Mittie earns first Sunflower Showdown win as Lady Wildcats come back against Kansas

Women's basketball head coach Jeff Mittie during the game against Emporia State at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 3, 2014. K-State defeated Emporia State 54-50. (George Walker | The Collegian)

The Sunflower Showdown was just one of many reasons women’s basketball head coach Jeff Mittie wanted to take over the K-State program.

In his first installment of the yearly rivalry, Mittie and his Lady Wildcats squad captured a 58-52 victory over Kansas Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum. Mittie also earned his first Big 12 victory with the win.

The Lady Wildcats got a strong effort from Ashia Woods, Bri Craig and Kindred Wesemann. The three combined for 39 points and 15 rebounds on 11 for 24 shooting, as K-State moved to 11-3 on the year and 1-2 in conference play after back-to-back losses.

K-State needed the contributions from their big three. Kansas got off to a roaring start, going on a 20-6 run to kickoff the showdown. The Lady Wildcats were able to battle back towards the end of the first half to head into the break down only seven points.

Mittie’s squad carried that momentum into the second half, taking their first lead since the 18:13 mark in the first half with a 11-4 run to go up 40-39 with a little more than 15 minutes to go in the ballgame.

K-State was able to extend that lead by as much as nine points in the dying minutes of the contest to close out the season’s first Sunflower Showdown with a victory.

The second half did feature a scary moment. Less than five minutes into the half, senior guard Haley Texada went down hard on the court with an apparent neck injury. She was carried off the court on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. Mitte said after the game that Texada was moving and talking at the hospital.

K-State’s trio of scorers on the offensive end complimented sophomore forward Breanna Lewis on the defensive end. Lewis had a school record eight blocks in the game. She entered averaging 3.4 blocks per contest, and is now just the fifth player in school history with 50 blocks in a season (52).

K-State also forced the Lady Jayhawks into 23 turnovers to just 15 turnovers of their own. The Lady Wildcats turned the Kansas miscues into 20 points, including the bucket to pull even with their in-state rivals in the second half.

The Lady Wildcats will head back out on the road on Wednesday to take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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.