K-State women beat Texas Tech for first Big 12 win

By The Mercury

LUBBOCK, Texas — Leti Romero scored 21 points and Ashia Woods added 14 points to lead the Kansas State women’s basketball team past Texas Tech, 72-65, on Tuesday night at United Spirit Arena.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak and 10-game road losing streak, giving the Wildcats (7-9, 1-4 Big 12) their first conference victory of the season.

Romero was 8 of 9 from the field and 5 for 6 at the free-throw line, while Woods made 5 of 9 from the field and pulled down six rebounds. It was the third time Romero has scored at least 20 points this season and the seventh game in double figures for Woods.

Amber Battle led Texas Tech (6-9, 0-5) with a game-high 32 points, making 10 of 15 shots from the field and 11 of 13 from the foul line.

K-State found its offensive stroke on Tuesday, finishing 50 percent (27 of 54) from the field on the night and making 15 of 18 from the charity stripe. The Wildcats also won the battle on the glass, outrebounding the Red Raiders 36-26, including 13 offensive boards that resulted in 19 second-chance points. Senior forward Katya Leick led K-State with eight rebounds.

Despite a slow start in the game, the Wildcats managed to close out the first half with a 15-3 run to erase an early six-point deficit. Bri Craig and Haley Texada led the charge, taking turns burying the Red Raiders before halftime.

Craig started the rally with a steal and fast-break layup. Haley Texada followed with a layup of her own before Craig found the basket again on a jumper in the paint. Texada then drained a 3-pointer in front of the Texas Tech bench to K-State its first lead of the half at 21-18 with 5:02 to go before halftime. Texada finished with eight points — including a pair of 3-pointers — while Craig carded six points and six rebounds.

The run continued, as Woods registered four straight points on a layup and a rebound put-back. Bre Lewis capped the run with a rebound and put-back of her own with 40 seconds left in the first half to give the Wildcats a 27-21 lead at the break.

K-State continued its hot shooting in the early stages of the second half, as the Wildcats made five of their first seven shots to build a 39-29 lead with 15:35 remaining in the game. Romero tallied eight of the Wildcats’ 12 points in the first 5 minutes of the half.

Texas Tech did cut its deficit to three at 42-39 with 12:21 remaining when Minta Spears connected on a 3-pointer. But K-State answered when Romero found senior Ashlynn Knoll on a cut to the basket for a layup that pushed the Wildcats back in front 44-39 with 11:45 remaining.

K-State then used an 8-2 surge to go ahead 57-49 with 7:02 to play. Lewis was the catalyst of the run, tallying the first four points. The Wildcats closed the game making 10 of 11 free throws in the final 5 minutes to seal their first victory since Dec. 30.

The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday when K-State hosts No. 13 Iowa State (14-1, 3-1) at 7 p.m. The Cyclones host West Virginia tonight.

Saturday’s game will be K-State’s annual “Pack the House” night, as all tickets and select concession items will be available for $1. The K-State men host West Virginia and former Wildcats coach Bob Huggins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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