ANALYSIS: Redshirt freshman center Ayoka Lee dominates in women’s basketball win

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Freshman center Ayoka Lee leaps up for a shot during the women’s basketball game against Oklahoma in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 25, 2020. The Wildcats beat the Sooners 94-72. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

Going into the matchup, it was unclear how the women’s basketball team was going to fair against Oklahoma’s high shooting percentage. In the end, the answer was simple — utilize the front-court advantage.

Kansas State ended up dominating the Sooners, 92-74.

“This is a very explosive Oklahoma team, so I don’t think any lead is safe,” K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said. “They were down 15 to Oklahoma State with 2:18 left, and came back and won that game, they’re that explosive.”

Redshirt freshman center Ayoka Lee and senior forward Peyton Williams were the dominating players for the night, and it wasn’t just because they were the giants on the court. They were both consistent through all four quarters.

The first quarter was just the first punch in the game as the Wildcats drew out an early lead. Williams finished the first quarter with nine points, leading all K-State scorers.

Dominance in the post was a persistent theme for the Wildcats in the second quarter as well with Lee keeping control on offense. After a slow two-point first quarter for Lee, she racked up 10 more points quickly.

“I feel like we had several people going at different parts of the game, like Angela [Harris] had a really good section where she was really hitting shots. I had a good section, and then we got to Ayoka inside,” Williams said.

The lead the Wildcats held over the Sooners faltered slightly in the second quarter as Oklahoma picked up the pace at the post.

Basketball is a game of runs, and the Sooners definitely made some attempts to steal the lead from the Wildcats. Senior guard Angela Harris was the perfect foil to the Sooner plot.

While Harris’ performance wasn’t legendary, she got the job done and at times, she steered the ship for the Wildcats. She kept the team intact when times were tough, and made a few pull-up jumpers when the game was close.

K-State still led Oklahoma 45-41 heading into the break.

The second half was much of the same, but more Wildcats joined in offensively, securing a well-rounded team victory.

“Everybody did something well today,” Mittie said

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Senior forward Jasauen Beard leaps up for a shot during the women’s basketball game against Oklahoma in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 25, 2020. The Wildcats beat the Sooners 94-72. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

At the conclusion of the game, four Wildcats were in double figures, Lee tied a school record with 20 rebounds and K-State snapped a three-game conference losing streak.

Senior forward Jasauen Beard (12 points), Harris (20), Lee (23) and Williams (24) were the four double figure scorers.

On top of tying the school record in rebounds, Lee also put on a 20-20 performance — the first K-State player to do so.

K-State improves to (8-9, 2-4 Big 12), and will head to Lawrence, on Wednesday to take on the Jayhawks. Game coverage will be available on FSN and on the K-State Sports Network. Tip-ff is set for 8 p.m.

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