AUSTIN, Texas — The Kansas State women’s basketball team is starting to heat up again after picking up its second straight victory on Wednesday night — defeating Texas 64-55 at the Frank Irwin Center.
The Wildcats watched a six-point halftime lead turn into an eight-point Texas advantage midway through the second half, but K-State battled back and held off the Longhorns down the stretch to improve to 6-3 in the Big 12 and move into a tie for second place in the league.
The victory over Texas was K-State’s first since a 66-50 triumph in Manhattan three seasons ago, and the first in Austin since a 77-74 win in 2008.
K-State improved to 15-6 overall, while the Longhorns fell to 13-8 overall and 3-6 in Big 12 play.
K-State had three players score in double figures, led by Brittany Chambers’ 17 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Jalana Childs, who went 7-of-16 from the field, added 16 points, while Tasha Dickey scored 10.
Texas’ Chassidy Fussell led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including a 5-of-9 mark from the behind the arc. Ashleigh Fontenette added 17 for the Longhorns.
K-State led at the half, 31-24, but Texas opened up the second stanza with a 16-1 run to take a 40-32 lead with 11:51 to play. During the run, Fussell and Fontenette had seven and five points, respectively.
Over the next five minutes, K-State promptly got back into the game with a 16-3 run of its own.
Following Chambers’ first and only 3-pointer of the game to get the Wildcats within one, Ashia Woods pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back in to give K-State a 44-43 lead. After a pair of stops on the defensive end, Childs and Chambers each made layups to extend the K-State lead to 48-43.
Texas then went on a 6-0 spurt with a pair of three-point plays to take a one-point lead at 49-48 with five minutes left. But, with the game tied at 52, Childs made two jumpers around a Texas free throw to give the Wildcats a 56-53 lead — one they would not relinquish.
K-State shot only 10 free throws the entire game — making eight — but the Wildcats were solid at the line in the closing minutes, making all six foul shots attempted in the final two minutes.
The Cats recorded 13 steals, including a career-high six from Branshea Brown. K-State also forced 21 Texas turnovers, the most since North Dakota State had 21 on Dec.18. K-State scored 18 points off the Longhorn miscues.
K-State used a 10-1 run to capture a 17-13 lead early in the first half. The rally was boosted by a pair of 3-point field goals off the bench from Chantay Caron, and the Wildcats eventually built a five-point first half lead at 21-16 as Chambers connected on a running lay-in.
A Mariah White jumper just before the shot clock expired, followed by a steal and jump shot by Chambers, gave the Wildcats their 31-24 halftime lead. K-State scored 11 points off 11 turnovers by Texas in the opening stanza and closed out the half shooting 14-of-31 from the field.
K-State returns home from its two-game road trip on Saturday, as the Wildcats host No. 1 Baylor at 7 p.m.