Women’s basketball routs Omaha in home opener

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Freshman guard Emilee Ebert scans the court for an open play during the women's basketball home opener against Washburn in Bramlage Coliseum on Oct. 29, 2019. The Wildcats held the Ichabods 75-59. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The women’s basketball team took care of Omaha in their season opener Friday night 73-48, behind a team-high 15 points from sophomore guard Christianna Carr.

“I think I could have done better finishing at the rim, finishing some easier layups and establishing myself inside,” Carr said. “There’s definitely some room for improvement.”

The Wildcats started off the night quick, winning the opening tip and knocking down a three just seconds after. The fast start would not bode well for their three-point shooting though, Kansas State was just 2-9 from outside the arc.

The Wildcats struggled on the offensive end in the first quarter. They found themselves taking too many quick, bad shots and they only managed to shoot 25 percent in the first quarter.

“We had some nerves,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “The exhibition games are kind of the dress rehearsal, but even the first game, even for me as a coach, you’re like ‘This is for real.’”

Luckily for K-State, the Wildcat defense came to play, holding Omaha to 0-5 from three in the first quarter.

Freshman forward Ayoka Lee had two of those blocked shots. She finished the night with 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots

“What we do focus on is being able to help and recover on defense,” Lee said. “With those [blocked shots] I had to help, but what also comes with that is being smart knowing when I can block it and when I can’t.”

The Wildcats took a one-point lead into the quarter break thanks to a late three-point play from senior guard Angela Harris.

In the second quarter, K-State sorted out their offensive problems, shooting 47 percent from the field and 6-7 from the charity stripe.

“In the second quarter, in particular, that was just getting in transition. We got layups in that stretch, we had good patience in that stretch,” Mittie said.

That offensive improvement and a 22-10 third quarter helped K-State take a 35-22 lead into halftime.

K-State dominated the third quarter. The Mavericks went more than nine minutes without a field goal and turned the ball over five times in that same stretch. The Wildcats used a 19-5 third quarter to take control of the game.

“I thought all night our pressure was pretty good,” Mittie said. “I think our awareness is not bad. I think we’ve grown in that area.”

In the third quarter, senior forward Peyton Williams secured her 22nd career double-double. She finished the night with 14 points and 19 rebounds.

“The importance of having [Williams] was just for her to get her legs under her from a basketball perspective,” Mittie said. “Playing through contact I thought was the one thing she struggled with early in this game.”

K-State coasted their way to a win in the fourth quarter, making sure to clear the benches and get experience for younger players. They were outscored by Omaha 21-19 in the fourth.

There were five Wildcats in double-figures in the game — Carr (15), Williams (14) and Lee (11) were joined by junior guard Rachel Ranke and Jasauen Beard with 11 points a piece.

The Wildcats host Illinois-Chicago at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Bramlage Coliseum.

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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.