One day before the 49th anniversary of their very first meeting, the Kansas State Wildcats women traveled down the road yesterday to help their archrival Kansas Jayhawks celebrate 50 seasons of women’s varsity sports. Kansas had a large contingent of women’s sports alumni in attendance to honor the occasion (as will K-State when the Jayhawks come to Manhattan next month).
The archrivals put on a hell of a show, and the festive atmosphere at Allen almost gave the hosts their first win in the series in five years.
With 49 seconds left, the Jayhawks (11-10, 2-8 Big 12) had a six-point lead. Rachel Ranke buried a pair of treys to add an extra five minutes, and then Peyton Williams -- a Topeka product heavily recruited by both schools — drained a jumper with 20 seconds left in overtime to secure the eighth straight Sunflower Showdown win for the Wildcats (12-9, 4-6 Big 12).
Williams finished with a big 23 points, 8 in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Kayla Goth reached double figures for the 20th time this season on 14 points.
Recaps: the official K-State story and Matt Galloway of the Capital-Journal with an understandably Williams-centric recap. Not-really-recaps: Scott Chasen at the Journal-World focused on the historical aspect of the afternoon, as did ESPNW’s Mechelle Voepel, who demonstrated that Jeff Mittie is well aware of the more-than-regional significance of the rivalry as pertains to women’s sports.
In another one of those odd quirks, the team the women played on the road yesterday is the team that’s coming to play the men at Bramlage tonight. We’ll have more details on the game later, but here’s some preview material from other folks:
Brent Maycock at the Capital-Journal says K-State’s about tired of losing to these guys, while Matt Galloway notes that Bill Self expected K-State’s surge of improvement (and has a lot of good insightful things to say about the Cats). Gary Bedore at the Star notes the Jayhawks are well aware of the environment they’re walking into tonight — and they argue it helps them. At the Star and Eagle, Kellis Robinett previews the game; he thinks the Cats win by three, while his colleague Jesse Newell is just a big stinky dodo poohead KU beat writer so who cares?
(KIDDING, Jesse, yeesh.)
Thus far, only one AP voter has posted a story about his ballot which includes the words “Kansas State”. Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press has the Cats at 24 heading into tonight’s battle.
Steve Wiseman at the Durham Herald-Sun (and Charlotte News and Observer, basically the same gig as Robinett) explains to North Carolina State fans why they’re not a lock for the tournament, using K-State as his template. BOO.
The Cats landed three more recruits this weekend, and JT will be a long in just a bit to tell you everything you need to know.