The Kansas State women’s basketball team will likely have to put their plans of rising in the ranks on hold after losing to unranked Iowa State, 75-69, in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday evening.
It was the first loss for the Wildcats since they lost to No. 20 Oklahoma on Jan. 4. The defeat ended the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak, leaving them 15-5 and 5-3 in the Big 12.
Saturday’s game was largely won on the boards. The Cyclones out-rebounded the Wildcats 31-23. Their six offensive rebounds led to 10 second-chance points. The Wildcats got six offensive rebounds as well, but only turned them into five points. The Cyclones dominated on the defensive glass, beating the Wildcats 25-17.
Turnovers didn’t help but were hardly the problem for the Wildcats. They committed five fewer turnovers than their season average, only turning the ball over 10 times compared to 14 by the Cyclones.
Cyclone shooting was the ultimate advantage against the Wildcats, both from distance and from the free-throw line.
The teams were tied at 14 after one quarter. Each team shot their lowest percentage of the game from the field in the quarter, the Cyclones shot 36 percent to the Wildcats 39 percent. The Cyclones also made 2-3 free throws, while the Wildcats made 1-2.
After their free throw miss in the first quarter, the Cyclones never again left the line empty-handed. Through the final three quarters, the Cyclones went 12-12 from the line, out-shooting the Wildcats, who hit 5-7 of their own from the line.
The difference from the line would have a greater significance as the Wildcats struggled to rally later on.
In the second, strong 3-point shooting by the Cyclones started to turn the game definitively in their favor. They shot better from the field than the Wildcats, making 54 percent of their shots in the quarter to the 43 percent by the Wildcats. However, the Wildcats went 0-4 from 3-point range in the second, while the Cyclones went 3-5, giving them nine extra points off 3-pointers alone.
In the third quarter, the Cyclones continued to outshoot the Wildcats from distance. They hit two of their four attempts from 3-point range compared to the two of five the Wildcats made. The Wildcats trailed after three 48-44.
In the fourth, the Cyclones outshot the Wildcats percentage-wise by 11 percent, hitting 67 percent of their shots on 8-12 shooting compared to the 56 percent shot by the Wildcats on 9-16 shooting. The Wildcats made an extra 3-pointer in the fourth, and hit all four of their free-throw attempts, at one point even taking the lead. The Cyclones, however, also shot 100 percent from the line, but they got five extra attempts, ultimately going 9-9 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats will try to bounce back in the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum when they take on the No. 2 Baylor Bears at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.