Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wildcats brace for Sooners

When Kansas State and Oklahoma played two weeks ago, the Wildcats pulled within two points of the Sooner midway through the second half, but couldn’t finish the job, losing 74-68 in Manhattan.

That game is really no indication of how Wednesday’s matchup in Norman, Okla., will go, but it did show K-State something.

“It shows us that we can play with them, and we didn’t shoot lights-out or anything either,” K-State senior guard Brittany Chambers said Monday. “We just played hard and stuck with them.”

Haley Texada led the Wildcats (13-12, 4-9 Big 12) in that game with a career-high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting, as K-State rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to make it a little more interesting in the end.

But the Wildcats found out last Saturday, playing the 19th-ranked Sooners (18-7, 8-5) close here, will mean very little with the ball is thrown up Wednesday night at 7 p.m. K-State upset then-No. 12 Oklahoma State in Manhattan on Jan. 23, only to be blown out of the arena by 35 points in Stillwater last weekend — handing the Wildcats their fifth loss in the last six games.

Only freshman Bri Craig scored in double figures against the Cowgirls, finishing with 17 points. K-State jumped out to an 17-11 lead, but couldn’t hold onto it as Oklahoma State cruised to the easy win by using a 25-2 run to end the game.

“We just played soft the whole game and looked tired,” said Chambers, who leads the Wildcats in scoring at 19.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. “It’s that time in the season when everyone’s tired and we let it get to us, which you can’t, especially against Oklahoma State. They play so fast.”

Oklahoma, led by Aaryn Ellenberg’s 18.5 points per game and two other players averaging in double figures, is coming off two straight losses. The Sooners lost 72-68 to Iowa State in Norman on Feb. 14 and then 81-71 to Kansas in Lawrence this past weekend.

The Wildcats will return home this Saturday to host Iowa State at 2 p.m. in the annual “Play 4 Kay” pink game at Bramlage Coliseum.

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