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K-State fights off tough Marist, 57-56

By The Mercury

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Kansas State built a 12-point second half lead at Marist on Thursday night and needed every point to hold off the Red Foxes, 57-56, at a near sold-out McCann Arena.

The Wildcats concluded its non-conference schedule with a 9-3 mark and now opens the Big 12 on Wednesday at home against No. 10 Texas A&M.

K-State was led by the trio of Jalana Childs, Brittany Chambers and Tasha Dickey. Childs had a team-high 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while hauling down a game-high nine rebounds. It was Childs’ fourth 20-point game of the season and the eighth of her career.

Chambers scored 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting, including three 3-pointers, while bringing down six rebounds. The junior from Jordan, Minn., moved into fifth place in school history on the career 3-point field goals made list with 187.

Dickey, who transferred to K-State from Arizona during the offseason, finished with a career-high 13 points, six rebounds and three steals, while also making three 3-pointers. Dickey’s three steals marked her seventh contest this season with two or more steals.

Marist (5-6) was led by preseason MAAC Player of the Year recipient Corielle Yarde with 21 points.

K-State was able to overcome its early shooting doldrums to secure a 16-13 lead on Chambers’ second 3-point field goal of the first half. The Wildcats opened up its largest lead of the opening half at seven points, 29-22, on a Childs hook shot with 2:40 to play. The Red Foxes cut K-State’s lead to two at the break, 29-27, with a 5-0 run highlighted by a 3-pointer from Leanne Ockenden.

The Wildcats were led in the opening half by the duo of Childs (14) and Chambers (12) with 26 of K-State’s 29 points. K-State was shot 37 percent (11-of-30) from the field in the first half and forced Marist into nine turnovers including seven steals for the Wildcats.

Marist continued its run to 7-0 to tie the game at 29 in the early stages of the second half. K-State used a pair of baskets from Dickey, including her second 3-pointer of the game, to rebuild the lead to 34-29 with 16:33 to play.

K-State upped its lead to 11 at 44-33 following a Mariah White fast-break layup to force a Marist timeout with 11:53 remaining. The Wildcats extended their lead to 12, at 50-38,  as Childs recorded a second-chance layup with 8:23 to play.

Marist closed the deficit to three at 54-51 on a 3 and a pair of free throws from Yarde to cap a 5-0 rally. A clutch Dickey 3-point field goal with 2:23 remaining in the game pushed K-State’s lead back to six at 57-51. The Red Foxes benefitted from five missed free throws by K-State to close the game and bring the final margin to one, 57-56 on a last-second 3-pointer from Ockenden.

K-State will return to Manhattan to open Big 12 action on Wednesday against defending national champion and tenth-ranked Texas A&M. The game time is set for 5:30 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.

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