It was not the first half that Brittany Chambers dreamed of. In fact, the guard let off several sighs and signs of exasperation as she struggled to find the bottom of the net going 1-6 from the court in the first half. With foul trouble plaguing Tasha Dickey and Jalana Childs, and Mariah White, Chambers was the only scoring threat for the last 7 minutes of the first half as the Wildcats fell behind by nine heading in to halftime.
It was Chambers heroic effort and career high of 35 points last year that pushed the Wildcats past the eventual national champions Texas A&M.
Thank goodness she has a short memory.
Chambers found her range in the first five minutes of the second half. After getting to the line and making a free throw, she found her range dropped in a long triple after a skip pass from Mariah White. A lay-up after a steal and Chambers looked like she had regained the confidence and the stroke that buried the Aggies last year.
Senior guard Sydney Carter said she felt like she was wearing her down during the second half and running her off screens.
“They kept setting up flair screens for her and she started knocking them down,” Carter said.
Chambers finished with a game high 21 points on 8-12 shooting in the second half and overtime periods.
Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair, who has won once in the last 9 trips to Manhattan said, “What you have to do when you are guarding Chambers, is you have to quit looking at what is happening on the floor and focus on Chambers and then you might have a chance to get through the screen.”
Blair added that Carter wore down at the end of the game after chasing Chambers all over the floor.
“She missed free throws she doesn’t ever miss,” Blair said.
Carter missed the game-winning lay-up at the end of regulation and played 43 minutes. Chambers played all 45 minutes of the game.
Although her jump shot started to fall, it was Chambers ability to slip screens and cut to the basket that led her and her teammates to a “tough, gritty win” according to women’s basketball head coach Deb Patterson.
Mariah White found Chambers streaking down the floor on a long pass after a steal and helped the Wildcats close out the game on a 10-5 run and push the contest in to overtime.
Three other Wildcats in the victory joined chambers in double figures. White had a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists, including the game-winning shot. Dickey finished the contest with 17 points and Childs chipped in 16.
The victory gave Kansas State their second straight victory over a top-10 A&M team at home and pushed them to the top of the Big 12 standings.
“We are extremely excited and extremely proud of just the balance that we brought to the floor tonight,” Patterson said.