Three Wildcats hit double figures, led by Megan Deines with 22, but it wasn't enough to save Kansas State from a 74-65 loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Saturday night.
West Virginia's starting five was limited to just 27 points' it was the bench that sunk the Wildcats, with Tynice Martin and Jessica Morton combining for 33 points and scoring all 13 of the Mountaineer points during a 13-4 run in the third quarter. That run followed a three-pointer by Kindred Wesemann which gave K-State their final lead of the game, 41-39 with 5:51 to go in the third.
Before that, it had been a battle. The game saw 7 ties and 19 lead changes, but the last was on Tynice Martin's layup with 5:06 to go in the third which gave West Virginia the lead for good. After Tynice Martin again made a field goal with 2:36 to go in the quarter, the Wildcats never again made it a one-possession game.
K-State's bench, on the other hand, was nigh-invisible. Part of that was simply playing time; the starting five accounted for all but 37 of the possible 200 minutes on the floor, and Kayla Goth was responsible for 24 of those 37 minutes. But Goth and Jessica Sheble had four points each, and Nene Taylor two; the vast majority of those 37 minutes were in relief of Shaelyn Martin and Kaylee Page, who only scored four and two on the night themselves. In other words, the Wildcat attack was effectively nothing but Deines, Wesemann, and Breanna Lewis.
Lewis had 14 points for the Cats, which was one more than she needed to reach the 500-point mark on the season. She becomes the first Wildcat junior to reach that mark since Ashley Sweat in 2008-09. Kindred Wesemann had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, and nailed three treys on the night. That gives Wesemann 82 for the season; one more during the post-season and she'll tie Kim Woodlee for seventh-place on K-State's single-season three-point list. She has 171 on her career, seventh in school history.
They are both juniors, just in case you forgot.
In other Big 12 tournament action, top seed Baylor railed Texas Tech 82-51, Texas put Kansas out of their misery 66-50, and Oklahoma blasted Oklahoma State 61-43. Today, the Bears take on Oklahoma while Texas faces West Virginia.
The Cats now await their fate. In Charlie Creme's latest Bracketology, he has K-State as a nine seed in the NCAA Tournament, with the last four in occupying the 10 line. This loss likely doesn't damage K-State's resume, so they can probably expect to hear their name being called next Monday. If not, they'll certainly receive the Big 12's automatic bid to the WNIT, as the five teams ahead of K-State in the standings are all NCAA locks.