It was quite the “Caturday” for Kansas State, with wins in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and tennis.
In the waning minutes of the game, a key three-point play (a putback and a free throw) from D.J. Johnson made all the difference as Kansas State beat Texas 64-61. This was the Wildcats’ first win at Texas since 2013 and also helped snap a three-game losing streak, although Kansas State’s attempt to shorten the game by eating clock nearly cost the team a much-needed victory, as Jon Morse writes in our game recap.
The Wildcats are a different team with Johnson in the mix, and as Wesley Iwundu noted in Kellis Robinett’s piece in the Wichita Eagle,
Without D.J., that play doesn’t happen. That is what we have been missing these last few games. Everyone can see D.J. is a very valuable piece of the team.
Johnson’s status was in doubt before the game since he’s been hobbled by a sprained ankle, but he later said this was the best he’d felt in 10 days and he proved it down the stretch, putting together the final sequence off a missed shot from Kamau Stokes. (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
Next up, the Wildcats will host Oklahoma State at the Octagon on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats had to come from behind to beat TCU 68-65 in Fort Worth last night and match last year’s win total.
Three Kansas State players were in double figures for the game, including Kindred Wesemann (19), Kaylee Page (15) and Breanna Lewis (10). Wesemann had 12 points in the fourth quarter, a new school record.
The Wildcats never led in the game, and at one point, the deficit was as much as 13 points. But with less than two minutes to play, Wesemann had a key three-point shot to put her team ahead 65-64 and later a steal and a layup to make it 66-65. Free throws from Wesemann and Kayla Middlebrook sealed the victory.
The team is back in action on action Tuesday night as #19 Oklahoma comes to Manhattan.
The BatCats made up for the season opening loss by sweeping Pitt and Delaware yesterday at the Sunshine State Classic. Kansas State beat Pitt 5-4 and then shut out Delaware 7-0 to make it a winning day,
The game against Pitt featured two comebacks from behind for Kansas State. Down 2-0 into the sixth inning, a three-run homer from Steve Serratore put the BatCats in the lead. But Pitt came back to regain the lead and held it until the bottom of the ninth, when another two-run home run, this time by Quintin Crandall, sealed the deal for Kansas State.
Delaware was simply outmatched and overwhelmed by Kansas State in the next game, as starter Brogan Heinen and relievers Kasey Ford and Tyler Eckberg pitched a combined shutout last night. Crandall and Serratore continued their hot batting streak, combining for three hits and three RBIs against Delaware. Serratore now leads the team with six RBIs so far.
The BatCats will conclude their run at the Sunshine State Classic with a rematch against Ohio State. That game is already underway.
The tennis squad took on two opponents this weekend and topped them both. The Wildcats beat North Texas 6-1 on Friday for its first road win of the season. The team then beat Washington State 4-3 yesterday.
Against North Texas, Livia Cirnu (who was on a seven-match win streak), Ana Garcia Navas and Maria Panaite provided the singles points, while Cirnu joined Iva Bago to take one of the doubles matches and Garcia Navas paired with Millie Stretton to win the No. 2 doubles match.
In the match against Washington State, the Wildcats dropped the doubles point although Ines Mesquita (in for the injured Palma Juhasz) teamed up with Carolina Costamagna to win their doubles match at the No. 1 spot. Mesquita also won her singles match, as did Stretton and Costamagna. Cirnu’s winning streak ended when she lost her singles match, however.
The Wildcats will stay on the road to take on UIC in Chicago on Saturday, and DePaul on Sunday.
Track & Field
At the Steve Miller Open in Manhattan, Janeé Kassanavoid broke a nine-year old school record by nearly 40 cm in the women’s weight throw competition. She threw for 21.81m to take first in the event, good for fourth place in Division I this season, and possibly good enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Kassanavoid’s first place finish was one among 17 wins for Kansas State athletes in this meet. Other winners include Terrell Smith (men’s 200 m), Akia Guerrier (women’s 200m and 60H), Kaneil Harrison (men’s 400m), Kain Ellis (men’s 1000m), Morgan Wedekind (women’s 1000m), Sam Oxendale (mile), Bryan Zack (men’s 3000m), Miles Bearden (men’s high jump), Rhizlane Siba (women’s high jump), Zack Supple (men’s pole vault), Claudette Allen (women’s long jump), NaQuan Shelton (men’s triple jump), Brett Neely (men’s shot put), Nina Schultz (women’s shot put), and Brady Grunder (men’s weight throw).
The team is now headed to the Big 12 Championships next weekend in Ames, Iowa.