Competition for the Kansas State Wildcats in the WNIT has been very light in the first two rounds. K-State defeated Wichita State 90-56 in an all-around team win and followed that up by taking down Wyoming 71-55. The Wildcat defense stepped up against Wyoming when the offense sputtered, including a program WNIT record six steals from guard Jaelyn Glenn. K-State’s WNIT success will be determined by the continuation of impressive guard play from its four starters.
The Huskies entered the WNIT on a three-game losing streak with offensive struggles. The Huskies have bounced back, led by two strong second-half offensive performances. Washington started its second-half greatness by outscoring San Francisco 42-27 in the half of its 61-46 victory. To follow that performance, the Huskies took down New Mexico 67-56 with 26 fourth-quarter points after starting the period down seven. Washington may need to improve its full-game consistency to advance.
Matchup to Watch: K-State guards vs. Dalayah Daniels
The Wildcats throughout the year have been led by guards Gabby Gregory, Serena Sundell, Jaelyn Glenn and Brylee Glenn. This gives K-State a smaller lineup at risk of failing against height. It was no problem against Wyoming’s 6-foot-4 center Allyson Fertig, holding her to nine points and seven rebounds. Against Washington, the Wildcats will need to focus on guarding forward Dalayah Daniels, another tall player standing in the way.
Daniels leads Washington per game with 11 points and 6.4 rebounds. In the WNIT, she has averaged 12 points and boosted her rebounds to 11 per game. The battle of the boards will be determined by how well the Wildcat guards are able to box out Daniels from the basket. K-State can limit Daniels’ impacting by ramping up its offensive pace of play and creating more possessions. K-State should be able to win the day as long as Daniels — the No. 2 post player in the 2020 recruiting class — is unable to dominate the interior.
Guard Serena Sundell
Guard Jaelyn Glenn
Forward Dalayah Daniels
Forward Haley Van Dyke
Prediction: K-State 74-67