Kansas State’s Ashia Woods was more surprised than anyone at Bramlage Coliseum when the ball fell through the net.
Woods, a senior from Wichita, intended to send a pass to teammate Breanna Lewis under the basket late in the second half of a 58-52 victory over Kansas on Sunday. Instead, it sailed high and through the hoop. Woods raised her hands in disbelief and grinned at the good fortune.
That’s the kind of afternoon it was for the Wildcats, who rallied from an early 14-point deficit to knock off the Jayhawks in the Sunflower Showdown.
“I planned it,” Lewis said with a chuckle. “I was just trying to fool everyone like it was a pass. I was so surprised. I thought it was going out of bounds. It confused me and threw me off. But, hey, it still counts as two.”
Everything went right for the Wildcats, 11-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, as they mounted their largest comeback of the season.
Behind 15 points from Woods, and 13 points from Brianna Craig and 11 points from Kindred Wesemann, K-State pulled within 35-28 at halftime and took the lead on a contested layup from Lewis five minutes into the second half.
Chayla Cheadle scored 15 points for Kansas, Chelsea Gardner had 13 and Natalie Knight contributed 12.
As the Wildcats found a scoring groove, their defense also picked things up a notch, forcing the Jayhawks, 9-7 and 0-3, into 23 turnovers.
Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said that is where the game was lost, blaming many of the giveaways on unforced errors.
“Stop turning the ball over,” Henrickson said. “We are our own worst enemy right now … I am shocked we are struggling that much holding onto the ball.”
K-State made it hard for Kansas in all areas, though. Lewis, a sophomore forward, had a school record eight blocks, while Woods had nine rebounds and five steals. Shaelyn Martin also had four steals.
“Defensively, I think that is the best and most locked in we have been,” K-State coach Jeff Mittie said.
Playing with high energy led to a satisfying victory in front of 6,362 fans.
The only time the arena went silent was when K-State guard Haley Texada crumbled to the floor because of a neck injury early in the second half. She spent several motionless minutes on the court and needed to be moved out of the arena on a stretcher. After the game, Mittie said Texada was moving and talking at Mercy Regional Health Center but said she will undergo more testing as a precaution.
The injury caused a 10-minute delay in action, and there was no telling how either team would respond.
But K-State dominated the second half and pulled away for a victory that felt as if it carried extra meaning.
“These are the games I came to Kansas State for,” Mittie said. “These kinds of games and these kinds of crowds.”
Missouri picked up its first SEC win Sunday with a 66-47 victory over Florida in Columbia.
Senior Morgan Eye led the Tigers, 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC, with 18 points, including four three-pointers.
top 25 HIGHLIGHTS
▪ Senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis broke Diana Taurasi’s UConn career record for three-pointers, and the No. 2 Huskies beat SMU 87-28 on Sunday in Dallas.
Mosqueda-Lewis now has a career total of 320 threes in 118 games. Taurasi made 318 in 144 games at UConn.
▪ Tiffany Mitchell, the defending Southeastern Conference player of the year, scored 19 points and kept No. 1 South Carolina perfect this season in a 68-60 victory over Kentucky in Columbia, S.C.
The game was marred by an injury to Kentucky’s Janee Thompson, who is out for the year with a broken left leg.
▪ Morgan Batey matched her career high with 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Vanderbilt handed No. 14 Mississippi State its first loss of the season, 78-62 in Nashville, Tenn.
Mississippi State, 18-1, had held 13 of its last 14 opponents to under 60 points.
▪ Rachel Theriot scored 27 points as No. 19 Nebraska closed the game with a 15-4 run and defeated Illinois 58-53 in Champaign, Ill.
▪ Brianna Turner scored four baskets on alley-oop layups, and No. 4 Notre Dame outscored Boston College 104-58 in South Bend, Ind.
| Star news services