The K-State women’s basketball team continued their road struggles in the Big 12 on Saturday as No. 17 West Virginia routed the Wildcats 84-44 in Morgantown, W.Va. K-State has now lost three in a row on the road, and are 1-5 on the road in the conference. The 40-point loss is also the worst regular season loss to a conference foe in school history, and the worst conference loss since the 52-point loss to Colorado in the 1991-92 Big Eight Tournament.
Three Wildcat players in double-digits couldn’t hold the Mountaineers back. West Virginia sophomore guard Bria Holmes racked up a career best 31 points, knocking down five-of-eight from behind the arc. The Wildcats defense couldn’t stop West Virginia from shooting the ball, with the Mountaineers shooting 56.6 percent from the floor and a remarkable 57.9 percent from 3-point range.
After a 3-point shot by senior forward Katya Leick with 7:48 minutes left in the first half that put the Wildcats on top 19-17, K-State’s shooting went dry. The Wildcats finished the first half going 1-9 from the floor, with the lone shot being a 3-pointer by freshman guard Kindred Wesemann. The Mountaineers finished the first half on a hot streak, going 8-13 from behind the arc, taking a 43-24 lead over the Wildcats into the break.
Freshman guard Leticia Romero led the way with nine points on the floor in the first half, followed closely by Wesemann with eight points. The Mountaineers’ Holmes, the team’s leading scorer, went off for 19 points in the opening half. Holmes was the propelling force behind the Mountaineers surge that put them ahead for the rest of the game.
Going into the break with a 19-point deficit, the Wildcats had a seemingly impossible task against one of the best teams in the nation. The Wildcats couldn’t find any momentum, committing 11 of their 19 turnovers in the second half. Head coach Deb Patterson’s team didn’t have what it took to mount a comeback in the hostile environment of WVU Coliseum.
Romero led the team against the Mountaineers, finishing with 12 points on the night. She also had three assists but had a hard time controlling the ball, posting eight turnovers herself against a Mountaineer team that averages a total of 8.5 turnovers per game. The Wildcats finished the night with an 8-19 assist-to-turnover ratio. Freshman forward Breanna Lewis and Wesemann both added in 10 points for their club.
The Wildcats return to Bramlage Coliseum for their next matchup against Texas on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.