Women’s basketball misfires at Oklahoma State

Sophomore center Ayoka Lee guards Oklahoma State's Natasha Mack at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas on Jan. 25, 2021. K-State lost 69-55. (Photo courtesy of Scott Weaver)

The Kansas State women’s basketball team was dominated on both ends of the court by Oklahoma State in a 59-46 loss on the road Wednesday afternoon in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Wildcats made only 17 baskets on the evening, shooting just 31 percent. Sophomore center Ayoka Lee made 12 of those shots in a 27-point performance. No other Wildcat scored more than 5 points.

“Lee did some good things tonight,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “We had a lot of players out there struggling.”

K-State made one of 14 three-point attempts and only shot 65 percent from the free throw line.

“I give Oklahoma State credit,” Mittie said. “Their guard pressure got us uncomfortable. While we didn’t turn the ball over, it never seemed like we had timely ball movement. It never seemed like the ball was moving to the right player.”

They also struggled — once again — with Oklahoma State’s senior Natasha Mack, who recorded her second double-double against K-State this season. This time around she scored 24 and pulled down 17 rebounds.

“You can tell a big difference in her second year in the Big 12,” Mittie said of the OSU star. “There’s a variety of ways that she can hurt you, we did a better job today of keeping her off the offensive glass, but she’s 10-17 from the field. She beats us with the left shoulder turn, she beats us with a quick spin move underneath the rim.”

Despite being down almost the entire game due to poor offense, Mittie thought the Wildcats held their own on defense

“We had a lot of players out on the floor there struggling, but they continued to play defense and continued to make some plays on that end,” Mittie said. “They played pretty hard at the defensive end and sometimes when you’re struggling that bad offensively, that doesn’t happen.”

K-State did hold Oklahoma State to just 38 percent shooting from the floor and force 17 turnovers. The problem was that OSU made seven of 19 threes and recorded 11 offensive rebounds.

“I think our defense played well enough to have us in better position,” Mittie said. “I thought our defense was okay. We had so many struggles on the offensive end that it was hard for us to ever make a run at them. If you’re not making shots, you can’t make a run.”

What worked for OSU to beat the zone was dribble penetration and kick-outs to open shooters as well as sliding into the paint behind the Wildcat’s center on baseline traps.

The Wildcats were once again without two starters. Junior guard Chirssy Carr and senior guard Sydney Goodson each missed their second game in a row. They were left in Manhattan to receive treatment for the injuries that have sidelined them both and Mittie did not have a status update.

K-State fell to 1-11 in Big 12 Conference play and 6-13 overall. Their next game will be a Sunday afternoon trip to Austin, Texas, to play Texas at 2 p.m.

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, a graduate student from Olathe, Kansas, working on a Masters in Mass Communication. I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. This is my fourth year covering K-State sports for the Collegian.