Lady Wildcats finish impressive non-conference schedule with win

K-State guard Shaelyn Martin prepares to go for a basket during the basketball game on Nov. 11, 2014 in Bramlage Coliseum. K-State defeated UMKC 65-36. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Jeff Mittie’s first non-conference season at the helm of the K-State women’s basketball program wasn’t perfect, but it was historic.

The Lady Wildcats closed out their regular season non-conference schedule Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum with a 60-41 win over Samford. The victory caps off a 10-1 start to the season, the best mark for K-State since the 2008-09 season when the Lady Wildcats started 13-0.

K-State used an 18-0 run early in the second half to pull away from the Bulldogs after both teams started the game shooting under 35 percent from the field. Freshman guard Shaelyn Martin led the Lady Wildcats with a stat-stuffing performance that included 10 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists.

Aisha Woods added nine points and three rebounds for K-State. Four other Lady Wildcats contributed eight points in the win. Samford was led by guard Hannah Nichols who added 12 points and four rebounds in the loss.

For the sixth time this season, K-State registered 20 or more steals and blocks in the same game. The Lady Wildcats are 15-0 when doing so over the last 10 seasons. Mittie’s squad needed the defensive lift while it searched for answers on the offensive end. But, as it’s played out so many times already this season, an answer was found and the Lady Wildcats cruised to victory.

K-State will begin Big 12 play on Saturday, Jan. 3 in Ames, Iowa against Iowa State. Tipoff between the Lady Wildcats and Lady Cyclones is set for 1 p.m.