Kansas State women’s basketball opened the season with an 83-43 victory over Central Arkansas, marking head coach Jeff Mittie’s 600th career win.
The key to K-State’s victory was Oklahoma transfer Gabby Gregory, who made an immediate impact in her debut. She led the team in both points and rebounds, with an additional three assists on the night.
“I would just want them to know that every night I’m gonna come out and I’m gonna play my hardest,” Gregory said, “I’m gonna give it everything I have and I’m going to do everything in my power to help my teammates and help this team get a win.”
Gregory’s presence comes as a change of pace, picking up the scoring deficit left by Ayoka Lee’s injury. Though discipline will be a large factor for the team going forward, the Wildcats committed 22 turnovers, something the team may look to mitigate in the future.
K-State started the first half with a strong performance, getting out to a 15-point lead in the first quarter. A pivotal role in K-State’s victory would be rebounding and scoring points off of turnovers.
The defense had some troubles but held strong. K-State recorded 47 rebounds to UCA’s 27, but rim protection was a key point of struggle.
“I thought it was okay,” Mittie said. “ I thought too often we were late on some calls. I still think we’re trying to grow in that area of seeing things when it’s not drill work. They’re seeing things good in drill work but when it’s happening on the floor, they’re maybe not seeing it as quick as they need to.”
K-State reemerged from half with a strong 3rd quarter, stretching their lead to 31 points. Central Arkansas tried to rally entering into the fourth quarter, but fatigue began setting in and they would run out of steam, leading to the final score of 83-43 Wildcats.
This extends the team’s record on opening day to 11 straight victories, winning 20 of the last 22, and pushes their record to 4-0 against UCA.
K-State looks to extend their win streak in the next match against Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, in American Family Field, Milwaukee.