Wildcats defeat Missouri State for tournament title

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After knocking off Grambling State, the Wildcats looked to continue their chase for the championship in the Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic. In the end, they pulled out a 64-60 victory.

K-State could not contain Missouri State’s first half success, as the Lady Bears were making everything on all cylinders.

Missouri State put together runs of eight and 10 straight and held the Wildcats in check with many of their first half leads of over 10 points.

Ashley Sweat, senior forward, started off slow, scoring her first basket with over 11 minutes expired in the first half. But then she went on to score six of her eight first half points in three minutes.

Head coach Deb Patterson said Sweat made a terrific effort throughout the game.

“Her presence and ability to be there in defensive situations was big for our basketball team,” Patterson said. “I thought she played a great game for us.”

K-State got it going for a little bit in the second half, cutting the Lady Bear lead numerous times after being down by as many as 19. Midway through the second half, senior guard Kari Kincaid made her first basket after missing seven straight attempts.

Kincaid said it was a bit stressful throughout the game to find a groove.

“It was probably my best shot of the game because I wasn’t thinking about it so much,” Kincaid said. “It’s all about rhythm and I’m a rhythm shooter.”

With a little less than five minutes left in the game the Wildcats were down two points. The team took their first lead of the game with three minutes and 51 seconds left, bringing the crowd to their feet.

K-State finished the game on a 17-4 run.

Patterson said this game was the kind where the team brought everything it had.

“The team showed a lot of fight,” Patterson said. “We knew Missouri State would be tough, physical, and aggressive.”

Sweat finished with 26 points, going 8-of-13 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. She also earned Tournament MVP. She said she was happy with her team’s play and the crowd’s energy.

“We came together as a team to fight and get a good win,” Sweat said.

Sweat may have been the player of the game and tourney, but freshman guard Brittany Chambers also showed some finesse moves and racked up 17 points. She scored six of the team’s first eight points and also grabbed seven rebounds.

The team is now an even 4-4 and will face Northwestern on December 13. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum.

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