K-State women lose at OU

By The Mercury

NORMAN, Okla. — Trailing by just five at the half, the Kansas State women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a 16-6 run by Oklahoma to begin the second half, as the Wildcats lost for the fourth straight time on Saturday night, 61-50.

The Wildcats (6-9, 0-4 Big 12) were paced by the tandem of Leti Romero and Ashia Woods. The duo entered Saturday night’s game responsible for 55.7 percent of K-State’s scoring in Big 12 play and combined for 29 of K-State’s 50 points.

Romero registered her second career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She also dished out four assists and pocketed three steals. The freshman guard has scored in double figures in 11 games this season, including three of four league games.

Woods joined Romero in double figures with 10 points. She also added three rebounds, three steals and two assists to her final stat line. The junior guard has scored in double figures 11 times in her career, including six this season.

K-State tallied its second slow start from the field in a Big 12 road game, as the Wildcats opened 3 of 18 from the field. Despite the cold shooting, K-State trailed Oklahoma (11-6, 2-2 Big 12) by just six, 12-6, with 7:51 to play in the first half.

The Wildcats remained in the game in the first half, cutting the Sooners’ lead to three, 19-16, with 1:36 to play on a Romero layup in transition and a pair of Katya Leick free throws. Nicole Griffin tallied four points at the end of the half to give the Sooners a 23-18 lead at the half.

K-State shot .207 from the field (6 of 29) in the first stanza, but forced Oklahoma into nine turnovers and held the Sooners to a 32 percent from the field (8 of 25).

Oklahoma used a 16-6 run in the first 8 minutes of the second half to hold a 39-24 lead with 12:18 to play. Aaryn Ellenberg scored 14 of the 16 points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers and six free throws.

After Ellenberg went on her individual run, Oklahoma was paced by Sharane Campbell. Campbell notched eight straight points for the Sooners to build the OU lead back to 47-30 with 9:12 to play.

K-State clawed back to within eight at 49-41 with 6:29 to play. Romero notched a 3, while Heidi Brown sank a pair of free throws. Brown finished with five points off the bench, as K-State held a 14-8 edge in bench points.

The Wildcats defense held the Sooners’ offense in check late in the game, but a scramble for a loose ball following a K-State miss with Oklahoma holding a 58-48 lead with 2:12 remaining, resulted in a transition 3-pointer for Ellenberg with 2 minutes to play and make the score 61-48.

Oklahoma was led on Saturday night by Ellenberg with a game-high 23 points. Griffin finished with 14 points, including a 10-of-13 effort from the foul line.

For the game, K-State shot 32 percent from the field and held a 23-18 edge in points in the paint. Oklahoma shot 41 percent from the field and was 17 of 22 from the foul line, while K-State was 8 of 11 from the charity stripe.

K-State will close out its two-game road trip on Tuesday night when the Wildcats face Texas Tech at 7 p.m., in Lubbock.

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