PREVIEW: Women’s basketball seeks back-to-back victories for first time since December

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K-State sophomore Ayoka Lee attempts to block a shot during the game against Kansas last week. The Wildcats won the game, 77-66. (Photo courtesy of Scott Weaver | K-State Athletics)

The women’s basketball team (6-12) won its first game since Dec. 14 against Kansas last week, but Wednesday’s battle against Oklahoma State creates a completely different challenge. The Cowgirls currently sit at third in the Big 12 Conference standings at 15-6 overall and 11-4 in conference play.

One of the biggest matchups for this game is the battle of the bigs — between Kansas State sophomore Ayoka Lee and OSU’s Natasha Mack. Both players average over 19 points per game and both play a pivotal role in their team’s success.

Head coach Jeff Mittie knows beating Oklahoma State may not come as easily as beating KU.

“I think it’s a different challenge, one of the things we did good against Kansas is take care of the ball much better so we had more opportunities,” Mittie said. “OSU has done a really nice job in the half-court of defending their opponents, they’ve got a good rim protector in Natasha Mack.”

The 77-66 win over the Jayhawks is the first win in conference play, but the team believes it can finish the season strong.

“I think we just keep looking for wins, we have one under our belt now, we just have to keep the ball rolling and build off this one,” sophomore guard Emilee Ebert said.

Ebert played a huge role in the win over Kansas, setting eight personal bests in the absence of both senior guard Sydney Goodson and junior guard Christianna Carr who are both out with injuries.

Both teams will fight extra hard for this win. Oklahoma State wants to prove it is a top-25 team while the Wildcats want to prove the team is not to be taken lightly. The team slowly put the puzzle pieces together and the progress is showing.

“All of our hard work, all of our improvements are starting to build to something,” Lee said.

K-State currently holds a slim lead in the series matchup as the Wildcats are currently 39-35 against the Cowgirls all-time and will look to improve on that record on Wednesday.

The 75th meeting between these two teams tipsoff at 3 p.m. in the Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and can be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Radio coverage will be through the K-State Sports Network.

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