Freshman guard Serena Sundell nailed a three to cut the North Carolina State lead to just two points with 5:40 left in the second quarter of K-State’s 90-69 loss to the No. 5 ranked team in the country in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the final game of the Preseason WNIT.
After that shot, K-State went five minutes without a point while the Wolfpack built a 10-point lead. K-State would not be able to get back into the game after the drought.
The Wildcats had hung around up until that point. They did not let NC State gain more than a five-point lead in the first quarter and went into the end of the first quarter tied up thanks to a buzzer-beating half-court three from Jada Moore.
K-State had relied on Ayoka Lee for most of its offense in its four wins to start the season, but after a six-point first quarter, the Wolfpack were about to shut her down. She finished the game with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
The problem for K-State was that they could not find much offense outside of feeding Lee. Sundell managed a career-high 21 points, but no one outside of those two entered double figures for the Wildcats.
Sundell also had six assists in 39 of 40 available minutes.
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On defense, K-State could not stop NC State from nailing threes. The Wolfpack was 10-of-22 from three to outpace the Wildcats.
NC State used its depth to pull away from K-State in the fourth quarter, pushing its lead from 11 at the end of the third quarter to 20 midway through the fourth.
The good news for K-State: they had by far their best three-point shooting game of the year, shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats will have to have shooting nights like that this season to free up space for Lee under the basket.
K-State struggled on the boards. NC State grabbed more defensive rebounds (25) than the Wildcats grabbed in total (24), and they were outrebounded 36-24 in total.
K-State returns home to take on Abilene Christian on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at Bramlage Coliseum. The game is set for a 6:30 p.m. tip and can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.