K-State’s women’s basketball team did not need a late rally to get past North Texas like they have to this point this season. No, they put the Mean Green away early en route to a 60-42 win at Bramlage Coliseum Friday night.
“We got them on their heels early in this game tonight, which was critical,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “I thought our attack early put them on their heels and it was great to see us come out of the gates.”
Last week against Omaha, K-State trailed by eight at halftime. In their first exhibition game against Fort Hays State, K-State took a three-point deficit to the locker room.
Friday night, though, they jumped to an early 11-2 lead and led 22-10 by the end of the first. The 22-point first quarter matched their best quarter of the season.
The Wildcats never trailed, and the only tie was 0-0 before senior guard Kayla Goth made a lay-up to take the initial —and final— lead.
They shot 50 percent across the board in that first quarter. They did not slow down much in the second quarter, going 5-12 or 41 percent. K-State’s halftime lead was 35-21.
“We got the ball to [Goth], we got the ball in spots where they had trouble defending her,” Mittie said.
K-State also looked good from three for the first time this season. The Wildcats knocked down five of 16 threes. Sophomore guard Rachel Ranke was 3-5.
Last week, K-State was an abysmal 4-23 from behind the arc. Three of those came from Ranke, who describes herself as a “shooter.” She managed to attempt 12 in that game. The other trey was freshman guard Christianna Carr, who attempted six. Goth and sophomore guard Cymone Goodrich were each 0-2 against Omaha.
The shot just five percent (1-20) from three in the Fort Hays State game. Carr had that lone three.
“I got to a pretty rough start in those exhibition games, but seeing that first one in definitely helped me hit the other ones,” Ranke said.
By the end of the night, K-State regressed just a little, only scoring at a 46 percent clip and shooting 31 percent from behind the arc.
That regression occurred when they shot on 33 percent in the third quarter, that number was back up to 54 in the fourth.
Goth led all scorers with 21 points and seven assists. Ranke poured in another 13 points and eight rebounds.
“[Making her first shot was] obviously a confidence booster,” Goth said. “Making the first one makes the second going in a little bit easier.”
Senior forward Kali Jones also recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
K-State will host UMKC on Sunday before heading to Cancun, Mexico, for the Cancun Challenge, which starts with a game November 22 against Syracuse.