Youth shines in women’s basketball exhibition win over Washburn

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Ayoka Lee, center for K-State woman's basketball, is announced as a starter. The Wildcats defeated Fort Hays 78-60 in Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 1, 2019. (Archive photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State women’s basketball head coach Jeff Mittie got an opportunity to see how far his new faces have come in the offseason during the 68-39 rout of Washburn in K-State’s first exhibition game Sunday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

Two true freshmen — guards Jaelyn Glenn and Serena Sundell—started the game for the Wildcats with Glenn’s twin sister Brylee Glenn and sophomore transfer Rebekah Dallinger getting in off the bench.

“I thought everybody had good moments,” Mittie said. “What they’ve been consistent on is that they have not changed in a practice. They can have a bad stretch of practice, and they’re still competing, they’re still trying to learn. … We’re just trying to help them continue to adjust to the college level.”

Jaelyn Glenn led K-State’s new faces with nine points on 3-5 shooting from three-point range. She also had three steals.

“I thought Jae played fantastic in the second half defensively. Got her hands on a lot of basketballs,” Mittie said.

Sundell had eight points and led the team with five assists running the point in her debut and first start.

“I was nervous, but I was trusting my preparation. If there wasn’t nerves, something would be off, so good nerves,” Sundell said.

After a slow start, K-State began pouring it on late in the first quarter. The team finished the period with a 14-6 run to lead by nine.

The Wildcats didn’t look back, outscoring Washburn 15-5 in the second quarter, where they shot 38.5 percent to just over 15 percent shooting from the Ichabods. They held Washburn to 26.4 percent shooting and forced 24 turnovers.

“I thought we communicated well in the first half and, coming out into the second, we knew it would be harder because we’re playing defense further from our bench, and that’s an adjustment we had to make,” center Ayoka Lee said. “Our guards did a great job on the switches.”

Lee got her junior campaign started with 17 points and nine rebounds in just 18 minutes. She led all participants in both stats despite spending most of the third quarter on the bench with three fouls and fouled out midway through the fourth.

The Wildcats coasted through the second half to complete the blowout of the overmatched Ichabods, outscoring the visitors 13-10 in the third quarter and 21-14 in the fourth, letting Mittie look at different lineups.

“I saw the ability for every player to help us,” Mittie said. “People can get caught up in combinations — and certainly as a coach, it’s our job to get good combinations on the floor — but as I’ve told the players from day one, you’re either ready or you’re not.”

K-State will host Pittsburgh State in its second exhibition game Friday, Nov. 5, before taking on Central Arkansas to start the regular season on Nov. 9.

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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.