The K-State Wildcats traveled to the Sprint Center in Kansas City for the first round of the Big XII Conference Tournament. The 8th seeded Wildcats came in with a 15-16 record facing the 9th seeded TCU Horned Frogs. The Horned Frogs defeated the Wildcats handily in their last meeting and while this was a harder fought game, the result was the same as multiple dry runs doomed the Wildcats and they were unable to come back from a 14-point deficit.
Halftime Thoughts: At the half, the Wildcats used a late run to cut the deficit from 11 to 7. The score at halftime was 35-27, TCU with the advantage. K-State came out on fire at the beginning of the game, however, as they have done all season, they went on a dry spell for more than 5 minutes without a single field goal. TCU’s Kyan Anderson and Trey Ziegler was the main force for the Horned Frogs’ offense as they accounted for 19 of TCU’s 35 points. TCU was able to get multiple chances at the basket as they grabbed offensive rebounds time and time again.
Game Defining Event: The Wildcats kept it at hands reach throughout the game and was even able to cut the deficit all the way down to 2 with 2 minutes left. However, after a missed TCU shot, the Wildcats could not capitalize on their possession, coming up empty on multiple shots, and eventually forcing to foul TCU, which sealed the game.
Player of the Game: While this title usually goes to the winning team and also to one individual, I will hand this award to the two seniors that have stuck it out throughout the whole season. Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson played their last game in a Wildcat uniform and they made it worthwhile. Williams finished with a double-double scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 boards. Gipson was the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 16 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. Despite all the drama this season, these two players have been the bright spot for this squad.
Up Next: Without Gipson and Williams, the Wildcats hope to start fresh in their 2015-2016 campaign. Everyone will have to wait and see if players end up transferring or not, but with talented recruits coming in and DJ Johnson coming back from a medical redshirt, the future looks bright for this Wildcat team.
The K-State Wildcats came into this game against the West Virginia Mountaineers hoping to get their three senior women a final victory in Bramlage Coliseum and they did just that. Haley Texada, Ashia Woods, and Heidi Brown played their last scheduled game of their careers in Manhattan, Kansas, Tuesday night. The two evenly matched teams, separated by only a half game in the win/loss column, competed for 7th place in the final Big 12 rankings.
Halftime Thoughts: At the half, the Wildcats only trailed by seven, though West Virginia had controlled most of the game so far. Senior Haley Texada led K-State with 11 of her 22 points in the first half. For over a six minute stretch in the half, Haley Texada was the only scorer for the Wildcats, keeping them in the game with 10 straight points. But not to be overshadowed, second leading scorer in the Big 12, Bria Holmes scored 14 points in the first half giving the Mountaineers the lead going into the break. Though not as large a lead as they would have liked, Kindred Wesemann was fouled with three seconds remaining and sank two free throws to make it a 36-29 game.
Game Defining Event: The Wildcats continued to struggle in making a comeback against the Mountaineers until about halfway through the second half. Down by 12 with less than nine minutes remaining, Ashia Woods made a layup sparking a 22-to-6 run by the Wildcats to close out the game. Once again Haley Texada led the Wildcats with nine points in this spurt, securing the four point win for K-State.
Player of the Game: Expecting a senior to come up big on Senior Night, Haley Texada answered the bell. Only shooting 19% from the field and 2 of 10 from three point land, Texada kept driving the ball and getting to the line. She finished the game 12 of 13 from the charity stripe, and the team was 91% going 22 of 24. Texada went out with a bang, she shot 21 times, but pioneered a comeback securing 7th place in the competitive Big 12.
Up Next: The Big 12 Tournament begins Friday for the Wildcats against #10 seed Texas Tech. The game will immediately follow the 8/9 matchup of West Virginia and Kansas around 8:30 pm in Dallas. K-State split the season series with the Red Raiders, losing at home while winning in Lubbock, Texas. By locking up the 7th seed, if the Wildcats can advance, they will avoid powerhouse Baylor and play Oklahoma, who they competed with in both matchups this season, losing by single digits twice.
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