Rough first quarter dooms women’s basketball against Texas

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Freshman Serena Sundell looks to get rid of the ball against Kansas on Jan. 19, 2022. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State was never in the game against No. 9 Texas in Austin on Wednesday, Jan. 26. After a slow start, the Wildcats could not make a game out of it and fell 66-48.

K-State got the first three shots off in the game but couldn’t get a single one to fall as they started the game 0-for-6 and had a 5-0 deficit off the bat.

It took four minutes for K-State to find the bottom of the net and nearly six more to do it again. The team shot just 2-13 and turned the ball over six times to just one assist. Luckily for K-State, Texas had not started making shots yet. The Wildcats only trailed 12-4 after one quarter.

A combination of press defense and strong on-ball pressure from Texas limited K-State’s ability to feed star junior center Ayoka Lee in good spots for her to score.

The second quarter was much kinder to K-State despite freshman point guard Serena Sundell spending a lot of it on the bench with an injury.

K-State shot 6-9 in the second quarter but struggled to limit Texas on defense or get points off of rebounds. Texas took a 30-17 lead into the halftime locker room.

K-State managed to cut the Texas lead to 11 out of the locker room, but the Longhorns always seemed to have an answer. The Wildcats actually outscored Texas in the third quarter, but not enough for it to matter.

The fourth quarter saw K-State make a couple of runs but never seriously challenge Texas or meaningfully impact the momentum.

K-State shot just 35 percent and was 1-6 from three-point range in the contest. The Wildcats also committed 19 turnovers to just nine assists, resulting in a free 18 points for Texas from turnovers.

A few days after setting the NCAA record for points in a game, Lee was held to 20 points and 11 rebounds. Most of those points came later in the game as K-State tried to force the ball inside more in an effort to come back. She played for 39 minutes.

Sundell was the only other Wildcat in double figures, scoring 13 points and providing four assists.

The No. 25 Wildcats have a chance to get back into the race for the Big 12 Championship with a home date against TCU at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29. After that, they will head to play another top-15 team in Iowa State on the road.

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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.