‘They whipped us in the paint:’ No. 7 Baylor pounded K-State women’s basketball team

Kansas State guard Rachel Ranke, left, shoots past Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald, via AP)

The women’s basketball team lost 85-49 in Waco, Texas, on Saturday as the Bears led wire-to-wire.

Baylor led by 11 at the end of the first quarter and the Wildcats turned the ball over six times and only made 23 percent of shots against the Bears’ tight man-to-man defense.

The Wildcats had early opportunities to keep up with the Baylor offense on dribble drives, but their shots would not go.

“Baylor was really active. You could tell coming out they had a good energy to them,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “We missed some opportunities early with some drives to the basket. They’re contested drives, but we’ve gotta finish those plays better.”

By the time shooting improved — 40 percent in the second quarter — the Wildcats couldn’t keep up.

In a midweek interview, Mittie expressed concern about Baylor’s ability to push the tempo and get out and run after turnovers. K-State turned the ball over 21 times in the game, yielding 16 points off turnovers for Baylor.

“All five of their players are really capable of running to the rim. I thought their ball movement was excellent,” Mittie said. “They just had a really good rhythm to the game, a really good decisiveness.”

The Bears came out of halftime attacking the Wildcats forwards. Baylor drew a pair of quick fouls on sophomore center Ayoka Lee to put her at four for the game. She missed the rest of the second half to save legs for the Wildcats final stretch.

“It reached a point where, ‘Why get Lee back out there and give Taylor [Lauterbach] some extra minutes?’ I thought Taylor played well,” Mittie said.

With Lee out, Baylor kept pounding the middle of K-State’s 2-3 zone. Baylor scored 46 points in the paint on the Wildcats.

“They whipped us in the paint,” Mittie said.

Baylor outscored the Wildcats 31-16 in the third quarter. The teams held even at 14 points apiece in the fourth quarter.

Baylor’s size advantage helped Baylor out-rebound K-State 42-25. The Bears recorded 17 offensive rebounds and scored 21 percent of its points on second chances.

Junior guard Rachel Ranke scored nine points on 3-8 from the three-point range to lead the way for K-State. The effort put her over 1000 points in her K-State career.

The Wildcats fell to 2-13 in Big 12 play with three games left to play, while Baylor clinched a share of their 11th straight Big 12 title on senior night.

K-State will host TCU on Monday and West Virginia on Wednesday before finishing out their regular season in Norman, Oklahoma, against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.