Women’s basketball misses golden opportunity in tough loss at Baylor

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Sophomore Taylor Lauterbach passes the ball during the game against Baylor on November 29, 2021 at Bramlage Coliseum. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State women’s basketball (17-7, 7-5) could only hang with No. 10 Baylor for one quarter in the Wildcats’ worst loss of the season. K-State lost 95-50 in Waco, Texas, on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The Wildcats squandered an opportunity to get a rare season sweep of the Big 12’s premiere program and keep themselves in the Big 12 title race. With the loss, K-State falls to 7-5 in Big 12 play and fifth-place in Big 12 standings, while Baylor improves to 8-3.

K-State’s freshman point guard Serena Sundell went down early in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury, forcing the Wildcats to rely on their bench for ball distribution. It didn’t go well, as K-State finished the game with just eight assists to 13 turnovers.

K-State managed to finish the first quarter only down four points but struggled on both ends of the court in the second quarter, allowing Baylor to stretch its lead to 11 before disaster struck.

Star center Ayoka Lee — who sat most of the first quarter with two fouls — picked up her third foul, leading to head coach Jeff Mittie getting called for a technical foul in disagreement with the call. Baylor used the two-shots-and-the-ball penalty to kickstart a 9-0 run that would effectively bury K-State.

By halftime, the Bears’ lead reached 19 points after outscoring K-State 28-13 in the second quarter.

K-State could not climb back into the game, getting outscored 32-11 in the third and 17-12 in the fourth.

Lee was held to a season-low eight points but led the team with six rebounds in only 20 minutes of playing time.

K-State’s leading scorer was freshman Brylee Glenn, who contributed 10 points on 4-9 shooting. Back-up point guard Cymone Goodrich contributed nine points and played 28 minutes off the bench in Sundell’s absence.

Three-pointers powered Baylor’s offense. The Bears shot 58 percent from behind the arc for 11 made threes while shooting 57 percent from the field overall.

The Bears flexed their size advantage with Lee out. Forward NaLyssa Smith and center Queen Egbo scored 22 and 19 points, respectively, despite both dealing with foul trouble of their own. Egbo had a double-double.

As we near the Big 12 Tournament, it’s important to remember that the top six seeds get a bye. K-State has an opportunity to steal a road win against a team right alongside them in the standings on Saturday.

The Wildcats travel to Lawrence for the second leg of the Sunflower Showdown at 6 p.m. Saturday evening. K-State beat KU 69-61 at Bramlage earlier this season.

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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.