Willock, Wesemann propel Wildcats to victory

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Kansas State Wildcats senior guard Kindred Wesemann had herself a game. There was no denying it from either side in K-State’s 74-69 win over the Oklahoma State Cowgirls Saturday afternoon.

“Kindred Wesemann: that’s ballgame right there,” Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said. “She played great, was very good in every phase of the game. We put two kids on her that we expect to be stoppers and they got torched.”

Wesemann had 34 points, 11 of which came on a 17-2 run by the Wildcats in the third quarter. The run, ignited by a Wesemann layup, lasted over three minutes and allowed the Wildcats to turn a 33-27 halftime deficit into a 48-40 lead they never relinquished.

It was not a bad performance by the Cowgirls either, Littell said.

“I thought we did a lot of things right,” Littell said. “I thought we played better in a lot of phases of the game. We’ve been turning the ball over 20-plus times and we cut our turnovers to 11. (We) didn’t have any problems to speak of with the press.”

K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said he thought the Wildcats had to “dig deep” for their win Saturday. Wesemann had a great second half, but Mittie also praised junior guard Karyla Middlebrook and junior forward Kaylee Page for making key free throws, senior center Breanna Lewis for getting key baskets and junior guard Shaelyn Martin for making a big play or two.

Overall, Mittie said the team did well offensively, but Wesemann’s stats were only part of the story because of those 34 points, only eight of them came in the first half.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, freshman forward Eternati Willock had a big first half, scoring 10 points on 4-7 shooting.

“We probably wouldn’t even have been in the game if Eternati hadn’t played so well in the first half,” Mittie said. “We probably could have been down 10 or 15 if she hadn’t played so well. So she kind of keeps us in it, knocks some shots down, makes some big plays and that allows us to be close enough in the second half to make a run. So really (it was) a good team effort today.”

Despite the strong performance by Wesemann, the game was still hard-fought by both teams. Even after K-State’s third-quarter run, the Cowgirls punched back with a 7-0 run of their own to cut the Wildcats’ largest lead of the game from nine points to three.

It was a game full of punches and counter-punches, Mittie said. The Cowgirls were led by junior center Kaylee Jensen, who had a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while junior forward/center Mandy Coleman had 18.

“Every time you thought we had maybe delivered the blow that would keep them away, they kept answering,” Mittie said. “Coleman for them was fantastic. Jensen was all over the place, all over the stat-line.”

With the win, K-State avoided what would have been a third-straight loss. The Wildcats now head to Lubbock, Texas, to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

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Shelton Burch
Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.