K-State women end skid with 49-46 win over Virginia

By The Mercury

FREEPORT, Bahamas — The Kansas State women’s basketball team used an energetic, defensive first half and a late defensive stop to record a 49-46 win over Virginia on Friday night in the Junkanoo Jam.

The win ended K-State’s three-game losing streak.

With the win, K-State ended a six-game losing streak in tournaments outside the United States.

K-State (3-3) was led by junior guard Haley Texada, freshman guard Leticia Romero and 6-foot-5 freshman forward Breanna Lewis.

Texada recorded a team-high 13 points, while also pulling in seven rebounds and dishing out two assists. It was the second straight game in double figures for Texada.

Romero finished with a diverse stat line of seven points, a career-high 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Romero has led K-State in assists in all six games this season.

Lewis tallied eight points, pulled down 10 rebounds, blocked a shot and recorded a steal.

Virginia (3-4) was paced by Sarah Imovbioh, who tallied 20 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard Kelsey Wolfe had 18 points and six assists.

The Wildcats came out in the first half as the more energetic of the two squads, with K-State capturing a 16-10 lead with 8:09 to play on a Jessica Sheble layup.

K-State would expand its lead to seven at 21-14, as Texada connected on her second 3-pointer of the half with 3:47 remaining before the break.

The Cavaliers ended the first half with four unanswered points and continued that surge to start the second half — opening with four quick points to secure a 22-21 lead with 17:51 to play.

Virginia would build its lead to 24-21, but Katya Leick drained a 3 from the top of the key and Texada connected on her third 3-pointer in transition for a 27-26 K-State lead with 15:53 to go.

With Virginia leading by one at 30-29 with less than 11 minutes to play, Romero recorded consecutive steals which the Wildcats turned into five points on a Romero fast-break layup and a Leick 3-pointer to give K-State a 34-30 lead with 10:38 to play.

Romero sparked a 9-2 run with five straight points on a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to give K-State a 47-42 lead with 3:55 to play.

Virginia would cut K-State’s lead to twoat 47-45, as the Wildcats went cold from the field. But a Romero fast-break assist to Kindred Wesemann put K-State up 49-45 with less than a minute to play.

A free throw by Wolfe brought the Cavaliers to within threeat 49-46 with 23 seconds remaining. Virginia attempted a pair of 3-pointers with less than 7 seconds to play, but both attempts were contested by the Wildcats.

K-State shot 33 percent from the field, including 46 percent in the second half. The Wildcats held Virginia to a jsut 27 percent from the floor, including 0-for-10 from beyond the arc.

The Wildcats outrebounded Virginia 45-33 and held a 14-4 advantage in bench points, including eight points from Leick.

The Wildcats will return to Manhattan to host Grambling State on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

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