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SLATE: Playing catch-up from a great weekend

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It was a great weekend for women’s basketball, and football in the state of Kansas

2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

First up: many of you may have noted the considerable absence of our benevolent dictator (and site manager) Jon Morse. He’s been in Kansas City the last few weeks dealing with an ailing father and then COVID. Well Jon is fine, but his father passed away yesterday in the early afternoon. We do not yet have details on a memorial or care package for Jon, but if you are interested in participating please contact one of the BotC staff.

Basketball

It was a stellar weekend for the Kansas State women’s basketball team as they hosted the Preseason WNIT. Not only did the Wildcats win all three of their games (44-30 vs UT Martin; 76-44 vs Western Kentucky; & 73-49 vs NC A&T), but they showed great defense in all three contests, and moved the ball well enough to allow superstar Ayoka Lee to score and score and score against double and triple-teams all three nights.

After Lee’s record-setting 43-point outburst earlier in the week, it was no surprise to see UT Martin throw everything at her, holding the Wildcat center to just 10 points (though she grabbed 9 rebounds and had 3 blocks) in that contest. But she bounced back on Saturday against WKU, and in the process of recording her first double-double of the season with 33 points and 13 rebounds, Lee eclipsed the 1,000-point career mark, becoming the 44th Wildcat to do so. And she wasn’t done there, as she racked up another double-double last night against NC A&T, with 31 points and 13 rebounds. And she was darn close to a triple-double with 7 blocks. And it’s just the beginning for Lee, a true once-in-a-generation player at K-State.

For all her efforts, Lee was named Big 12 Player of the Week and ESPN.com National Player of the Week (with possible more awards to come today).

The MittieCats are off until Friday, when they head to Raleigh, NC to face NC State to complete the Preseason WNIT. That game will be at 6pm CDT and aired on “ACCNX”, which appears to streaming on ESPN (though not ESPN+).

Football

In case you hadn’t heard, the Wildcats football team also won on Saturday, finally snapping a five-game losing streak to West Virginia with a convincing 34-17 win. The Wildcats controlled the game throughout, but a late 35-yard strike on 4th & 8 from Skylar Thompson to Sammy Wheeler, followed immediately by another Deuce Vaughn rushing TD, officially put the game out of reach, and was sealed on the ensuing WVU possession by Cody Fletcher’s first INT of his career.

In the words of Chris Klieman, it was a program-defining win for the Wildcats, who are now 7-3 and playing possibly their best football yet under the third-year coach. K-State is playing with confidence, and are seeing their expectations grow with each victory. But that new confidence will be tested this weekend by a Baylor team that just knocked off Oklahoma last weekend. With the win, the Bears are now in position to reach the Big 12 championship game, but will need to beat K-State to remain on that path. The Bears are playing well right now, but have struggled away from home this season with both of their losses coming away from McLane Stadium, and all their best wins (including OU and Iowa State) coming in Waco.

Oh, also incase you hadn’t heard, that team down the river beat Texas in Austin. The win was secured by a walk-on from Plainville, KS, who caught a pass on the two-point conversion attempt to win the game — which was also his first offensive snap of the season. We may hate the program and the school, but it’s not a bad day when we get to stan an Kansas kid who toppled the traitors Longhorns.

Volleyball

Back on Saturday, the VolleyCats did something they hadn’t done since 2007: win in Ames against Iowa State. After dropping the Thursday contest in four sets, the Cats bounced back on Saturday and earned a three-set victory over the Cyclones. The Wildcats are now 15-8 overall and 6-6 in the Big 12, and currently sit in a tie for 4th in the Big 12 standings with West Virginia, a team they split with earlier this season. Next up is a trip down to Austin, where the Wildcats will take on the #2 Longhorns on Thursday and Friday.