Jeff Mittie’s team has been superb at home this season. In fact, K-State has dropped just two games on their home court, one of those to a top-five-ranked team.
Away from Bramlage Coliseum, however, has been an entirely different story.
K-State has yet to capture a victory in a true road game this season, a streak that continued Wednesday against West Virginia.
The Mountaineers downed K-State 63-51 with a suffocating man-to-man defensive performance and a strong game on the glass, including 41 total rebounds. The Wildcats now face a three-game losing streak heading into the second game of their three-day road trip against No. 3 Baylor.
Despite the loss, K-State’s Kindred Wesemann came to play. The sophomore guard needed just seven minutes to tally seven points and two assists. She finished the night with 19 points — a career high — and three assists.
With Wesemann on fire early on, K-State jumped out to an early 12-8 lead with 11:53 to play in opening half. The lead extended to six points later in the half, 20-14, before West Virginia guard Jessica Morton took over for her team.
Morton scored the last eight points of the half for the Mountaineers, pulling them within three points at the intermission, 25-22.
“The first half we did exactly what we wanted to. We slowed them down and took care of the basketball fairy well,” Mittie said to the media after the game. “I’m proud of this team’s first half performance. I thought Kindred was the one who could get the bounce off of them and that was critical to having some success.”
The slow start to the game seemed to spark the home team at halftime. West Virginia started the second half on an 11-0 run against the Wildcats, who missed their first six shots.
K-State’s first field goal in the second half didn’t come until 13:43 to play in the game. West Virginia held a 35-28 lead at that point.
“What their defense did was disrupt us from getting any good shots,” Mittie said. “We only shot 31 percent for the game. We struggled inside, they have great shot blockers — they blocked 15 shots.”
Morton continued her dominance in the second half, creating opportunities for her team and scoring eight-straight points herself to put the Wildcats in their largest deficit of the night (18 points). Morton finished the night with 22 points.
K-State did mount a late comeback led by Wesemann and Haley Texada. The two combined for 13 points down the stretch to bring the Wildcats within eight points with three minutes to go in the game.
But in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Texada scored 11 points in her first game back since injuring herself in the Sunflower Showdown on Jan. 11. After Wesemann and Texada, no other Wildcat scored more than six points.
“In the end, too many turnovers. With rebounding, they got some extra chances that hurt us,” Mittie said. “I was more pleased with how we fought hard. There were some long stretches there where we fought really hard. I think we showed some more discipline. If we can keep doing that we will show improvement.”
K-State will look to capture that elusive first road win Saturday as they continue their road trip in Waco, Texas against the No. 3-ranked Baylor Lady Bears. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m.