Women’s basketball defeats Emporia State in first exhibition game

Junior forward Breanna Lewis reaches for a rebound over Kansas guard Kylee Kopatich during the basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. Jan. 20, 2016 (Archive photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State women’s basketball team opened up Friday night’s double header with an 87-65 victory over Emporia State in the Wildcats’ first exhibition game at home.

Emporia State kept the game tied in the first two quarters, but the Wildcats had an explosive offense in the third quarter to power past the Hornets. K-State out-scored Emporia State 31-10 in the third quarter.

Freshman guards Rachel Ranke and Cymone Goodrich led the Wildcats in scoring.

Ranke nailed six three-point shots in her 36 minutes of playtime and scored 20 points total in the game. Goodrich added 16 points and five rebounds in 32 minutes of play.

The Wildcats showed a lot of youth on the court by starting with two freshmen and a sophomore. Three more freshmen added minutes off the bench during the game.

“It was their first game, so they were nervous and they all had the jitters,” senior forward Kaylee Page said to K-State Sports. “It was the first time they have been on a big stage like this. I just tried to over-communicate and help them out.”

Page scored 14 points while adding six assists and two blocked shots in her 32 minutes on the court.

Sophomore forward Peyton Williams had 15 points, including a three-pointer, and she led the team in rebounds with nine total. Williams also plays on the K-State volleyball team.

“I did not make a three[-pointer] last year,” Williams said. “To get the opportunity to have that in the game was really cool and see all the work we have put in over the summer.”

K-State’s big third quarter was characterized by long scoring runs, including a 15-3 run toward the end of the quarter to put K-State up 69-48.

The Wildcats shot a blistering 70 percent from the field in the third quarter, including 5-6 from three-point range. K-State held Emporia State to only 23 percent shooting and 1-4 from outside the arc in the same quarter.

“In the first half, we were on our heels,” head coach Jeff Mittie said to K-State Sports. “We decided to change a little bit and get more aggressive. That was better, but we got extended and they got a lot of offensive rebounds out of that. We have to learn to do both.”

K-State will finish up its slate of women’s basketball exhibition games on Nov. 6 when Fort Hays State pays Bramlage Coliseum a visit at 7 p.m. Fans that cannot make it to the game will be able to stream it live on K-StateHD.tv.