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Texada leading the way for Cats

By Kelly McHugh

Things aren’t going too well for the Kansas State women these days, but one bright spot of late has been the play of sophomore Haley Texada.

The 5-foot-7 guard has been a steady force for the Wildcats, who travel to Ames, Iowa, this weekend to face the 25th-ranked Cyclones. Texada has averaged better than 17 points the last four games, including 21 points against Kansas last Saturday and a game-high 25 points in K-State’s loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday.

The only problem is that K-State isn’t winning. The Wildcats have lost three in a row since upsetting No. 12 Oklahoma State on Jan. 23 in Manhattan.

If the Wildcats (12-10, 3-7) are to snap that skid Saturday at 1 p.m., there’s very little doubt Texada will need to continue to be an offensive threat.

The Frisco, Texas, native did just about anything she wanted on Wednesday against the Sooners, scoring 20 points in the second half alone, with much of it coming on drives to the basket.

“She got to the rim, didn’t she?” OU coach Sherri Coale asked. “That’s one of those pick your poison kind of things. She’s just a tremendous athlete. She’s got a great burst of speed, and I thought she played… obviously the stat line speaks for itself, extremely well.”

Texada proved especially valuable in the Wildcats’ bid to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit. K-State got within two points multiple times, but never could get over the hump, despite Texada’s heroics. She finished 10 of 18 from the field — including 8 of 12 in the second half.

“I thought she was obviously a great offensive threat at the rim (Wednesday),” K-State coach Deb Patterson said. “She was still aggressive on the perimeter as well. She was very critical in us making that run in the second half and was extremely competitive and didn’t give up plays on the offensive end.

“Again, she is young, and there are always little things here and there that you can do better, but she competed really hard. She showed her athleticism, quickness and speed today getting to the rim. It was a big factor in us putting pressure on Oklahoma.”

In the opening minutes of the second half, K-State went on a 17-9 run and to get within two points of the Sooners, with Texada accounting for 11 points.

Texada said patience played a key role in finding the scoring opportunities.

“I think it was just more of seeing the floor a little bit,” said Texada, who was 3 for 7 from behind the arc and also grabbed six rebounds. “A couple of times Coach P got on to me about getting the rebound, about not trying to go up, but kick it back out. And if you see the floor a little bit more, it opens up everything.”

Following the Wildcats’ game at Iowa State, K-State will return home to face Texas at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

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