Texas’ defense contains K-State, Wildcats fall in Big 12 tournament

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Forward Sarah Shematsi drives to the basket against Texas. K-State played the Longhorns on March 4 and lost 52-80. The theme of the game was “National Girls and Women in Sports Day,” and after the game the Wildcats honored its two seniors. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State women’s basketball was eliminated from the Big 12 tournament in a defense-driven battle.

The game’s tone was set from tipoff: hard-fought basketball with a heavy emphasis on defense. K-State was able to limit Texas as best it could in the first half, restricting the Longhorns to only six points in the first quarter and 12 in the second but quickly ran out of steam in the third.

Both teams struggled with offense early, missing easy shots and free throws and generating copious turnovers; however, each team kept pace with the other. Going into the half it seemed as though the Wildcats had all the momentum, weathering the storm of Texas’s offense.

The offensive performance for Texas rapidly improved in the second half while the Wildcats’ remained much the same. K-State would go on an eight minute scoring drought while the Longhorns piled on a 13-0 run ending the quarter with a lead of 17.

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The fourth quarter saw the Wildcats put up a more efficient offense, scoring 20 points. Guard Serena Sundell would go down with an injury with under four minutes left in play driving to the basket, missing the rest of the game.

A major factor for the shift in the second half was offensive rebounding. The Longhorns started capitalizing on controlling the backboard and creating second-chance points. Texas ended the game with 14 second-chance points and 16 offensive rebounds. 

K-State showed flashes, but against the top-seeded team in the Big 12, its offensive performance was inconsistent at times and turnover plagued at others. The Wildcats committed 12 turnovers in the second half to Texas’ three.

While a disappointing loss for the Wildcats, its defensive performance provides a building block for potential tournament play in the NIT tournament.

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