LAS VEGAS — The Kansas State women’s basketball team entered Monday’s game with the No. 8 scoring defense in the country.
Against Northwestern, it showed, as K-State held the Big Ten foe to 26 points under its scoring average to win running away, 64-45, in the second round of the BTI Invitational at the Cox Pavilion.
Behind 29 points from Brittany Chambers, K-State charged out to a 39-14 halftime lead and never looked back to win its fifth straight game.
The junior guard was 9-of-18 shooting — including a career-high 8-of-14 from behind the arc. It was Chambers’ highest scoring effort since she scored 35 points against Texas A&M last season.
Senior forward Jalana Childs added 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting with six rebounds. Branshea Brown hauled down a career-high 13 rebounds.
This was the seventh time in 10 games that K-State has held an opponent to 49-points or less.
Northwestern (9-2) was paced by freshman Morgan Jones with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting, while Kendall Hackney added 14 points and seven rebounds.
K-State jumped out to a fast start with an 11-0 lead to open the contest, forcing Northwestern to call an early timeout.
The Cats (8-2) continued their early assault by extending the lead to 20-5 with 11:05 to play on Childs’ fourth basket of the half. Childs finished the first half with 12 points.
K-State continued to pour on the points in the first half, as the Wildcats used a 12-0 run to hold a 34-7 lead with 3:42 remaining. During the run, K-State held Northwestern (9-2) without a field goal for seven minutes.
K-State closed out a stellar opening half with a deep 3 from Chambers, who recorded four connections from beyond the arc in the opening half and 15 points.
The Wildcats finished the first half by shooting a sweltering 51.5 percent from the field and held Northwestern to its lowest field goal percentage for a half this season at 19 percent.
Northwestern cut into K-State’s lead to begin the second half with a 12-3 run, capped by a Jones steal and layup to force a K-State timeout holding a 42-26 lead.
Following the timeout, K-State dashed back out to a 22-point lead on the strength of a 12-6 run capped by a Childs jumper with 6:10 remaining.
K-State finished the night by shooting 41 percent (25-of-61) from the field, including 8-of-19 from beyond the arc. The Wildcats dominated Northwestern on the glass with a 45-33 advantage which resulted in a 15-2 edge in second-chance points.
The Cats will conclude action at the BTI Invitational tonight, as K-State faces UNLV at 9:30 p.m.