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OFFENSIVE WOES END K-STATE'S SEASON

STORRS, Conn. - Scoring the ball has been K-State's bugaboo all season and it reared its ugly head at the worst of times here Sunday at the NCAA Tournament in a 53-45 loss to Purdue in a First Round game played at Gampel Pavilion.

The Wildcats didn't score until the 12:55 mark of the first half (0-of-12), had a measly 17 points at the half, finally the season-low 45-point total, and the lowest output for K-State in its 22-game NCAA history.

"Honestly, I thought the early offensive shots we missed were us. I was really excited with the looks that we got," said K-State coach Deb Patterson. "I thought in the second half, once the game got close, the looks that we didn't get were very much about Purdue. I thought our rhythm early was better with respect to the looks. Now, I thought it was like watching paint dry to watch us try to execute offense. We were not moving and things were difficult for us."

In particular, Patterson pointed to the six assists that tied a season-low that was troublesome.

"When we finish the game, no matter who we play and where it's at, with six assists, we're not going to win the game. It was that kind of day," said Patterson. "We were real ball-dominant and we didn't have good spacing. We missed passing opportunities when we had them and we missed a lot of bunnies. Our assist numbers tell the tale of how dysfunctional we were offensively today."

Kansas State's first points of the game didn't come until the 12:55 mark on a drive to the bucket by sophomore Taelor Karr. The good news of the basket is that it pulled the Wildcats to within three at 5-2 as the Boilermakers were having problems of their own.

With just 90 seconds left in the half, K-State was stuck on 10 points, but the Wildcats did score seven points the rest of the half on a two-pointer by Brittany Chambers, a trey from Kelsey Hill, and a basket from Chantay Caron.

Due to 22 percent shooting overall, and 21 percent from long range, K-State found itself on the short end of a 25-17 count at the half.

K-State dominated the opening minutes of the second half going on a 12-2 tear to take its first lead of the game at the 13:32 mark on a Chambers follow of a Karr miss to make it 29-27 Purples.

Karr then added a bucket as K-State pushed the lead to four as the 'Cats made six of their first 12 shots, while holding the Boilermakers to just two points through the first 9:50 of the first half.

With the game tied at 36, Purdue went on a nine-point flurry, which included a conventional three-point play by Brittany Rayburn, followed by consecutive treys by Drey Mingo and Rayburn at the 5:11 mark to make it 45-36 Boilermakers.

"We had every opportunity in the second half to pull out a victory, but as soon as we got ahead we let them back in and we let them get ahead at the wrong time of the game," said Chambers.

Patterson added, "I thought probably the difference all and all was the individual playmaking ability that Purdue brought to the floor in situations that were real critical to the game. Drey (Mingo) made some really important plays, (Brittany) Rayburn made some really important plays at critical times and we didn't counter that on the offensive end of the floor."

K-State would get to within one, 46-45, at the 2:10 mark on a Chambers basket, but Purdue would score the next seven points, and claim the victory.

Chambers led K-State with 18 points, while Karr added 14. K-State ends its season with a 21-11 record, while 21-11 Purdue advances to play No. 1 Connecticut on Tuesday night.

STAR OF THE GAME: Brittany Chambers scored a double-double with her 18 points and 12 rebounds. It marked the first time that a Wildcat has enjoyed a double-double in NCAA play since Kendra Wecker did so against Bowling Green in 2005.

Chambers ends her season with 514 points, fourth high for a single season for a Wildcat sophomore player. Her four 3-pointers give her 153 for her career, which ties Wecker for seventh on the all-time chart. Her 88 3-pointeers for this season ranks fifth in K-State history.

STAT OF THE GAME: K-State dominated the glass, 42-27, which led to a 13-2 advantage in second-chance points. Chambers had 12 boards while Branshea Brown added 11 and Jalana Childs 4. The Wildcats had 20 offensive boards.

"We had a lot more possessions than they did because of our offensive rebounding and we didn't capitalize on that all night," said Chambers. "I don't know what our second-chance points were, but they weren't good for how many offensive boards we did get."

STAT OF THE GAME II: Purdue won the game at the foul stripe making 14-of-16 compared to K-State's 1-of-2. The Wildcats were whistled for 15 fouls to nine for Purdue.

GAME NOTES:
The 17 first-half points were the fewest of the season, and the 45 points were the fewest of the year, and the fewest since losing at Iowa State last year, 48-39.

Amazingly, K-State put up 63 shots compared to 42 for Purdue, but made just two more than the Boilermakers, 19-17.

K-State is now 9-3 in all-time First Round NCAA Tournament games.


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