The K-State women’s basketball team avenged a 60-30 loss from earlier this season with a 90-79 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers in Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Neither team could get anything going out of the gate. The game’s first field goal was a three-pointer from West Virginia junior guard Tynice Martin. Jeff Mittie, K-State head coach, immediately called a timeout to try to gather his team.
“I did not like the way we started there,” Mittie said. “It was a bad start, not aggressive.”
Martin led the Mountaineers with 27 points. She also had eight rebounds.
The timeout worked — the Wildcats put together and 7-2 run to tie the game and eventually climbed to a four-point lead at the end of the first, 16-12.
The second quarter saw the Mountaineers climb back into a tie with 3:07 to play behind back-to-back three-pointers from Martin.
K-State would build their lead back up to six after a quick 8-2 run, but another pair of WVU threes eliminated that lead just before halftime. The score was 35-35.
K-State exploded out of the gate and climbed to a 13-point lead mid-way through the third quarter. Then, disaster struck.
The Mountaineers put together a 19-2 run to finish out the third quarter with a 60-56 lead. The Wildcats had lost all momentum and were down senior forward Kali Jones due to foul trouble.
“You know every game you are going to face adversity, you know that coming into it,” Mittie said.
K-State found important baskets early in the fourth quarter from sophomore guard Rachel Ranke and junior forward Peyton Williams to put them back into the game.
“We’ve gotten grittier over the course of the season, we’ve become more resilient,” Mittie said.
From there, the teams traded blows until a missed WVU shot led to another three from Ranke and K-State was up four. Then they built the lead to five.
With just over three minutes to play, freshman guard Chrissy Carr drove the lane looking for a layup. She was fouled by senior guard Naomi Davenport, who slammed the ball into the ground in frustration and was called for a technical foul.
Williams shot the technical shots, making both, and then Carr made one-of-two on the common foul shots. K-State’s lead was seven.
“I thought in my head that I need to keep attacking and keep attacking and keep attacking,” Carr said.
Senior guard Kayla Goth recorded a career-high 30 points for K-State. She played all 40 minutes in the win.
“After that game in West Virginia, I think there was a lot of pent-up anger that I’ve just been waiting on,” Goth said. “Everybody knew that this game was coming up and we were not going to shoot like that again.”
Last time against West Virginia, K-State shot 20 percent and was 0-18 from three-point range. This time around, they were 51 percent from the field and 6-22 from three.
Goth was one of four Wildcats in double figures. Carr had 21, Williams had 20 and Ranke had 11.
The win against another strong bubble team should help push K-State off the bubble and into the NCAA tournament.
“You do not leave it up in the committee’s hands, you force the committee’s hands ,” Mittie said. “My experience has been that if you force the committee’s hands they go ‘that is a tournament team.’”
The Wildcat’s next action will be Saturday when they host Texas Tech for Senior Day. That game will be streamed live on ESPN3.