Wildcats Set Bramlage Coliseum Record in Win

MANHATTAN, Kansas – K-State snapped a three-game losing streak in record-breaking fashion, as the Wildcats cruised to an 85-41 victory over Incarnate Word Tuesday night in Bramlage Coliseum. K-State shot an arena record 64.9 percent from the field aided by shooting over 50 percent in every quarter.

“I thought it was a good, solid performance,” said head coach Jeff Mittie. “I think it’s sometimes tough to assess. I think we had a lot of physical advantages, and there’s certainly the size advantage. We knew that coming in. I liked, over the course of the game, that we seemed to play better together.”

The second quarter consisted of a school-record for any quarter of 90 percent (9-of-10) shooting from the field as well as outscoring UIW 28-5 in the third quarter.

The Wildcats (4-3) were led by redshirt freshman Ayoka Lee, who finished with 20 points on 10-for-10 shooting. Lee is the first K-State player to finish perfect from the field with at least 10 field goal attempts since K-State legend Priscilla Gary did it on December 31, 1982.

“I wasn’t aware until our practice players told me after the game, and I really didn’t believe it at first,” said Lee about her shooting performance. “Immediately, I just wanted to run to Peyton (Williams) and tell her, because it is so great to see everyone being successful.”

Lee also tallied eight rebounds to go along with six blocks, which tied her career high.

Senior Peyton Williams also was perfect from the field, 7-of-7, as the Topeka native finished with 14 points to go along with seven rebounds and a season-high five assists.

The backcourt duo of junior Rachel Ranke and sophomore Christianna Carr found their groove, especially from beyond the arc, combining for nine three pointers. Ranke dropped 15 points on a season-high five 3-pointers to go along with five assists, while Carr contributed 12 points on four made 3-pointers and four assists of her own.

Senior forward Jasauen Beard also had her best game of the season, stuffing the stat sheet with a season-high 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks off the bench.

The Wildcats jumped out to a hot start, using a 9-0 run in the first two and a half minutes to propel themselves to a 20-11 lead after the first quarter.

K-State continued their strong play into the second, as Ranke hit three pointers on back to back possessions, part of an 8-0 scoring run in fifty-one seconds to answer a UIW three pointer to start the period. The Wildcats would end the quarter with a 41-24 lead headed into the break.

The Wildcats came out of the locker room not skipping a beat, and had one of their most dominating quarters, outscoring UIW 28-5 in the third quarter behind three blocks and three steals. The Wildcats forced six turnovers in the quarter and took a 40-point advantage into the final frame before closing out the game with a 16-12 final 10 minutes.

K-State finished with 30 assists on 37 made buckets, 10 of the makes coming from downtown. The 30 assists were the most since K-State handed out 30 on December 4, 2009, against Grambling. The 30 assists are tied for the fifth most in program history.

Kansas State resumes action on Saturday, as the Wildcats compete in the 2019 Big 12/SEC Challenge. K-State visits (23/23) Arkansas at 2 p.m. Saturday’s game is available on SEC Network+, the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com.

What They Said

JEFF MITTIE, HEAD COACH
Opening statement…
“I thought it was a good, solid performance. I think it’s sometimes tough to assess. I think we had a lot of physical advantages, and there’s certainly the size advantage. We knew that coming in. I liked, over the course of the game, that we seemed to play better together. Early, I thought too many turnovers, too many unforced errors. You’re going to have some of those. We’ve got to eliminate a lot of the self-inflicted ones, and that’s what I felt like early we had some. But over the course of the game, only six turnovers in the second half. 30 assists, all-in-all, a pretty good performance.”

On the team’s defensive performance…
“I really can’t say I liked our defense. 16 free throws is too many against this team, still too many hands on people, still self-inflicted problems I get back to. We come off playing Michigan State, No. 15. I didn’t feel like we were as disciplined tonight as we needed to be. Obviously, we get a lot of blocked shots. I think I would’ve had two blocked shots tonight. Nothing against Ayoka, but I think I could’ve had a couple. We had a huge size advantage, right? We just needed to play smart in there. You asked me what I liked about our defense; in stretches, I thought we were okay.”

On how the team’s health has recovered in the last week…
“We had more people available tonight than we had last week, so that’s a positive. Whoever we have available on a given night, they need to play as well as they can. What was good about tonight is we were able to get some players some playing time. Emilee Ebert got some playing time tonight. Hopefully she’ll play more aggressive. She’s been a little tentative. Jasauen Beard, who had a tough Bahamas, was able to work through a tough stretch and play very well tonight. It was good to see her play well. Those things I think are positive. I’m looking forward to our December. I think we’ve got a lot of great opportunities here to get better. I think we’ve got some really tough basketball games coming up. I’m looking forward to the rest of December to get better as a team.”

On what worked well for the offense…
“We’ve maybe drawn some things up at halftime in the past and come out and have not really done a very good job with that. The last two games, we’ve done pretty well with that. We’ve done fairly well coming out of halftime with a couple adjustments, and I think that shows that our minds are getting locked into those things and they understand the importance of them. Tonight, not so much important from a score standpoint, but just important for us to take a look at that attack that we’re going to need down the road. So that was a real positive tonight.”

RACHEL RANKE, JUNIOR GUARD
On finding the balance between shooting and creating shots..
“I wasn’t shooting well right away, so I knew I needed to get into a rhythm and find my teammates better because I knew they were finding me. I feel like making the extra pass has been a big effort with our team this year. We have really been working on one more, one more, one more. Finding that has been a big thing for me, because it gives our team more trust with each other to find that extra pass.”

On being a leader during the game…
“Slowing down and taking a deep breath. There are times we can get chaotic – one or two shots, get the rebound, then one or two more shots – so I think it is about keeping that discipline, slowing down and not letting the other team speed us up. I think at times they sped us up tonight, but I think we also corrected that tonight.”

AYOKA LEE, RED-SHIRT FRESHMAN CENTER
On what was working for her tonight…
“Like coach said, we did have a size advantage. Going into these games it can be tempting not to follow the game plan, but I think tonight we really had to stay disciplined. We wanted to get touches in the paint, and I think we did a good job of doing that. I think our guards did a good job of looking, and I think our bigs just did a good job of getting position.”

On being Big 12 freshman of the week two weeks in a row…
“It is a great honor. It is definitely a great honor, but I think the mindset just needs to be just continuing to get better because it’s not going to get easier and just being able to get better to help my team in any way I can.”

On discouraging UIW from driving…
“I think in this game, they have a lot of guards that can drive. They are very active, so it was a big thing not to foul and to stay straight up. I think as the game goes on you have to adjust to what they are doing, and I think we all did a pretty good job of doing that tonight.”

On going 10 for 10 and Peyton Williams going 7 for 7…
“I wasn’t aware until our practice players told me after the game, and I really didn’t believe it at first. Immediately, I just wanted to run to Peyton (Williams) and tell her, because it is so great to see everyone being successful.”

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Source: Kansas State Sports