Kansas State women’s basketball was five seconds away from finally ending its road losing streak and pulling off a remarkable come-from-behind victory Wednesday evening.
The Wildcats led 78-76 at No. 16 Oklahoma before Skylar Vann scored under the basket as time expired in regulation to send the game to overtime, and the Sooners went on to win 90-86.
Despite the loss, K-State (16-14, 5-12 Big 12) showed notable resolve in the second half, in which it outscored Oklahoma 49-33 to overcome a disastrous opening period. As has been the case in road games throughout the season, the Wildcats fell behind early and big, trailing by as many as 22 at 30-8 early in the second quarter.
Serena Sundell scored a career-high 33 points to lead K-State, while Jaelyn Glenn added 21, Gabby Gregory had 16 and Eliza Maupin scored a career-best 14. The Wildcats finished the game shooting 43% (30-of-69) from the field and 8-of-30 from 3-point range.
Five players reached double figures for the Sooners (23-5, 13-4 Big 12), with Vann pacing them with 23. Madi Williams scored 19, Taylor Robertson had 15, Liz Scott contributed 11 and Ana Llanusa totaled 10. Oklahoma went 42% (30-of-71) overall and 12-of-32 from long distance.
The difference in the game ended up being the Sooners’ four more made 3-point attempts.
K-State made three of its first four shots to keep pace with the Sooners at 6-6, but then it went 1-of-9 the rest of the first quarter while Oklahoma embarked on an 18-2 run to go ahead 24-8 at the end of the opening period.
After the Sooners hit two 3-pointers to start the second, Sundell finally snapped the Wildcats’ scoreless streak with a steal and a layup to make it 30-10 with 8:01 to go before halftime. K-State then got back-to-back baskets from Glenn and Maupin to pull within 16, and the Wildcats played Oklahoma even the rest of the way in the half, going into the intermission down 45-29.
After Llanusa pushed the Sooners’ advantage to 48-29 early in the third, Maupin made a layup and Gregory hit back-to-back triples to draw K-State within 11. Nevaeh Tot responded with a 3-pointer for the Sooners, but then the Wildcats used a 15-2 spurt to pull within one point at 53-52 with just under four minutes to go in the third.
Oklahoma clung to a 58-57 margin as the game headed to the final period of regulation, but Sundell opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to give K-State its first lead at 60-58 with nine minutes left in the game.
However, the Wildcats failed to expand on the lead, and the Sooners scored 10 in a row to open a 68-60 advantage.
Undeterred, K-State outscored Oklahoma 13-4 over the next three minutes to move back in front 73-72 with 2:05 remaining.
Glenn hit a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats their largest lead at 77-73 with 28 seconds left, and Gregory later added another to make it 78-75 with six ticks left.
Up by three, K-State chose to foul Williams, who made one of two charity shots. Williams then fouled Sundell, the Wildcats’ 79% free-throw shooter who had the chance to put away the game at the line.
She missed both attempts, and Oklahoma grabbed the rebound with five seconds left. After a timeout, Vann scored inside to force overtime.
Robertson opened the extra period with a 3-pointer, and K-State never overcame it. The Wildcats pulled within one point twice before the Sooners finished them off at the foul line.
K-State concluded its road portion schedule having lost all nine away games.
The Wildcats will close out the regular season on Saturday when they host No. 12 Texas.