The Kansas State women’s basketball team were defeated by the University of Oklahoma Sooners 76-71 Wednesday night in Bramlage Coliseum.
“It stings a lot; I’m not happy with any phase of our game tonight,” head coach Jeff Mittie said.
The Wildcats came slow out of the gate, allowing Oklahoma to pull ahead 5-0 early in the first quarter. K-State used a 11-3 run over the next three minutes to pull ahead.
The run was sparked by a pair of fast-break layups by junior guard Kayla Goth, a three-pointer from senior forward Kaylee Page and two jump shots from sophomore forward Peyton Williams.
Williams provided K-State with a big lift in the second quarter. She had 15 points in that quarter; the whole team scored 20.
“I said at that point to be as aggressive as I could,” Williams said. “That was one of my goals at the beginning of the game.”
Despite Williams’ efforts, Oklahoma managed to cut K-State’s lead to 41-38 at halftime after Oklahoma’s senior guard Gabbi Ortiz hit a three with the stadium lights off to end the half.
“As I was about to release it, the lights went out,” Ortiz said. “It got my energy going and it got our momentum going.”
According to the Manhattan Mercury’s Greg Woods, a “static discharge” from the finger of the light operator hit the button and caused the lights to shut off in the middle of the ball’s flight.
“I thought it was about fitting that Oritz shot the lights out,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “I thought it was a good attempt by our maintenance staff to cool her off, but it did not work.”
A defensive third quarter ensued that saw Oklahoma close the game by a single point. Freshman guard Shaina Pellington scored eight of Oklahoma’s 13 points.
“It’s like we started to believe that we could guard them collectively,” OU coach Sherri Coale said.
Oklahoma utilized a 14-7 run to start the fourth quarter to take back the lead. Goth drilled a deep two-point shot to tie it up at 66 with three minutes left, but OU quickly stretched their lead back out to five with under a minute left.
“They had us questioning [ourselves] at times,” Mittie said.
K-State extended the game by sending Oklahoma to the free throw line at the end of the fourth quarter, but came up just short.
A missed three-point shot by freshman guard Rachel Ranke with 14 seconds left all but sealed it for K-State as Oklahoma’s Maddie Manning made a pair of free throws to stretch the Oklahoma’s lead.
The Wildcats will travel to Waco, Texas, to play Baylor on Saturday.