Poor shooting late dooms Wildcats on senior night

Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Senior forward Ashlynn Knoll is blocked by two TCU defenders as she goes up for a layup in the first half of the Wildcats' 51-46 loss to the Horned Frogs on Senior Night.

The K-State Wildcats (11-18, 5-13 Big 12) fail to excellent second-half defense by the TCU Horned Frogs (17-13, 8-10 Big 12) as they drop their last home game of the season, 51-46.

“The simple reality of this game is that you don’t win in Big 12 play scoring 46 points,” said head coach Deb Patterson. “On a night where baskets were hard to come by, they had some trips to the foul line that we couldn’t match. We shot 25 percent in the second half, and that was the story of the game.”

The Wildcats had a hard time getting their offense going because of the staunch defense being played against their young backcourt. The Wildcats could not get any momentum in the second half, shooting 25 percent from the field, including going 0-12 from behind the arc. The Wildcats also saw only seven shots from the free-throw line, failing in comparison to the 22 opportunities from the charity stripe that the Horned Frogs had.

The Horned Frogs came into the game with a plan to try to stop Wildcats freshman guard Leticia Romero, who was just named Big 12 freshman of the week.

“We tried to get the ball out of (Romero’s) hands as much as possible,” Horned Frogs head coach Jeff Mittle said following the game. “We wanted to fight the ball screens that (the Wildcats) run for her, (and) trap her at times, which we did.”

The first half was highlighted by an impressive performance from freshman guard Kindred Wesemann. Wesemann went 3 for 8 from behind the arc to lead all scorers with 13 points, one point below her season high of 14 points.

The Horned Frogs did an excellent job in stopping the Wildcats leading scorer and defending freshman player of the week, Romero, throughout the game. Romero ended the game going 2 for 8 from the field. Her five points on the night was her second-lowest total of the season.

Wesemann stepped up for her team in the game, being the lone Wildcat in double-figures. The freshman finished the game with 13 points, including three huge 3-pointer shots in the first half that had the Wildcats going into halftime with the momentum.

The bad news for the Wildcats came early in the second half, with Wesemann picking up two-quick fouls within the first four minutes to put her on the bench for most of the half with four fouls. With Wesemann on the bench, the Wildcats’ offense stalled, with her missing production being incredibly obvious.

“I thought that (Kindred getting in foul trouble) was a big problem for us,” Patterson said. “It was very huge, you come out and you like to have some pop and you like to try to extend upon the lead and have at least two players out there that can be effective on the perimeter and keep the ball moving side to side.”

With all signs pointing to the Wildcats having to play their rivals Kansas in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships on Saturday, the Wildcats are looking to get another Sunflower Showdown victory in Oklahoma City.