LAS VEGAS — Kansas State was unable to overcome a sluggish offensive performance against UNLV in the final game of the BTI Invitational on Tuesday night, as the Rebels defeated the Wildcats 44-38.
The loss ended K-State’s five-game winning streak and came on the heels of a big win the night before against Northwestern, a team a with a top-10 RPI.
Also, a night after Brittany Chambers scored a season-high 29 points, the junior guard was slowed to just 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including just 1-of-6 from behind the arc.
The Wildcats (8-3) were paced by senior forward Jalana Childs with 12 points and six rebounds on 3-of-12 shooting.
Junior guard Mariah White hauled down a team-high 10 rebounds
UNLV (10-3) was led by Markiell Styles with a game-high 15 points, while also adding seven rebounds.
Adding to the Rebels’ performance was a double-double from Jamie Smith with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
K-State trailed 23-16 at halftime and managed to claw back into it late — taking a 34-32 lead.
But the success was short-lived, as the Wildcats shot a season-low 28 percent from the field, turned the ball over 18 times and got outrebounded 44-38. K-State was 1-of-13 from behind the arc.
And though the Wildcats struggled, UNLV wasn’t any better. The Rebels shot 27 percent from the field, made 2-of-11 3-pointer attempts and committed 17 turnovers.
Both teams opened the game showing signs of fatigue from playing the third game in three days.
UNLV used a 15-4 run midway through the first half to hold a 23-12 lead. K-State was held without a field goal for nine minutes during this stretch before a Chambers layup ended the drought. The 23-16 deficit at halftime was the first time K-State had trailed at the half since Nov. 25 against Purdue.
K-State shot just 29.6 percent from the field in the opening stanza and UNLV held a 23-20 advantage on the glass.
K-State cut UNLV’s halftime lead to two at 23-21 following Chambers’ only 3-pointer of the night and a pair of free throws by Childs. The Rebels responded with a 9-0 run to hold a 32-21 lead and force a K-State timeout.
The Wildcats answered after the timeout by cutting into the UNLV lead with an 11-0 run of their own, as Childs was responsible for six of those points to tie the game at 32 with 6:37 remaining.
K-State captured its first lead since early in the first half, as Chambers connected fast break lay-in to make the score 34-32. The Lady Rebels responded with a deep 3 from Thompson with 5:29 remaining to secure a 35-34 lead.
The Wildcats cut a three-point UNLV lead to one on another Chambers layup with 1:38 to go. K-State then forced UNLV to scramble on its next offensive possession, but Mia Bell was able to recover and connect on a long 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give UNLV a 40-36 lead that K-State could not overcome.
The 38 points by the Wildcats were the fewest in a loss since K-State tallied 34 against Texas on Feb. 3, 2007.
K-State will break for the holiday season and return to action on Dec. 29 at Marist.
The Wildcats return to Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 4 when K-State hosts No. 10 Texas A&M in the Big 12 season opener.