K-State uses strong fourth quarter to overpower Florida A&M

The Kansas State Wildcats women's basketball team play the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kan. on Nov. 13, 2017. The Wildcats went on to win with a final score of 81 to 60. (File photo of Justin Wright | Collegian Media Group)

The K-State women’s basketball team beat the Florida A&M Rattlers 81-57 on Friday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

The story of the first quarter was K-State getting to the free throw line. In the first quarter alone, K-State attempted 12 free throws, making 8 of them

A pair of three pointers by freshman guard Rachel Ranke bookmarked a stretch of five minutes where K-State did nothing on offense but go to the foul line. Six straight offensive possessions ended at the free throw line.

K-State used the free throws and a dominating defense to claw their way back from a 13-10 deficit. Florida A&M didn’t score during the stretch.

“Free throws are definitely something we emphasize, if we can get to the line it’s a break for us,” senior guard Shaelyn Martin said.

On offense, K-State had a lot of success pulling the Rattlers’ center up and sliding a wing in behind her for layups.

It certainly didn’t hurt that they were also finding success simply shooting over the Florida A&M defense. Quick ball movement allowed for a lot of open threes.

Freshman guard Cymone Goodrich made a comeback after spending the last game on the sideline in a sling. She finished the game with nine points.

K-State’s 2-3 zone defense forced Florida A&M into a lot of hard three point attempts. In the first half, the Rattlers shot 4-12 from behind the arc.

K-State’s leading scorer was Ranke, she scored 21 points.

“I think she’s going to stretch the defense, I think we’ve got to figure out how to utilize that better,” head coach Jeff Mittie said.

Florida A&M used an aggressive full court defense to hang around in the third quarter. K-State struggled to get the ball down court and punish them with easy baskets.

“We got a little panicked at first,” junior guard Kayla Goth said. “I need to do a better job at getting everyone calmed down.”

The pressure allowed Florida A&M to pull to within 5 points late in the third quarter. The Rattlers went on a 13-3 run to make the game 58-53 at its closest.

During that time, K-State went ice cold from the field. The stretch saw K-State shoot 0-7 on 2-point buckets and 1-4 from three. They also committed three turnovers.

K-State answered by starting the fourth quarter with a 14-1 run to push their lead to 74-54. The Rattlers didn’t score until a free throw put them on the board with 4:34 left in the quarter. Florida A&M scored their first field goal of the quarter with 3:03 left.

K-State outscored Florida A&M 21-4 in the fourth quarter.

“We did a better job of calming down in the fourth quarter,” Martin said. “Our decision making was just a little better in that last quarter.”

K-State had two players get double-doubles. Goth managed 11 points and 10 assists from the point guard position, she only had three turnovers. Sophomore forward Peyton Williams put up 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“I’m starting to get more comfortable in [the point guard position,]” Goth said. “My turnovers have been wild turnovers.”

Martin had a career high 15 rebounds in the contest. She also had eight points.

The Wildcats will be in play next on Sunday, November 19, in Denton, Texas, when they take on the North Texas Mean Green.

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.