MANHATTAN - Kansas State took advantage of their largest home crowd of the year to knock off the No. 13 team in the country, Iowa State, 80-74 at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats got a combined 50 points from Leticia Romero and Katya Leick in the victory.
"I was really proud of the balance that we were able to bring to the floor tonight on the offensive end," said coach Deb Patterson. "That first half, defensively, it was very important to us. I think Iowa State had a bit of a carryover from the last two games, but I thought our kids were very accountable during that first half."
The Cyclones (14-3, 3-3 Big 12) jumped out to a 5-2 early lead before Romero hit her first of four three pointers of the game to tie it at 5 with 16:56 left to play. It was the last time that K-State would be knotted with Iowa State as the Wildcats went on a 13-point run to take the lead 15-5. The Cyclones would battle back to within four before Chantay Caron connected inside with 7:54 left in the first half to extend the Wildcat lead to six, 17-11. K-State would not relinquish that margin until the final minute of the game when the Cyclones were able to cut into the lead with fouls and free throws.
"(The first half) helped them believe that they could compete possession by possession with Iowa State. You can certainly see that it was a tale of two halves in terms of the amount of points scored. You could just see the amount of explosiveness that Iowa State possesses."
K-State (8-9, 2-4 Big 12) took a 30-22 lead into halftime and extended it to as many as 16 points in the second half. The 80 total points is the most K-State has scored in a game since they scored 85 in regular season opener against Tennessee State.
Romero's career high 27-point performance led all scorers while Katya Leick also accomplished a career best with 23. Brianna Craig added 12. Romero led the Wildcats on the boards with 6 with Leick and Breanna Lewis each pulling down five.
"Out there, we were playing together as a team," said senior forward Leick. "We talked, communicated, and we fed off of each other. That was really good and that is what helped us and that is what contributed to us getting the win."
K-State turned the ball over a season low 10 times but for the first time this season did not out-rebound their opponent in a victory. Previously the Wildcats were a perfect 7-0 when out-rebounding their opponent this season.
"I am really thrilled and appreciative of our fans," said Patterson. "To see that many of our fans in the house tonight were very, very special to our players and our staff and our program. We are just very grateful to everybody who came and was a part of this victory tonight"
Final attendance on "Pack the House" night came in at 8,221 with the win marking the eighth straight season the Wildcats have defeated a ranked opponent and the fourth straight season that K-State has defeated a top 15 ranked team.
Patterson recognized the tremendous play early of her two leading scorers and never allowed them to not be on the floor. Leick logged all 40 minutes in the game whiled Romero played 39.
The Wildcats' season continues on Wednesday when they travel to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor. Earlier this season the Wildcats lost at home to the Bears 92-63.