Women’s basketball defense steps up in 47-33 win against Central Arkansas

K-State senior guard Sydney Goodson corrals the basketball in the Wildcat's 66-51 victory over Southern last week. (Photo Courtesy of Scott Weaver | K-State Athletics)

The Kansas State women’s basketball team displayed defensive excellence on Saturday, holding Central Arkansas to just 33 points in a 47-33 win in Conway, Arkansas.

In the game, K-State was able to hold the Sugar Bears to single-digit points in three of the four quarters. The 33 points surrendered are the fewest total the Wildcats have allowed in a game since 2016.

“We didn’t complicate it,” head coach Jeff Mittie said in a K-State Athletics press release. “We really did similar things we did the other night against Kentucky. We tried to keep things pretty simple. We felt the more we looked at Central Arkansas that that would be a solid plan. I thought our team was decent at keeping them in front of them. The second half they got to the rim too much, but I think overall our size bothered them.”

With help from their size advantage, K-State was able to hold Central Arkansas to a low 17.5 shooting percentage. It also opened up offensive opportunities for freshman center Taylor Lauterbach, who replaced junior Ayoka Lee, who was out with an injury that she sustained in the loss to Kentucky.

Lauterbach came off of the bench and recorded a near double-double, with nine points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.

“She grew up today, she really did,” Mittie said. “She was able to get position better. She was quicker. Even when they brought extra help in there, I thought she played stronger. She moved better. We knew that they would attack her off the bounce and I thought she moved better there. It was a real positive performance by her and I thought a real positive performance by Ashley (Ray) as well.”

Junior Rachel Ranke made her first start of the season and added nine points and three rebounds.

In a close game throughout, K-State outscored Central Arkansas 16-4 to pull away late. In the quarter, Ranke sparked a 12-0 run with five-straight points. Mittie felt like his bench gave his team a boost in the game.

“I thought the bench really gave us a lift there,” Mittie said. “I thought (Savannah) Simmons came in there and gave us a lift. I thought (Cymone) Goodrich continued to give us a lift in the second half with moving the basketball. (Emilee) Ebert with moving the basketball. (Laura) Macke did some nice things. I thought that group played better together and got us going a little bit.”

K-State will look to build a winning streak in their next matchup of the season when the Wildcats take on Idaho State in Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday’s game will hold 15 percent capacity and will tip-off at 1 p.m. with live coverage on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.