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Big 12-SEC Challenge ends with a Wildcat loss

The Cats just didn’t have a lot of first-half answers in Columbia

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-South Carolina vs Kansas State Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Things did not start well for the Wildcats.

Shaelyn Martin opened the game with a turnover for K-State, and it was pretty much all Missouri from there as the No. 19 Tigers defeat the Wildcats 73-59.

The Cats fought back early, and even led the game at 5-4, but it was the only time in the game the Cats would taste the lead. Aided by missed shots and turnovers, the Cats trailed 17-8 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was more of the same, as the Cats started the clean up turnovers but still could not apply enough defensive pressure to keep Missouri from dropping in shots, and the Tigers went in to halftime with a 41-22 lead.

Things changed for the Wildcats at the break, and after Missouri briefly pushed the lead to 23, the Cats fought back hard and ended the half on a 12-2 run. That run was keyed by freshman guard Cymone Goodrich, who had six points in the outburst, and put the Cats down just 13, 55-42, at the start of the final period.

The Cats inched closer at the start of the fourth period, bringing the Tiger lead as low as eight points just under a minute and a half into the period, and again just past the 6-minute mark, but Missouri found it’s footing again and the Tigers managed to keep the Wildcats just out of reach for the final 73-59 margin.

The Wildcats were paced offensively by senior guard Kayla Goth who had 17 points and three assists in 38 minutes of game action. She was joined in double-figures by sophomore forward Peyton Williams, who notched a near-double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, and Goodrich, who had 11 points off the bench for the Cats. Rachel Ranke, who had been lighting up the scoreboard for the Cats, was held to just six points and did not even attempt a shot from behind the three-point arc.

Overall the Wildcats had an off-night shooting, going 24-62 (38.7%) from the floor and a dismal 5-19 (26.3%) from the three-point line. The FG percentage number was skewed down by the first half that saw the Cats shoot a frigid 27.6%, while the Cats warmed up after their trip to the locker room and shot 48.5% during the second half.

The Tigers out-rebounded the Wildcats 39-28, and also shot 13 more free-throws than the Cats going 10-21 from the charity stripe while the Wildcats went 6-8.

With the loss the Wildcats drop to 5-2 on the season, however both losses have come on the road to ranked teams.

After a four-game road trip that included a tournament-split in Las Vegas, the Wildcats will finally return home for their next contest, as K-State will host UT-Arlington on Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.