Poor Shooting Plagues K-State, 63-57

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Despite shooting a season-low 28.3-percent from the field, Kansas State found a way to take Colorado down to the wire, but the Buffaloes were able to hold on for a 63-57 victory in front of 4,076 fans Wednesday evening at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State (10-8, 2-2 Big 12) made just 15 of its 53 shots from the field in the contest, including a 4-of-18 (22.2-percent) mark from 3-point range, also a season low. The Wildcats' 28.3 shooting percentage was the lowest since a 27.3-percent performance against Iowa State in 2007.

In contrast, Colorado shot over 45-percent for the seventh time this season and had four players in double figures. The Buffaloes were led by Brittany Spears, who had 15 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing her sixth double-double of the season. Chucky Jeffery and Bianca Smith each added 13, while Alyssa Fressle ended the night with 11.

Despite only hitting a season-low 15 field goals, the Cats were able to stay in the game by converting 23 free throws, one short of their season best. Brittany Chambers, Ashley Sweat and Taelor Karr all made five free throws and ended the contest in double figures.

The game was scoreless for the first 3:15, while Kansas State didn't make a basket until the 15:44 mark of the first half. The two teams battled for the majority of the first half, which featured five ties and six lead changes. But with the game knotted at 23, the Buffaloes went on a 7-3 run to end the frame and go into the locker room with a five-point advantage at 30-25.

Kansas State was fortunate, however, to only be down five at the break. In the first half, the Wildcats could only hit six of its 28 shots from the floor (21.4 percent), their lowest since a 20.7-percent mark in the first half of the season opener against Indiana State. But thanks to 12 made three throws, the disadvantage was minimal.

The K-State shooting woes continued after the break as it missed its first seven shots of the period and didn't score until a Chambers 3-pointer with 15:00 left.

While the Wildcats struggled, Colorado extended its lead thanks in part to a 10-3 spurt, which culminated with a Jeffery three-point play to make the score 42-28.

Kansas State began to show some life midway through the half as a double-digit lead whittled to eight at 44-36 following a pair of made free throws on a Colorado technical foul and a layup by Mariah White.

After the teams traded buckets, K-State used pressure defense and finally found its touch from the field as it went on a 7-0 run to get within one at 55-54 with 3:44 left.

A Spears 3-pointer silenced the crowd and ended the Buffalo drought before Sweat answered with a bucket at the 2:48 mark to get back within two. But that was as close as Kansas State would get as Colorado hit its free throws down the stretch to take the six-point victory.

Kansas State will hit the Big 12 road for the third time this season as the Wildcats travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska on Saturday. Tip-off at the Devaney Center is set for 11 a.m. on FSN.