The Kansas State women’s basketball team finished its exhibition season with a 101-54 drubbing of Division II Pittsburg State Friday night in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats surpassed 100 points for the first time since a 109-point performance in 2019.
For K-State, the game plan seemed to be to throw the ball down low to junior Ayoka Lee, who had a four-inch advantage on the girls tasked to guard her, and sophomore Taylor Lauterbach, who had a five-inch advantage.
“Well, I don’t think it’s going to be a mystery that that’s going to be game plan the entire year regardless of who we play,” head coach Jeff Mittie said after the game. “We put them in position where they could catch the ball and really score easy tonight, so that was a good thing to see.”
Lee finished the night with 40 points and 13 rebounds in only 21 minutes. In her first double-double of the young year, she only missed one second-half shot.
Lee had fewer minutes because the Wildcats were focusing more on their younger players once again. Mittie asked freshman Serena Sundell to take the point, as well as giving freshman Brylee Glenn and sophomore Rebekah Dallinger starts.
“We had an entirely different lineup [than last game],” Mittie said. “I think this might be a team that players have to be ready to play whatever role. If we’re going into a certain kind of game, we may take a starter out and put one in there. … At the end of the day, the minutes that you get and how productive you are, that’s the most important thing.”
Sundell, who started in her Wildcat debut earlier in the week, managed six assists and eight points from the point guard position.
“You know, Serena is ready to play, and I don’t care whether you’re a freshman or a senior, you just have to be ready to do the job, and she’s ready,” Mittie said. “What I love about Serena is she’s got a short memory in terms of turnovers, in terms of tough plays. She goes to the next play very well. She’s a smart kid.”
The Wildcats started the game hot, making their first five shots. By the first media timeout, they were shooting 62 percent and the game was already nearly out of reach. The Wildcats were up 10 at the end of the first stanza.
In the third quarter, K-State put the defensive clamps down. The Gorillas only managed six points, and K-State had four steals and two blocked shots in the quarter.
“What I liked was that I thought we were aggressive, I thought we anticipated well,” Mittie said. “Those were the things that I thought were real positives for us.”
All that was left for K-State to do late was work through some different lineups and get minutes for the young players. Mittie worked out sophomore Jada Moore at the point and gave Lauterbach significant minutes down the stretch.
“Taylor continues to get better,” Mittie said. “She’s just more confident, more decisive.”
Lauterbach and Cymone Goodrich each chipped in 10 points of their own to help power the Wildcat offense.
The Wildcats play in their first regular-season game on Nov. 9 when Central Arkansas visits Manhattan. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m., and the game can be seen on ESPN+.