KSU women putting loss behind them

By Brady Bauman

For the first 16 minutes of the Kansas State women’s basketball game against Baylor Saturday night, the Wildcats were hanging with the No. 1 team in the country.

K-State led most of the first half and a 3-pointer by Mariah White made it a one-point contest with 4:07 left before the break.

But, Bears superstar Brittney Griner wouldn’t let K-State get too hopeful. On the next possession Griner easily knocked down a layup and Baylor — which has only trailed at halftime three times this season and not once in Big 12 play — got back to business and went into the break with a 33-24 lead.

Baylor won the game 70-41.

A trip to College Station to face No. 18 Texas A&M Wednesday night is next on K-State’s to-do list, and Wildcats head coach Deb Patterson said there are some positives from her team’s loss to Baylor that can be taken to the Lone Star State.

“We had good ball movement, distribution, spacing… we had a very good feel for one another,” Patterson said about her team’s start against the Bears. “Players were real accountable to what it was we were trying to take to the floor and execute on the offensive end. We were competing and bringing to the floor the energy.

“We just have to continue to get tougher and insist and demand on consistency over that 40 minutes mentally. It’s something that I think we’ve shown at a very high level this year — toughness, execution and physicality.”

Patterson continued that the Bears have been a struggle for her team over the past few seasons and that the Aggies are a close shadow.

“As we go on down the road at A&M, we know we are playing a similar team in terms of athleticism and size,” she said. “So, what I take from (the Baylor game) is that we need to get in the gym on Monday and understand and continue to work on our offense, our ball distribution, our speed at which we execute…

“We just have to keep getting better. There’s a lot of positive things we can take to the floor in those (opening) minutes (against the Bears).”

K-State junior guard Brittany Chambers, who scored 10 points against Baylor, said toughness will be key the rest of the way.

“The one thing that we are taking from this is that we need to step up our toughness,” she said. “We need to understand that teams coming forth are great teams. We need to continue to play like we did before this game.”

Senior forward Jalana Childs said there are things to learn from the loss, but that thinking about winning is far more important.

“We had a decent first half — we can always come up with that,” she said. But we have more games to play. We can’t think about this. We have to learn from it, but we can’t go into a game thinking we just lost by 30. It’s not what your thought process is. We have more games to play. We’re thinking about the NCAA tournament. We got to think about winning every single game from here on out.”

The Wildcats tipoff with the Aggies at 7 p.m. — a team the Wildcats defeated 71-69 in overtime when the teams met in Manhattan on Jan. 4.

K-State won’t return home again until Sunday when the Wildcats host rival Kansas at noon.

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