There is just something about playing Kansas that brings the best out of Kansas State’s Branshea Brown.
“I don’t know,” the senior said after K-State’s 47-43 win over the Jayhawks on Sunday. “It’s just a rival game and I don’t know… there’s just something about KU. But I credit my teammates. I just did what needed to be done.”
Brown, who has averaged just less than five points a game this season, scored 10 points Sunday against KU. It’s only the second time she’s been in double figures in Big 12 play — the last time was a 12-point showing in Lawrence last month.
More importantly, though, is that Brown’s 10 points all came in the first half and during a span when the Wildcats were struggling to find open looks.
At the mid-point of the first half, Brown scored four straight baskets inside and was responsible for keeping K-State in the game.
“Brandy did a phenomenal job early in the game of establishing some pressure in the paint,” K-State head coach Deb Patterson said. “It was great. More than anything, it was adding that inside-outside stability.
“Having an answer was what was key. Having that interior game takes so much pressure off your perimeters.”
Patterson continued that she was happy to see Brown show her leadership come through in a big game.
“Every game presents its own challenges and opportunities,” Patterson said. “I just love that Brandy literally says in that first half that ‘I will be the one, get it here, I’ll be the one… I’ll do it.’
“It was just really neat to see her assert herself. A year ago, I think she might of questioned herself on some of those catches, or might have thought, ‘Gee, I’m not sure I should be the one.’ This year, she knew I’m going to be the one and she had the willingness to do it. That kept us in the basketball game.”
Brown — who is more known for her defense — stayed true to that part of her game as well.
The Walterboro, S.C., native had eight rebounds and four blocks. Her final block was at a critical point in the game with 49 seconds left that led to a key defensive rebound for K-State.
Still, Brown gave all the credit to her teammates.
“I don’t know, it was just perfect timing and my teammates got me the ball at the right time,” she said. “They put me in a good position to make the shots that we needed to stay in the game.”