Poor shooting dooms K-State women

By The Mercury

AUSTIN, Texas — The Kansas State women’s basketball team suffered through one of its worst shooting performances of the season on Sunday and it cost the Wildcats.

Texas jumped out to a big first-half lead and never looked back, easing past the Wildcats, 67-53, at the Erwin Center.

K-State (6-7, 0-2 Big 12) has now lost nine straight road games and its first two Big 12 games for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

K-State couldn’t overcome an awful first half that saw the Wildcats shoot just 21 percent (4 of 19) from the field. It was the worst shooting percentage for a half this season for the Wildcats, who return home on Wednesday to host No. 11 Oklahoma State at 7 p.m.

To add to the poor shooting, K-State turned the ball over 14 times in the opening 20 minutes, as Texas (10-4, 1-1) owned a 36-21 lead at the break.

The Wildcats opened the game by shooting 1 of 16 from the field before closing out the half with a 3-for-3 effort — including K-State’s only two 3-pointers in the half.

K-State was able to stay in the game by making 11 of 14 from the free-throw line in the opening stanza.

Texas expanded its lead to 21 points early in the second half, 46-25, with 15:18 to play in the game. The Wildcats pieced together a 7-0 run to trail by 14 at 46-32, as Ashia Woods and Chantay Caron tallied layups on consecutive possessions, before Haley Texada knocked down a 3-pointer in front of the K-State bench with 13:22 to play.

The Longhorns rebuilt the lead to 18 at 50-32 with 8:46 to play after a pair of Nneka Enemkpali baskets.

The Wildcats did not go away quietly, though, as they used 3-pointers from Kindred Wesemann and Bri Craig to narrow the game to 52-40 with 6:22 to play.

K-State was led by Leti Romero, who finished with 15 points, six rebounds, a block and a steal. This was the freshman guard’s 10th game this season in double figures and her ninth game with five or more rebounds.

No other Wildcat reached double figures on the day. Katya Leick and Craig finished with eight points apiece. Woods, coming off her 27-point performance on Thursday night, netted just six points and four rebounds. Ashlynn Knoll, starting her third straight game, had five points.

Caron, who has battled nagging knee injuries all season, returned for the Wildcats after missing the last few games and finished with two points in 9 minutes off the bench.

The Wildcats finished 28 percent (14 of 51) from the field and was 6 of 27 from beyond the arc. K-State was 19 of 26 from the foul line.

Texas was led by Enemkpali with a game-high 18 points. The Longhorns shot .609 from the field for the game, which included 50 points in the paint.

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