ANALYSIS: Slow starts have been detrimental to K-State in Big 12 action

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Senior forward Peyton Williams scans the court as she looks for an open play during K-State’s women’s basketball game against Oklahoma State in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 15. The Wildcats fell to the Cowgirls 70-63. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

Throughout the majority of Big 12 play, the Kansas State women’s basketball team has put itself into many come-from-behind situations where rallying back was a tall task. This is exactly what happened in the Wildcats’ 73-59 road loss to Iowa State on Wednesday night.

Six first-quarter turnovers put K-State in a hole from the start. The stellar play of Iowa State sophomore Ashley Joens and junior Rae Johnson contributed to Iowa State’s success, both combining for 40 points on the night.

“Well [Johnson] made shots right away,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “She hit the step back three and got another look; I thought she was aggressive with the ball. She played three minutes last game with three turnovers; she obviously found her confidence here.”

K-State’s lack of three-point shooting on the night became an issue as well, only shooting 2-14 from behind the arc. Compare this to the Cyclones, who weren’t afraid to let it fly, shooting 9-33 from three-point land.

Even with the sloppy play throughout the first half, K-State was still able to chip away at the lead in the third quarter after being down 42-29 — the Wildcats found themselves down by just two points at the start of the fourth quarter.

“We really weren’t doing much different, we were just doing it better, we got the ball inside better,” Mittie said to K-State Sports. “Williams played better in the second half. She was struggling early, so we were just more decisive I thought in the third quarter.”

Big shots down the final stretch of the game were huge for the Cyclones, including big three-pointers from senior Adriana Camber and Joens, making the final score look like the game wasn’t as close as it actually was.

“Give Iowa State credit, they made the plays down the stretch,” Mittie said. “We got that thing back to a possession and they made the plays down the stretch. I thought the Camber three from the corner was a big play for them, I thought the Jones three on the out of bounds play was another big three, so they had a couple big threes.”

K-State has now dropped four of their first five Big 12 games and will look to get back on track at 2 p.m. Saturday as they take on the Oklahoma Sooners in Bramlage Coliseum.

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