Cats finish San Diego trip with win

By The Mercury

SAN DIEGO — The Kansas State women’s basketball team concluded its non-conference schedule on Monday night in the consolation game of the Surf & Slam Classic with a 74-42 win over UC Riverside.

K-State (6-5) was led by freshman guard Leti Romero, who recorded her first-career double-double with 16 points and 10 assists. The product of Las Palmas, Spain, also added five rebounds and three steals.

Romero’s 10 assists were half of K-State’s 20 assists on the night, which led to a 24-of-50 performance from the field by the Wildcats.

Joining Romero in double figures was freshman forward Jessica Sheble. The Olathe native carded a career-high 11 points on a 5-of-5 effort from the field off the bench.

UC Riverside (4-9) was paced by Annelise Ito with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.

K-State jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead in the opening 5 minutes, as the Wildcats connected on their first three 3-pointers — Romero had two of them.

The barrage from deep continued by the Wildcats with Bri Craig and Kelly Thomson each connecting on their first attempts off the bench to stake K-State to a 21-7 lead with 12:46 to play.

UC Riverside put together a 7-2 run to narrow K-State’s lead to 25-14 with 9:19 to play in the first half.

The Wildcats closed out the opening stanza with an 18-7 run to own a 43-21 lead at the break.

Sheble tallied seven points — four coming in transition — during the late run to end the half.

The 43 first-half points was a season-high for K-State, which opens Big 12 play on Thursday against Baylor in Manhattan at 7 p.m.

K-State continued to pick the Highlanders apart in the second half, with the Wildcats mixing up 3-pointers with layups and outscoring UC Riverside early in the second stanza, 18-8. K-State was 10-of-20 from the field in the second half.

The Wildcats outrebounded the Highlanders, 37-28, and registered a 13-2 edge in second-chance points. K-State was 11-of-21 from behind the arc.

Craig, Katya Leick and Ashia Woods finished with eight points apiece, while Thomson had seven.

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