SE: Wildcat Weekend Recap

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CLOSES 2016 SEASON IN NCAA TOURNAMENT 
Despite opening the 2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 56-51 win over No. 8-seed George Washington on Friday evening, the ninth-seeded Wildcats couldn’t muster up a victory over top seed South Carolina and fell to the Gamecocks, 73-47, at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina, yesterday evening. 

“I’m really proud of this group, they really overachieved in a lot of ways,” said K-State head coach Jeff Mittie after last night’s game. “We have talent, but we also know we have some flaws that we have to cover up. I think it was critical this year to gain some traction, and we did that. Not only did we gain traction, but we took steps forward that maybe weren’t expected.” 

The Wildcats finished the 2015-16 season with a 19-13 record, tying for its best record since earning 20 wins during the 2011-12 campaign, the last time K-State went to the tournament. 

“I feel like throughout this season we played some really tough teams, our team has progressed a lot and I’m really looking forward to next year because I really feel we have something special,” said junior center Breanna Lewis. “Each day our team comes in and works hard. We play hard. We’ve played great teams so we know what it takes to play at the next level and we’re just going to continue to work at it.” 

K-State opened up tournament play by overcoming a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat George Washington. K-State was able to stage the comeback by registering a 32-16 advantage in points in the paint and a 13-2 edge in fast break points. 

The win over the Colonials was the Wildcats’ first tournament win since 2012. It was Mittie’s first NCAA Tournament win at Kansas State and his first since taking TCU to the second round of the 2006 tournament. 

Overall this year, Lewis led the Cats in scoring (16.7 ppg), rebounding (7.5 rpg) and blocks (82), while junior guard Kindred Wesemann paced the squad in steals (62) and sophomore guard Shaelyn Martin led the team in assists (112). 

Despite the loss to South Carolina on Sunday, the future is bring for K-State as the Wildcats will return four starters from this year’s starting lineup in Lewis, Wesemann, Martin and sophomore forward Kaylee Page. 

For a complete recap, box score, highlights and more from the win over George Washington, please click here. For the recap of last night’s game, click here

TRACK AND FIELD IMPRESSES AT UTSA INVITATIONAL
The K-State track and field team posted a strong start to its outdoor season as the Wildcats recorded six first-place finishes and numerous athletes set new personal bests at UTSA Invitational in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday and Saturday. 

Overall, the women’s team finished in sixth place with a team score of 91 points, while the men’s team also recorded a sixth-place finish with 68 total points. 

On Friday, junior Brady Grunder broke the school record in hammer throw with a first-place mark of 61.94m/203-02. Senior Sara Savatovic, the three-time defending Big 12 hammer throw champion, also recorded a win in the event with a throw of 65.00m/213-03, while junior Haley Pitko recorded a personal best throw of 46.81m/153-07 in the javelin to win the event. 

During Saturday’s competition, senior Sonia Gaskin won the women’s 400-meter dash with a time of 55.37 for her first win of the outdoor season. The women’s ‘A’ relay team of Gaskin, Ranae McKenzie, Keiteyana Parks and Tia’ Gamble also recorded a first-place finish at the meet with a time of 3:42.90. 

In the field, sophomore NaTron Gipson recorded a first-place finish in the men’s high jump with a mark of 2.05m/6-08.75 for his first victory of 2016. 

For more information on K-State track and field’s showing at the UTSA Invitational, please click here. 

WOMEN’S GOLF: TALLY TIES FOR FIFTH IN ARIZONA
K-State junior women's golfer Madison Talley fired a 1-under par 71 on Saturday to finish in the top-5 for the fifth time in her career and third time this season during the final round of the MountainView Collegiate at MountainView Golf Club. 

As a team, K-State carded a 7-over par 295 in the final round to finish in 11th place. The Wildcats tallied a 54-hole total of 28-over par 892. 

“It was a great finish by Madison in a strong field,” K-State head coach Kristi Knight said. “Today's round was an improvement from yesterday afternoon. We still had too many double bogeys.” 

After shooting 71 in the final two rounds, Talley has recorded 10 rounds under par this season, a new career high. 

To continue reading, please click here.

MEN’S GOLF: WILDCATS’ TOP 54-HOLE SCORE PROPELS CATS TO EIGHTH PLACE FINISH
All five members of the K-State men’s golf team carded under-par scores in Saturday’s final round of the Desert Shootout in Goodyear, Arizona, to help the Wildcats secure an eighth-place finish. 

K-State tied its top team round versus par of the spring season with a 7-under 281. The Wildcats’ 54-hole score of 15-under par 849 marked both the best team round versus par and best overall gross score since the team’s 23-under par 841 at the Desert Shootout on March 21, 2014. 

“We had all five guys under par today, but nobody was able to go low and that hurts when the course is playing as easy as it was,” said head coach Grant Robbins. “We just have to keep improving. We have to get much better at controlling distances with wedges, converting routine up-and-downs and learning how to score when you aren't playing your best.” 

The Wildcats had three golfers post 2-under rounds on Saturday, including junior Matt Green, who finished in a tie for 15th place at 7-under par 209 for the weekend. It marked his lowest 54-hole score and fifth top-20 finish of the season. 

To continue reading, please click here

ROWING: VARSITY 8 WINS FIRST WIN AGAINST TULSA
K-State’s Varsity 8+ boat won the team’s first race of the season as the Wildcats closed out its second competition of the season against Tulsa on the Verdigris River in Catoosa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. 

“The conditions were difficult with a strong head wind,” head coach Patrick Sweeney said. “The first boat, with all of the experience in it, handled the conditions well. The other boats with the less-experienced girls in them raced hard but did not race as well as I would have hoped.” 

In the second race of the day, the Wildcats’ A boat in the V8+ race finished in first place with a time of 8:03.5, just under five seconds faster than Tulsa’s B boat, which took second in the race with a time of 8:08.1. The Wildcats’ B boat took fourth in the race with a time of 8:20.8. 

“I thought they did a really solid job,” Sweeney said about the V8A boat. “They raced as planned. Looking at their times, they had no dips in their speed. They did everything right to win the race. They did a good job, especially under the difficult conditions.” 

To continue reading about the Wildcat rowing team, please click here

It was a busy weekend around the board for K-State Athletics! In addition to the above recaps, K-State baseball and K-State tennis both faced tough competition over the weekend. For more results please visit www.kstatesports.com

Also see: 
JONES NAMED CO-NATIONAL WOMEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Senior Akela Jones was recognized for her outstanding 2016 indoor season as she was named Co-National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, along with Georgia junior Kendell Williams, by the USTFCCCA on Thursday. 

According to the organization, the voting amongst the nation’s coaches was so close between the two individuals that both were named to the honor. 

Jones posted two outstanding performances this past weekend at the 2016 Indoor NCAA National Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, including a national championship in the high jump. 

To continue reading about Jones’ most recent award, please click here. Also, stay tuned to the K-State Sports Extra throughout the week for more on Jones’ national title.
 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh-Stewart, or K-State Associate AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.