Kansas State beat TCU 65-55 yesterday, in a game the Wildcats from start to finish. The program has now won four of the last five against the Horned Frogs and has gone 8-2 at home. The win, along with shock losses for Kansas and Texas Tech, put the Wildcats in a tie for first place in the Big 12.
Xavier Sneed was the star of the game, scoring 18 points. He was 6-of-9 from the floor, including a near-perfect 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Dean Wade had 16 points and a game-high six assists, while fellow senior Barry Brown, Jr. had 10 points and five rebounds. Kamau Stokes and Makol Mawien added eight points each.
As Luke Thompson notes in his recap, the offense was good enough, but Kansas State’s shutdown defense was lights out. The Wildcats forced 18 turnovers and held the Big 12’s best scoring offense to its lowest points total of the season, i.e. 25 points below the Frogs’ season average.
A few weeks ago, the season seemed all but lost, but somehow, Kansas State is on a four-game win streak, is very much in Big 12 contention, and finally may be meeting the lofty preseason expectations of head coach Bruce Weber.
Not to be outdone by their purple brethren, the women’s basketball team staged a furious fourth quarter comeback to beat Texas Tech 66-62 in Lubbock yesterday. This was the Wildcats seventh consecutive win over the Lady Raiders.
Kansas State actually trailed 51-43 heading into the game’s final stanza, but an 18-3 run helped the Wildcats pull out in front and the team went 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory.
Peyton Williams led the team with 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Senior Kayla Goth added had 10 points, including eight in the crucial stretch of the fourth quarter, and Rachel Ranke had 11 points and three rebounds.
The men’s and women’s teams are both back in action during the week. The men will wrap up their two-game homestand with a 6 PM game against Texas Tech at Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night. The women will take the floor the following night against Oklahoma State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.
Kansas State began the spring season with a 7-0 sweep of South Dakota. On their way to victory, the Wildcats only dropped a single set.
All three doubles team won to give the Wildcats the doubles point, and Kansas State took all six singles matches to complete the sweep. Margot Decker, Anna Turco, and Maria Linares all won their matches without dropping a set. Two Wildcats—Maria Ponomareva, and newcomer Karine Marion-Job—notched their first-ever wins in singles play, and Ines Mesquita wrapped up her match in three sets.
Next up, the Wildcats will be in Athens, Georgia, for the ITA Kickoff Weekend, where they will face host Georgia, and William & Mary and South Florida.
Kansas State finished second at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular meet in Lawrence on Friday, just 15 points behind Kansas. This result was not entirely unexpected considering the Jayhawks are ranked higher in both men’s and women’s track and field right now. However, the Wildcats did win 13 events and have two of three athletes finish as top points getters: Jullane Walker and Ariel Okorie, along with Kansas’ Bryce Hoppel.
Walker took first in both the 60m run and in men’s long jump, while Okorie matched his feat by winning the women’s 60 m race and the women’s long jump.
Current NCAA high jump champion Tejaswin Shankar won the high jump and set a new venue record with a mark of 2.25m, later barely missing at 2.30 later. His jump is the third best in the country this year.
Other winners included Angelo Gordon (men’s triple jump), Helene Ingvaldsen (women’s weight throw), Shardia Lawrence (women’s triple jump), Alex Ferguson (women’s 600m), Dylan Brenneman (men’s 1000m), Taylor Latimer (women’s shot put), Sam Dreiling (men’s pole vault), and Brett Neelly (men’s shot put).
Next weekend, the Wildcats will leave their home state for the first time this season to participate in the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville.