Bears handle Wildcats in Big 12 women’s basketball opener

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The Kansas State women’s basketball team fell to No. 6 Baylor 88-58 inside Bramlage Coliseum on Thursday night.

The Wildcats are now 8-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play while the Bears 11-1 overall and 1-0 in Big 12 play.

This is the sixth straight season that the Wildcats start Big 12 play 0-1 and the 27th straight win for Baylor against K-State.

The Bears opened the game on a 14-3 run and led 26-11 at the end of the first quarter.

It wouldn’t get much better in the second quarter as the Bears outscored K-State 22-14 and led 48-25 at halftime.

Wildcat junior Kayla Goth scored 11 of the 14 points in the quarter for K-State, and she ended up finishing with 22 points in the losing effort.

Out of the halftime break, K-State got back within 13 in the third quarter at 54-41. That would be the closest the Wildcats would get, though.

K-State outscored the Bears 23-18 in the third quarter behind freshman Rachael Ranke, who had six points in the quarter.

“I thought we played better together in terms of ball movement,” head coach Jeff Mittie said after the game. “We had more players aggressive in that stretch. I think Shaelyn [Martin] played well in the third quarter. She was much more aggressive, got to the free-throw line for some points. Peyton [Williams] was aggressive in stretches. What KG [Kayla Goth] is talking about is that I felt like there are more opportunities out there, and I feel like we are just not trusting things right now. It will be interesting to watch this film, because I really feel like we forced some bad shots in stretches where we had better opportunities we did not see.”

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said she was aware that the Wildcats could pull of the upset.

“Absolutely; you’re nervous right before the Christmas holiday,” Mulkey said. “You see a lot of upsets in the men’s and women’s games because people not focused and when you come back, for us, we take five or six days off, or we try to, every Christmas. You just never know, conditioning, and especially when you’re on the road, you don’t have too many people cheering for you.”

Next up for the Wildcats is a two-game road trip beginning in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as K-State takes on Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. on Sunday. It will be the first time in nearly 15 years that the Wildcats will play on New Year’s Eve.

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