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.
The Cats were able to overcome the No. 12 Iowa State Cyclones 70-69 just five days after defeating the No.8 Kansas Jayhawks at the Octagon of Doom. Though K-State trailed the Cyclones the majority of the game, they were still able to rally and end up with the victory. Nigel Johnson led the Cats in scoring with 17 points. Wesley Iwundu added 11 points and also a game-saving steal on an inbound pass from Georges Niang, which led to a dunk, to put the cats ahead.
Halftime Thoughts: The Cats trailed 40-33 at half after a great 3-point shooting half from the Cyclones. However, K-State was still able to go into the half with some momentum and come out strong for the second half.
Player of the Game: While some may argue that Iwundu deserves this, I believe it truly belongs to Johnson after his second big game performance in a row. He led the Cats with 17 points and there is no way the Cats could have won this game without him.
Game Defining Moment: As the Cats held Iowa State to 0 points in the last 29 seconds of the game, Iwundu gets a clutch inbound pass steal from Niang and takes it to the hole for a powerful dunk to get the crowd pumped up with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
Up Next: It has been an exciting week for Wildcat basketball fans, unfortunately the Big 12 tournament hopes are still very doubtful. All they can think about now is finishing out the season strong with a win over Texas on March 7th and then a deep run in the Big 12 tournament.
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