It wouldn’t take long for Brittany Chambers to break into the double figures Friday night when the Kansas State women’s basketball team hosted Mississippi Valley State.
It wasn’t even 10 minutes into the game and the Wildcats’ senior guard had already put away 15 points, a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc.
But that was the first half, when the Wildcats shot almost 50 percent from the field and held their opponent to just 27.6 percent.
Despite leading by more than 20 points at half, the Wildcats were forced to hang on for a much-closer-than-desired 64-57 win over the Devilettes at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Devilettes (1-5) outscored the Wildcats 36-21 in the second half.
K-State coach Deb Patterson said her team got lucky to come away with the win.
“We were fortunate to have success tonight because we were playing a team that is not nearly as experienced at winning and they’re on the road,” Patterson said. “If we played anyone else with this kind of disposition, we’d end up losing tonight.”
Even though she finished with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds and five assists, Chambers took responsibility for her team’s second-half slump.
“Young players are going to play like older players if older players step on the floor and play slow and not tough,” Chambers began, “and our first group set the tone in the second half, and it was terrible, so our second group came out and played the same way that we did.”
The Devilettes began the second half on a 13-2 run, and would continue to tighten the gap, getting as close as four points in the final minutes.
The seemingly perfect first half for K-State — ignited by sophomore guard Haley Texada’s two 3-pointers — was long forgotten by the time the final buzzer rang out.
“A big part of succeeding is learning how to bring consistency and holding yourself to a high standard day in and day out, possession in and possession out,” Patterson said. “Mississippi Valley State really remained aggressive throughout the course of the game at a level I really didn’t think we matched emotionally and physically tonight.”
Devilettes freshman forward Derita Silas led her team with 16 points, scoring eleven of those points in the second half.
Chambers, who had 19 points at halftime, was 9-of-15 from the field, including 7-of-11 from behind the arc.
Texada finished with 12 points, making 4-of-11 from the field. Ashia Woods had 10 points and seven rebounds.
K-State (5-0) returns to action on Tuesday when the Wildcats travel to Wichita to face Wichita State at 7 p.m.
Patterson said finding consistency and working hard in the gym the next few days will be crucial to beating an in-state rival team.
“Quite frankly, if we had played (Wichita State) tonight, they would have beat us by 30 (points),” Patterson said. “We won by virtue of the score, but I don’t think we won by virtue of our standards competitively.”