Strong defensive effort propels K-State over Abilene Christian

K-State forward Breanna Lewis goes for a basket at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 3, 2014 during the game against Emporia State. K-State defeated Emporia State 54-50. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Breanna Lewis and the K-State women’s basketball team put forth a strong defensive performance Monday at Bramlage Coliseum — something this team has become known for — as the Wildcats dismantled Abilene Christian 68-53 in their second-to-last non-conference game.

The Lady Wildcats (9-1) proved to be suffocating on the defensive side of the ball, forcing 29 turnovers with 24 of those being steals. The turnover mark for Abilene Christian (7-3) dwarfed K-State’s unimpressive 17 turnovers on their own, 12 of which were steals for head coach Jeff MIttie’s squad.

K-State was led in scoring by their lengthy center in Lewis, who had 16 points on eight of nine shooting. Lewis was the only Lady Wildcat to score in double figures, with junior guard Bri Craig and senior guard Haley Texada both chipping in nine and eight points respectively.

Lewis also recorded two blocks in the contest, which now puts her sixth all-time in school history with 79.

With Lewis’ presence inside the paint, K-State was dominant down low all evening, scoring 42 of their points in the paint compared to Abilene Christian’s 22.

In the first half, the Lady Wildcats shot a very respectable 50 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from beyond the arc. K-State hit all six of their threes in the first half, finishing with 20 attempts from 3-point land.

Aided by their field goal shooting, in combination with holding Abilene Christian to just 27 points, K-State kept the Wildcats from Texas at arm’s length all evening. The defensive performance was another to gawk over, as Abilene Christian came into Monday’s game scoring 80 or more points in six of their previous nine games, including two games of 100 or more.

Though K-State was rarely challenged in the contest, they were unable to find their groove from behind the arc in the second half. K-State shot 11 for 22 in the final 20 minutes and were held to just 26 points. Fortunately, they were able to hold the visitors to 26 as well. Abilene Christian had a valiant 12-point second-half effort from junior guard Whitney West, but the gap K-State created in the first half was too much to overcome.

K-State has one more tune-up game against Samford next Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum before heading to Ames, Iowa on Jan. 3 to take on the Iowa State Cyclones in their Big 12 opener.

Tim Everson was born in Wichita, KS in 1994. Before fifth grade he moved up to Manhattan for one year before settling in Riley, KS where he graduated from Riley County High School in 2012. Tim has worked for the Collegian since spring of 2014 and took over as Sports Editor during the summer of 2015. Tim loves sports, music, movies and good food when he can get it.