Chambers finished with seven points and five rebounds, while White had nine points and two rebounds.
Patterson said this win is a good motivation boost for the team.
“The most important thing about this game was everybody saw that each day if you continue to work hard and step up, good things can happen,” she said. “Each of us individually have to commit to what our team needs. Tonight, Ashley did that. She answered the challenge that we had put before her.”
Kari Kincaid, senior guard, said her team’s hard work helped her do well.
“My points just came from easy put-backs with the ball falling into my hands off rebounds,” Kincaid said. “I was just looking to get Ashley the ball somehow, someway. The rest of my points came from free throws, and I knew if we stayed aggressive we would get a lot of free throw attempts while in the bonus.”
This win not only gives K-State their first regular season victory, but a huge boost of confidence as the team begins a three-game road trip.
The team’s next game is Monday against Creighton at 7:05 in Omaha, Neb. The next home game is Dec. 4 when Grambling State comes to Manhattan.