Friday, November 27, 2015

Pine Bluff no problem for K-State

It took a few minutes, but once the Kansas State women’s basketball team got started Sunday, Arkansas Pine Bluff was in trouble.

The Wildcats used a dominating 23-4 run to end the first half — six different players hitting 3-pointers — and cruised past the Golden Lions 89-55 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Five players scored in double figures for K-State, which improved to 2-0.

The undersized Wildcats showed their depth as the team had seven different players connected on 3-pointers. K-State made an overwhelming 14-of-35 from behind the arc, shooting 47 percent from the field. All 10 Wildcats on the roster scored.

Maintaining more than a 20-point lead throughout the second half, K-State coach Deb Patterson used the opportunity to get her younger players valuable minutes.

“It’s a great game for us to build on our system and give a lot of players an opportunity to be on the floor, see a lot of combinations out there and just to continue to get a feel for what individuals can do,” Patterson said. “There’s nothing like game experience for these young players, so I’m really excited for the opportunity we had to play so many people.”

Chambers finished with a game-high 15 points, despite shooting just 5-of-14 from the field. The senior said she is still getting used to the new system and a lot of new faces on the floor.

“I’m questioning the 3 a little bit,” said Chambers, who was 3-9 behind the arc said. “Because once the season gets going, those aren’t always going to be open, and I’m trying to pick my spot to shoot… I think I was a little hesitant tonight in some of the shots that I took.”

Joining Chambers in double figures was freshman guard Brianna Craig (13), Ashia Woods (10), Haley Texada (10) and Ashlynn Knoll (10).

Craig made 4-of-9 from behind the arc.

“I feel a little bit more relaxed,” Craig said. “I’m just kind of getting into the swing of things and I’m just doing what my team needs me to do, which is hit the open 3s.”

Also showing up strong for K-State were freshmen Marissa Ellis and Stacey Malone with career highs in minutes and points, scoring nine points apiece.

Though seven players hit 3-pointers for the Wildcats, nine of the 10 took shots from the outside, showing significant depth with shooters.

“I’m really excited about the shot opportunities we’re creating out there,” Patterson said. “I think it’s a great sign for our offense. We won’t necessarily live on that shot, but I think that we’re very, very good at it and we’re going to take a lot of them.”

Arkansas Pine Bluff was led by junior forward Chigozianyi Okwumbua, who posted 14 points.

The Wildcats don’t return to Bramlage until Nov. 30. However, they hit the road for Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 20 to take on Tennessee State and then Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 24 against the Charlotte 49ers.

With nine days between games, Patterson said her team has time to work toward perfecting its game.

“We’ll just spend this time working to get tight on all the elements of the game where we see a big need for improving,” Patterson said. “I think our work ethic is good right now and we’ll just sustain it.

“Hopefully we’ll use these days to just get significantly better.”


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