Wildcats ride hot start, hold off Texas Tech for win

The women's basketball team cheers on their teammates from the bench as a free-throw shot is made in Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday. The Wildcats defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 83-69. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

K-State burned the nets off the south basket at Bramlage Coliseum in the first quarter of their 83-69 victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night.

“It was nice for us to get some offense,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “We had not scored a whole lot of points in the last couple weeks.”

Behind nine first-quarter points from junior guard Kayla Goth and a pair of threes from freshman Rachel Ranke, K-State started the game shooting 8-11 — 73 percent. The Wildcats were 2-3 from three-point range in the quarter.

Goth lead K-State with a career-high 27 points and nine assists.

“I’m just trying to do my job,” Goth said. “I try to do what Coach Mittie asks me to do and kind of try to produce what I can.”

The Wildcat 2-3 zone created fits for everyone under six feet four inches on Texas Tech’s roster in the first quarter. Texas Tech’s sophomore forward Brittany Brewer is six feet five inches, though, and she had seven points in the first.

Brewer had no trouble scoring. She recorded 24 points and 13 rebounds on the night.

“She has been practicing a lot better,” Texas Tech head coach Shimmy Gray-Miller said. “I liked her aggressiveness against Baylor. She had a lot of confidence going into the game.”

K-State took a 24-19 lead into the quarter break.

The second quarter was much of the same for the Wildcats. Brewer continued to light up the defense, while Goth and Ranke found ways to score on the other end.

Then, as quick as the scoring started, it stopped. Texas Tech went on a 7-2 run. It got as close as 37-33. K-State went almost two minutes without a basket during that stretch.

“We started playing harder, they were missing some shots,” Gray-Miller said. “We were doing great on the glass, that’s really all I remember [about that run.]”

From there, K-State ratcheted up the intensity on both ends of the floor and took a 41-35 lead into the break.

Goth scored four straight points in the first minute of the second half to extend the Wildcat lead to 10 points before a very quick Texas Tech timeout. K-State would start the half on an 8-0 run.

K-State extended its zone out in the third quarter to really harass the Texas Tech ball handler. The defense caused 7 turnovers in the third quarter.

“We needed to fight harder down low,” Mittie said. “They were really pounding us. We needed to get a little bit better ball pressure. We went to a little bit of a half-court trap.”

K-State would eventually settle down, going 1-8 shooting over a two-minute stretch, but great offensive rebounding kept the ball on K-State’s end of the court for the most of that and limited the damage. K-State took a 60-51 into the final frame.

The Red Raiders seemed to have K-State figured out in the fourth quarter. K-State was held to bad shots on offense and struggled to stop Brewer on defense.

K-State kept Texas Tech at bay throughout the fourth quarter, but it would stay close enough for Texas Tech to turn to fouling to try to get back into the game late.

Senior guard Shaelyn Martin is now one start short of breaking into the top-10 all-time list for career starts at K-State. She has 114 career starts.

The women’s basketball team will play next on Saturday against the University of Texas Longhorns.

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.