If Kansas State’s chances of defeating Texas were heating up at the end of the first half, Tasha Dickey’s play to start the second set those prospects on fire.
The senior transfer from Arizona led the game with 18 points and was just a basket away from tying her career-high of 20 points scored against Dartmouth in the season opener.
K-State went on to beat the Longhorns 65-45 at Bramlage Coliseum Saturday night.
Dickey opened the second half scoring 10 points in the first 5 minutes from a fast-break layup off a steal, two 3-pointers and another inside bucket. Her trey with 15:10 to go in the game put the Wildcats up 46-26.
“I credit everything to my teammates,” Dickey said. “They were seeing me when I was getting open and seeing me when I had the backcourt and cutting to the basket and stuff like that. They were looking for me tonight and I was able to hit some shots.”
It’s Dickey’s second straight game in double figures and 13th overall this season. Before her 15-point total in K-State’s loss at Oklahoma Wednesday night, Dickey was held to nine, six, and eight points throughout the previous three games. Dickey couldn’t draw any conclusions on how she’s totaled 33 points since the trip to Norman.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you,” she said about the resurgence. “Everyday I go out and practice hard and whatever comes in the game, whatever opens up, I just go with it.”
K-State head coach Deb Patterson is pleased with how Dickey’s defensive attributes are translating to her offensive game.
“Terrific play and anticipation by Tasha,” Patterson said. “She established early on in the game that she was going to be very accountable defensively and her work ethic was absolutely huge.
“She’s playing terrific on the defensive end of the floor and it’s carrying over to her decisions offensively. I thought her instincts on getting to the rim, finding gaps, reading next-pass scenarios with her teammate — that chemistry and connection there — was terrific tonight.”
Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors said she was aware of what Dickey brought to KSU and the Big 12, but admitted she didn’t have her penciled in as the points leader for the night when it was all said and done.
“We’ve seen (K-State) play enough (this season) to appreciate what she brings to the table,” she said. “But we weren’t expecting her to get quite so hot.
“That was a big boost for them, I thought.”
Patterson concluded that Dickey’s maturity was crucial to her successful night.
“I think she’s doing a great job playing to her strengths and taking what the game is giving her within the frame work of the system,” Patterson said. “It was a very mature and competitive game tonight by Tasha.”
• K-State won its 250th game at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats now have a 250-92 record all-time at Bramlage.
• Mariah White netted five points and finished with a game-high 10 rebounds and eight assists to just two turnovers in 30 minutes.
• The Wildcats led 31-24 at halftime. K-State is 14-2 this season when holding a halftime lead.
• For the fifth time this season, K-State won by at least 20 points.