Kansas State women’s basketball came back from nine-plus-point deficits twice but needed to do it a third time in its 63-51 loss on the road against rival Kansas.
For K-State, it was another perplexingly bad offensive performance on the road. The Wildcats have now failed to reach 60 points six times on the road and have lost all six of those match-ups by an average of 23 points.
K-State could not hit the three-ball. The team went 0-10 from three in the first quarter and didn’t manage to hit one until late in the fourth. The lack of outside shooting allowed Kansas to commit two or more bodies to prevent the entry pass to Ayoka Lee.
Lee still wound up with 18 points and 13 rebounds, but Kansas made her fight for every basket and held her to 7-16 shooting.
Kansas led by nine halfway through the first quarter after K-State failed to get more than one bucket and struggled to feed Lee. Despite that, K-State was able to tie it by the second-quarter media timeout.
Thanks to an 8-2 run to finish the first half, K-State took its first lead of the game into the locker room. The Wildcats had recovered from a bad shooting start — 33 percent and 0-15 from three — and looked primed to make it a game.
However, Kansas had other plans, completely shutting down K-State for seven minutes and keeping them from scoring a FG for nearly eight en route to a 21-10 third quarter. That lead ballooned to 13 before K-State cut it to nine heading into the final period.
The Wildcats got all nine points they needed in a row to tie it back up to start the fourth quarter. They would only score six points in the game’s final six minutes while the Jayhawks scored 18 of their own.
K-State was out-rebounded 48-31 and turned the ball over nine times to just nine assists. The team allowed 46 percent shooting in the fourth quarter to seal it.
The Wildcats have struggled to score the ball on the road all season. The team is shooting at a pretty good 45 percent clip at home, but that number dips to just 39 percent outside the confines of Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State drops to 3.5 games back of the conference lead and drops to sixth place in the Big 12. Any lower, and they will have to play in a play-in game at the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City.
K-State has a week to figure out its offensive woes before taking on Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. in Manhattan next Sunday, airing on ESPN+.