Bad quarters bookend a bad loss for Wildcat women’s basketball

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After subbing out, junior Emilee Ebert, sophomore Taylor Lauterbach and senior sophomore Rebekah Dallinger return to the bench during the game against UT Austin on Nov. 12, 2021. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State offense fell apart late in the Wildcats’ 64-45 loss at Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats finished the game on an 0-12 shooting stretch and did not score in the final five minutes.

K-State was never really in the game after the Red Raiders scored the game’s first seven points. The Wildcats could not find the bottom of the net until a layup from junior center Ayoka Lee nearly four minutes into the game.

“Any time you let them be the aggressor coming out, they get confidence, they get energy from that,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “We certainly didn’t do our part about showing up and winning the first five minutes of this game. We got in a hole, and they were a more confident team going forward.”

The Red Raiders quickly stretched their lead to ten before ending the first quarter on an 8-0 run to effectively bury K-State with a 23-7 deficit after the first period.

While the teams mostly traded baskets in the second, Texas Tech managed a 6-2 run to finish the half up 40-22.

The Wildcats did not have an answer for Vivian Gray or Bryn Gerlich, who rounded out the half with 14 and nine points, respectively. Gerlich finished the game 4-6 from three-point range, and Gray led all scorers with 23 points.

“We know Gerlich can make those plays,” Mittie said. “Particularly the deep three. That’s in her arsenal. Once again, when you let someone get open looks early and get that confidence, that’s a problem.”

In the third quarter, K-State finally got the offense running to cut the Texas Tech lead to just 10 points going into the final period.

K-State only found a single basket in the fourth quarter despite dragging themselves all the way back into the game. A Lee layup with five-and-a-half minutes left was K-State’s last gasp.

“I didn’t think we were very tough all day,” Mittie said. “Those opportunities we didn’t take advantage of very well. We’ve got to be tougher on the drive. … When you go one of 17, you’ve got a lot of issues.”

Texas Tech shot 45 percent from the floor and 46 percent from three while holding K-State to just 29 percent shooting. The Red Raiders also blocked five Wildcat shots and forced K-State into 12 turnovers.

Lee and freshman point guard Serena Sundell led K-State with 12 points apiece. Lee pulled down eight rebounds and Sundell had four assists.

Next for K-State is a home date with in-state rival Kansas at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will air on ESPN+.

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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.