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WOMENS BASKETBALL


Kansas State 61, Texas 58

Kansas State 61, Texas 58

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Ayoka Lee had 21 points and 10 rebounds while becoming Kansas State’s career leader in blocked shots, and the No. 12 Wildcats held on for a 61-58 victory over No. 10 Texas that snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Longhorns.

Kansas State used a 15-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to turn a six-point deficit into a seven-point lead, and then held on down the stretch. The Longhorns had a chance to tie the game with less than 10 seconds left, but Shaylee Gonzales had her 3-pointer from the wing blocked, and the Wildcats were able to run out the clock.

“We played tougher and smarter as the game went on,” Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said. “That’s what we talk about all the time: Let’s be tougher and smarter as the game went on, and I think we were.”

Serena Sundell added 12 points and Jaelyn Glenn had 10 for the Wildcats (17-1, 5-0 Big 12), who ran their winning streak to 11 in a row since their lone loss to third-ranked Iowa. It was their first win over Texas in five years.

Sundell and Glenn took advantage of constant double-teams that Texas used to slow down Lee — or, at least try to slow her down.

“It’s definitely not easy. It’s something I’ve learned how to deal with,” said Lee, who also went over 2,000 career points. “I think my coaches have done a good job of trying to prepare me for whatever I’m going to get, and the rest of my teammates do a good job of adjusting, because those things are going to happen.”

Madison Booker scored 23 points for the Longhorns (16-2, 3-2). Aaliyah Moore had 15.

The game between two top-12 teams played out exactly as might be expected.

The Wildcats got off to the quick start, the Longhorns responded with eight straight points, and then the teams mostly traded baskets the rest of the first half. There were eight ties and nine lead changes, while Kansas State led for 8:22 and Texas for just 11 seconds fewer — though it was the Longhorns with a 31-30 lead at the break.

Texas eventually built a six-point lead in the second half, but the Wildcats answered late in the third quarter. And when Amina Muhammad had her shot blocked by Sundell in the closing seconds, and Zyanna Walker drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the other end, the Wildcats had a 46-45 lead heading to the fourth.

Kansas State eventually pushed its run to 15-2 and never trailed the rest of the way.

“It was a slugfest, bodies everywhere,” Mittie said, “and both teams just competed so hard.”

BIG PICTURE

Texas lost star guard Rori Harmon to a torn ACL in November, then may have lost forward DeYona Gaston in the closing seconds on Saturday. She was hurt while the Longhorns were trying to foul and had to be helped from the floor.

Kansas State won despite playing most of the game without Gabby Gregory, who turned an ankle in the first half. She tried to return to the game but limped off in the second half and did not return.

Kansas State athletics press release

January 13, 2024





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