After losing a close overtime game in their previous matchup against Texas Tech, the Kansas State women’s basketball team (6-14, 1-12 Big 12) will look to turn the tables on the Red Raiders (10-12, 5-11 Big 12) on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats led by 12 points in the fourth quarter in the last meeting, but K-State failed to do anything in the closing minutes, allowing Texas Tech to push the game into overtime and walk away with an 83-75 victory.
“I think it’s deflating in every which way it can be,” K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said after the loss. “When you have a lead like that late in the game, you’ve just got to close out some plays and we’ve been there and we can’t do it. It hurts.”
The Wildcats will once again look to sophomore center Ayoka Lee to drive the point scoring on Wednesday night, as she has done for the majority of the season. Lee has scored nearly 28 percent of K-State’s points this season and has 20 percent of the team’s total rebounds. Lee is the only player in the Big 12 Conference who is shooting 57.5 percent or better from the field and 80 percent or better from the free-throw line.
Lee won’t be alone in her efforts though. Guards junior Christianna Carr, sophomore Emilee Ebert, redshirt junior Rachel Ranke and junior Cymone Goodrich are projected to fill out the rest of the starting five for K-State.
Carr has had an outstanding season and is looking to break into the top ten of three-pointers made in K-State history. Carr currently has 153 and if she makes eight more, she’ll equal Bri Craig (2012-2016) for tenth place.
Ebert’s season can only be summarized as a breakout year. She leads the team in assists with 60 and is second on the team with blocks at 21. Ebert is only one of three players in the Big 12 to rank among the top-15 for assists and blocks.
Ranke and Goodrich have both had great seasons too. Goodrich has turned into an assist machine this year, whether it be passing inside to Lee or setting up her fellow guards, she can do it all. After a foot injury sidelined her last year, Ranke has returned to form and is as deadly as ever from outside the arc.
Ranke also looks to become the 43rd player in school history to reach 1,000 points, needing 23 to do so.
K-State will look to continue to stay strong on the defensive side of the ball as well. Despite having a 1-12 conference record, the Wildcats post the fourth-best scoring defense in the Big 12 at 64.3 points per game.
The Lady Red Raiders, who average 70.9 points per game will look to guards senior Vivian Gray and senior Lexi Gordon who are both averaging over 15 points per game to carry them to victory.
The 40th meeting between the Red Raiders and Wildcats tips off at 6:30 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum and can be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Radio coverage will be through the K-State Sports Network.