K-State Locks Up Lamar for Fifth Straight Home Win

MANHATTAN, Kansas – On the strength of a19-0 run in the second half and three players with double-doubles, Kansas State broke open a tightly contested game to improve its home-court winning streak to five games with a 73-55 victory over Lamar on Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State (6-2) featured four of its five starters in double figures on Wednesday, with three registering a double-double. Senior guard and 2019 Lieberman Award candidate Kayla Goth tallied a game-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 10 assists. This was her fifth career double-double and the seventh time she has handed out 10 or more assists in a game.

With her 10 assists, Goth moved into eighth in program history for career assists with 368 and passing Brittany Chambers (2009-13; 363) and Nicole Ohlde (2000-04; 367).

Senior forward Kali Jones narrowly missed a unique triple-double as she notched 10 points, 10 rebounds and a school-recording tying eight blocked shots. Jones tied the record held by Breanna Lewis, who set the mark on January 11, 2015, against Kansas. The eight blocks are the most by a player in the Big 12 this season.

Junior forward Peyton Williams tallied her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds. This was her 11th career double-double.

Sophomore guard Rachel Ranke reached double figures for the second straight game, recording 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Ranke was 3-of-9 from beyond the arc, which was her 28th career game with two or more connections.

Lamar (5-4) was led by Chastadie Barrs with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Miya Crump with 19 points, six rebounds and four steals.

With a 33-29 lead entering the second half, K-State used an 8-3 run to begin the third quarter to increase its lead to 41-32. Lamar answered with a 6-0 burst to pull within three, 41-38, with 5:46 remaining on an acrobatic layup from Jadyn Pimentel.

This would be the final points of the third for Lamar, as K-State would use a 15-0 run to race into a 56-38 lead at the end of the third. The Wildcats did their work at the free throw line during the run, converting 6-of-6. Goth registered eight of the 15 points.

K-State continued its run into the fourth quarter by scoring the first four points of the frame and force a Lamar timeout with 8:11 remaining. The Cardinals managed to pull within 15, but Ranke rebuilt K-State’s lead with a pair of 3-pointers to end the comeback.

The Wildcats ended the night with 11 blocked shots, which marked the most for K-State since setting the school record of 14 at Tulsa on November 13, 2015. K-State’s defense held Lamar, who entered Wednesday’s game averaging 84.5 points per game, to 55 points on 29.9 percent shooting (23-of-77) including a 3-of-20 (.150) effort from 3-point range.

Offensively, K-State shot 44.3 percent (27-of-61) from the field and were 14-of-16 (.875) from the free throw line. For the third time this season, K-State scored 40 or more points in the paint and held a 40-32 edge in the lane.

The opening quarter was a see-saw affair, as the teams exchanged the lead eight times and were tied three times. Lamar would hold a one-point lead after the opening 10 minutes, 15-14. Jones paced the Wildcats with four points and five rebounds in the quarter.

Lamar opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run to take a 23-16 lead and force a K-State timeout with 7:09 remaining in the first half. Barrs tallied four of the eight points during the run.

After the timeout, the Wildcats outscored the Cardinals 17-6 for the remainder of the quarter and captured a 33-29 lead at the half. Williams was dominant during the run, as she scored 10 of the 17 points.

Kansas State will play its first true road game of the 2018-19 season on Saturday, as the Wildcats face Little Rock at 3 p.m. Saturday’s game will be available on the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com.

What They Said

On the game…
“I have mixed emotions on this game. I’m glad to get a win, I’m glad to have three double-doubles. I thought our effort was really inconsistent at times. I thought their dribble drive action kind of got us standing and watching some. What I thought we did well, I thought our centers played very well at the rim which we knew their small guards, when they got there, would have trouble scoring over us down there. So, I thought our centers played very well. I would like to see our guards play better at the elbows and not let guards get that deep.

Offensively,  you know, I thought that they had trouble with Peyton (Williams) and we managed to get her there with the ball, to see how they would defend that. And they still had trouble defending that. On the 19-0 run, we were able to get her touches and get her to the rim. I thought (Kayla) Goth played better after the first stretch. She looked much better and more comfortable in her mid-range game tonight. I thought that was a key, and obviously Kali (Jones) was all over the place. (Jones) almost has a triple-double tonight, so, those are big numbers for her.”

On the amount of turnovers…
“I was surprised. I probably cost us two or three turnovers early in the game because I had thought we were going to get more help on the inside pass and we did not have the skip pass in the beginning. They really stayed a lot wider than I anticipated. But we made that adjustment and we were able to go to (Goth) and Peyton on the blocks, and that was the tradeoff. Early in the game I had told them to try to skip the ball, and they did, and that cost us two or three turnovers.

On Lamar’s last win…
“You know, I don’t know. They had an emotional game against Texas A&M, it was a huge road win for them. I think that they lost 10 in a row to A&M, or 11 in a row, so I’m sure that some of that emotion was there. Having said that I’m sure that there was talk of, ‘hey, let’s go knock off another Power 5, here’s an opportunity.’ I don’t know if it has been done in school history back-to-back, but maybe they just wore down. And, I think our 19-0 run took the wind out of their sails at that point. That’s a pretty significant run. We were forcing them into some tough shots, rebounding the miss, and getting some pretty easy looks.”

On the pace of the game…
“You know, I didn’t think that the pace was as crazy as it could’ve been. They probably feel a little differently, because they’re always kind of in your face, so you’re always dealing with something. They were not as quick shooting tonight as they had been on film. Defensively, they were still in our guards consistently. I think it’s a good game for Peyton, the fact that she had to guard a lot of people on the perimeter expedites some of that conditioning and guarding on the perimeter. I gotta look at film, and I say that some games. I don’t have a great feel of whether I should be mad about the way we played tonight, or that we played better than I am thinking. Because I didn’t think we played great but yet I look at some performances and think hey that’s pretty good.”

On Kali’s shot blocking…
“She’s got good timing, she’s got a good skill set. She had that last year and we noticed that last year. It’s a good skill set that she has. She has a knack for it, she’s got good length, a little bit of a surprising length to some people at times. She’s got a good feel for it. What she’s learned, I think she’s worked hard at the last couple weeks is understanding to roof plays as opposed to come down. She was fouling a lot early in the year. I thought the centers played exactly how we taught them. If they beat our front line defense, if they get penetration, make them come to you, don’t come to them and give them an easy drop off pass. I thought the deeper their guards got, that’s where Kali and Peyton played off and Kali had a lot of blocks down there.”

On getting eight blocks in a game…
“It’s hard to do. I did have the nation’s leading shot blocker for four years (Sandora Irvin, TCU), who was the number one pick in the WNBA. So, it’s hard to do. I couldn’t tell you how many times Irvin had eight blocks or more, but it’s really hard to do. It’s a skill set. I would always kid people about my shot blocking ability, that isn’t something that I taught Kali. We have drills that we work on, walling plays off. We have drills that we help them a little bit. Ultimately she comes with that ability too. I think volleyball players have a shot blocking ability because they’re so used to blocking and putting their hands to the ball. Most of my shot blockers have been volleyball players. Getting eight is hard, getting eight shows a lot of patience and discipline and to do it with zero fouls shows some intelligence too.”

On her play…
“My teammates made it easy to get those numbers. Kali [Jones] was blocking the heck out of people so I would just grab the rebound and then Kayla [Goth] just dished it to me. This is a game where it is really easy to see the team play. I would not have those numbers if it were not for them and other players on the team.”

On getting the ball inside from Kayla Goth
“With the type of pressure team that they are it is really hard to look for it so I was not expecting it as much. We came in thinking that they are going to make up for what they lack in size with tenacity and trying to bug you as much as possible. I was not expecting that but obviously it worked out.”

On transitioning from volleyball to basketball…
“Practice-wise, they are really different. In volleyball, you get a lot more individual time with coaches. You are more into little details but not as much up-and-down. Basketball is the complete opposite. We work on fundamentals but more big moves, like looking for your open shot. They are pretty much different in every aspect in that way in practice so it has taken me a little bit. I am getting my legs under me. When you get school out of the way over the Christmas break hopefully it will be all good.”

On if she is where she wants to be physically…
“Not yet. I am always looking to improve in every area. If I can be a little quicker that is just going to help my team. I do not get beat as often but there are still areas where I am a step late on the defense and they drive around me. Especially in those areas, my feet need to be faster. That is one of the main things, I would say.”

On her school-record eight blocks…
“I honestly did not know that. I was just going into it noticing that they were a much smaller team and I did everything I could to make sure that they did not score. I do not think I have ever had eight blocks in a game. It is really special. I did not know the record coming in and I am glad I did not because then that would have been on my mind and I would have been pressured. My focus was to play good defense and make sure not to go up to them and get that foul. Just wait and be patient.”

On shot blocking being a focus…
“Not fouling has been a focus for me. Tonight I just realized their height disadvantage and I acted upon that. I just looked at the ball and made sure it did not go in.”

On playing well in the paint…
“Size advantage definitely helped. I believe we had a couple transition plays which we did not know if we were going to get. Coach Mittie told us to look for them early and then just get the ball inside to Kali [Jones] and Peyton [Williams]. I was throwing it to KJ every time I dribbled in. Just getting the ball inside and letting them do their thing.”

On lobbing the ball inside to Peyton Williams
“That is a play I am looking for with Peyton [Williams] and KJ [Kali Jones] almost every game, no matter the size. When the defender gets in front of them that makes that play a whole lot easier, no matter the size of that person, as long as I can get it up and over. I expected a little bit more backside help on it so I was looking for the ‘skip’ early. But that is a play we look for pretty much every game.”

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Source: Kansas State Sports