Kansas State had reeled off three wins in a row to seemingly set right a floundering season. Yesterday at Hampton they were handed the opportunity for what should have been an easy win to boost confidence before next week's clash with North Carolina State in San Diego (which nobody will notice because of a little game of gridiron about seven hours to the east).
They dropped it, and the result is a huge mess.
K-State led by nine at the half, but it only took eleven minutes for Hampton to erase the advantage. The Pirates built a four-point cushion before the Lady Cats went on a run to get back in front, and with 1:27 to go K-State led 61-57.
Six seconds later, the lead was only one after a Nicole Hamilton trey, and a turnover led to a four-point play the hard way. Hamilton hit a layup and was fouled in the process. Hamilton missed the free-throw, but Hampton got the board and the put-back to take a three point lead. Leti Romero. who recorded 14 points on the afternoon, hit a jumper to close the gap, and then Ashia Woods (15 points) stole the in-bound and laid one in to retake the lead with under 20 seconds to go. Hampton missed a shot, but came down with the rebound; K-State fouled, and after one of two free throws went in, the game was tied with 4.7 to go. Woods had a chance at a running layup, but it rimmed out to send the game to overtime tied at 65.
The two teams basically traded punches in the first extra frame, with Katya Leick sinking a free throw to re-tie the game at 71 and send the contest into a second overtime period. But after Leick, who recorded a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards, hit a layup to put K-State in the lead at 73-71, Hampton exploded for a 13-2 run which buried the Lady Cats once and for all.
Hamilton and Alyssa Bennett each scored 24 for the Pirates, who improve to 9-3 on the year.
As mentioned, the women return to action on December 28 in San Diego against the Wolfpack in the Surf n' Slam Classic; on the 30th they'll play either Cal-Riverside or San Diego State.