ANALYSIS: Women’s basketball focuses on discipline in blow-out win

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Senior guard Angela Harris charges the basket during the women’s basketball game against Incarnate Word in Bramlage Coliseum on Dec. 3, 2019. The Wildcats defeated the Cardinals 85-41. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The women’s basketball passed up a lot of open shots in an 85-41 victory over Incarnate Word Tuesday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

“Making the extra pass has been a big emphasis for our team this year,” junior guard Rachel Ranke said. “It gives our team more trust with each other to find the extra pass.”

The result was never in question for Kansas State, who started the game on a 9-0 run and outscored their opponent 20-11 in the first quarter, so they focused on their discipline.

“Tonight the challenge was probably more between the ears,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “They could probably get any shot they wanted to, but to have the discipline to turn down those shots in a game like this is between the ears. … We weren’t trying to score 110 tonight, that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to show better discipline.”

Kansas State seemed to choose the right plays on offense. They assisted on 30 of 37 made shots and shot a Bramlage Coliseum record 64 percent from the field.

“I liked over the course of the game that we seemed to play better together,” Mittie said. “Early I thought too many turnovers, too many unforced errors. … Over the course of the game, only six turnovers in the second half — 30 assists — all in all a pretty good performance.”

Certainly, some of the differential in this game was due to size and athleticism. The tallest Cardinal was only 6-foot-1, while the Wildcats boast five girls taller than that mark and another four girls who measure up the same.

“We did have a size advantage and I think going into these game it can be tempting not to follow the game plan, but tonight we really had to stay disciplined,” freshman forward Ayoka Lee said. “We did a good job of [getting the ball into the paint]. Our guards did a good job of looking and our bigs did a good job of getting good position.”

As the Wildcats’ tallest player Lee shot a perfect 10-10, scoring 20 points. She also pulled down eight rebounds and blocked six shots. That perfect shooting percentage tied the best percentage ever for a player with a minimum of 10 made baskets in K-State history.

Lee was named Big 12 Freshman of the Week twice already this young season.

“It’s a great honor,” Lee said. “The mindset has to be continuing to get better because it’s not going to get easier and being able to get better so I can keep helping my team in any way I can.”

Defensively, K-State only let Incarnate Word score 41 points and shoot 26.4 percent. They scored 23 points on 15 turnovers.

“I didn’t feel like we were as disciplined tonight as we needed to be,” Mittie said. “In stretches I thought we were ok.”

The Wildcats head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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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.