It was a night of responses for Kansas State women’s basketball Monday.

Three separate times, North Dakota State found a way to make the game interesting, and three separate times, K-State found the spark to separate, ending with a 78-57 win.

After some early game struggles, the Wildcats appeared they were going to pull away for good early in the second half.

K-State (7-1) opened with a 14-3 run, which nearly doubled its halftime lead of 12.

But the Bison (2-4) came back.

A 16-4 North Dakota State run that started in the third quarter and stretched into the fourth got the Bison within 11 points with a little more than seven minutes to play.

“Well, I was just kind of curious to see how we would respond,” K-State head coach Jeff Mittie said. “I think when they were the aggressive team, they had some success. When we were the aggressive team at both ends, they didn’t have success. I thought we lost that aggressiveness in that stretch.”

The response came in the form of a 13-point fourth quarter from freshman guard Brylee Glenn, who took over offensively for a five-minute span and sealed the K-State win.

“I can’t say what was really going through my head. Nothing was really going through my head,” Glenn said. “Just seeing the ball go through the basket a couple of times for me, I think that just kind of built on my confidence. And then we weren’t getting many 3s. That just wasn’t an option for us during the game. So I knew that I had to be more aggressive, and I think that’s when it just came into play.”

Glenn had a career night, scoring 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting.

The freshman’s 13-point flurry outshone another great night from junior center Ayoka Lee, who recorded her sixth straight double-double (and 35th overall), scoring 22 points and grabbing 14 boards; both marks led all players.

The six consecutive double-doubles ties her own school record.

Lee also dominated defensively, blocking eight shots.

“I think a big thing was definitely being smart,” Lee said. “I don’t think I was playing defense looking for those blocks. I think it was just one of those things that came from playing with my hands up.”

Junior Emilee Ebert also reached double-figures, scoring 10 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

The Wildcats salvaged two awful starts to the first and second quarter with big runs and strong defense down the stretch.

In the first quarter, K-State scored just two buckets in the first five minutes and trailed 5-4 before reeling off 12 straight points to take a 16-4 lead into the second quarter.

The Wildcats endured another slump as North Dakota State got itself within a point after a 12-2 run that featured three K-State turnovers in the span of five minutes.

But, just like in the first quarter, K-State found a way to pull itself out of its funk, going on a 10-0 run to close the half.

“We were getting the ball exactly where we wanted to early in this game. The shots just weren’t falling,” Mittie said. “We didn’t need to do anything different. We just needed to keep doing what we were doing. We know that shots are going to fall. The defensive end is where I felt we got the game going, and that’s where I think it really picked us up.”

Defensively, K-State forced 18 Bison turnovers and turned those into 24 points. The Wildcats held the visitors from Fargo to 34.5% shooting, including 1-of-9 from behind the arc. North Dakota State came into the game averaging 34% from 3.

“They had a couple shooters who were coming in extremely hot, and we put a big emphasis on that,” Mittie said. “The emphasis was to get to the line, make it uncomfortable (and) they can’t hit their first shot of the night. We’ve got to get them going the other direction. I think in doing that, we gave up some drives that we’ve got to clean up, but all in all, the team was really good with the scout and really, really locked in defensively.”

K-State’s biggest test of the season awaits Friday when it travels to Columbia, S.C., to take on the top-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Sundell named Big 12 Freshman of the Week

Freshman point guard Serena Sundell earned her first conference honor on Monday after being named Big 12 Freshman of the Week.

Sundell averaged 14.5 points on 61% shooting including 42% from 3 along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 25.5 minutes per game.

Sundell had a memorable game versus Abilene Christian on Saturday, scoring 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting including 5-of-7 from three. She also had five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

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