The Kansas State women’s basketball team fell to 13-14 at the hands of the West Virginia University Mountaineers on Tuesday night in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats lost 75-66.
The Mountaineers came out guns blazing, making three of their first five three-point shots to take a 12-5 lead. K-State would battle back a little, but still trailed 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.
“I will stand around and shoot threes if we are going to [shoot like] that,” West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said.
The Wildcats had offensive trouble in the first quarter, making only five of 15 shots and only one of five threes. The scoring was evenly distributed between five Wildcats.
Freshman guard and sharp-shooter Rachel Ranke had the lone three of the quarter for K-State.
After starting the second quarter on a 4-0 run, K-State ran into a stretch of almost three minutes where they could not find a basket. Despite the offensive woes, West Virginia was only able to match the Wildcats’ four points during that stretch.
The Wildcats’ three-point woes continued through the second quarter, where the Wildcats took four more treys and missed all of them. K-State shot 6-16 on the quarter.
The Wildcat defense prevented West Virginia from extending their lead beyond the six-point lead they had amassed by the end of the first quarter. The Mountaineers took a 30-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
West Virginia shot out of the gates on a 6-2 run to start the third quarter and stretched their lead to 10.
K-State answered the call and showed some life in the third quarter. A three-pointer from senior forward Kaylee Page cut the lead to five and forced a Mountaineer timeout.
However, West Virginia would manage to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length for the rest of the quarter. The Mountaineers pushed their lead out to ten points by the end of the third, 51-41.
“They got a couple timely [offensive rebounds] during that stretch,” K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said.
Early in the fourth quarter, K-State’s bench was assessed a technical foul after a questionable out-of-bounds call. West Virginia senior forward Teana Muldrow made both of the free throws, and then senior forward Kristina King made a layup to stretch the WVU lead to 14.
“I’ve never in my career gotten a technical over one call; it usually builds,” Mittie said.
Sophomore forward Peyton Williams led the Wildcats with 18 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Kayla Goth contributed another 14 points and five assists.
“I struggled to get everybody moving in the offense, my only response to that was to try to go score,” Goth said. “[Page] shot the ball well, I am pretty sure that is where the majority of my assists came from.”
Two other Wildcats, Page and Ranke, contributed double digit points in the loss with 16 and 11, respectively.
The Wildcats had one last push in them, three free throws from Page cut the Mountaineer lead to seven with about 90 seconds left.
“Kansas State didn’t quit — they came back and made it close at the end,” Carey said. “Give Kansas State credit, too. They hung in there.”
The Wildcats turned to putting the Mountaineers at the free throw line to try to extend the game and gain back points, but West Virginia was just a little bit too good from the free throw line.
“It is a pained locker room,” Mittie said. “It has been a pained locker room for two or three weeks. … They are coming in, though, and working hard; the leadership is there.”