K-State Rally Falls Short in Sunflower Showdown

Jan. 25, 2014

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K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Double figures from Leticia Romero and Katya Leick were not enough for Kansas State, as the Wildcats dropped a close decision to in-state rival Kansas, 71-64, in the 107th meeting in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

Romero reached double figures for the 14th time this season with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting. She tallied 14 of her 17 points in the second half. The freshman from Las Palmas, Spain, also dished out eight assists and hauled in five rebounds.

Leick carded her third game in double figures as a Wildcat with 12 points. She also pulled in a team-high nine rebounds.

The first half featured a back-and-forth game, with neither team able to build a lead bigger than seven points. After falling behind 7-6, freshman Kindred Wesemann knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to give the Wildcats (8-11, 2-6 Big 12) a 9-7 lead over the Jayhawks (10-10, 3-5 Big 12) with 14:28 left in the opening period.

That would be the last time the Wildcats would lead, as the Jayhawks took control of the game. A jumper by Chelsea Gardner would spark KU to an 8-0 run and help the visitors lead for the remaining 13 minutes of the half and hold a 32-26 halftime edge.

The Wildcats shot 10-of-26 (38.5%) from the field in the half, including 3-of-7 from three-point range. Senior Ashlynn Knoll led K-State’s bench with five of her seven points at the half, with eight total Wildcats scoring at least two points.

K-State was able to narrow the halftime deficit to three, 32-29, in the first two minutes of the second half. The Wildcats had four opportunities to close the gap even closer or to take the lead, but KU was able to fend off the Wildcats’ attempts. The Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 14 points, with 7:28 to play.

K-State made things interesting in the final three minutes, cutting the lead to six points, before the visitors put the game away for good. Gardner led the way for KU with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Four other Jayhawks scored in double figures.

Turnovers proved to be the difference maker in the game, as the Jayhawks were able to score 19 points on 13 Wildcat mistakes. K-State was only able to convert 16 KU turnovers into five points.

K-State will look to get back on track on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats host Oklahoma at 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Kansas City and heard on the K-State Sports Network. Wednesday night’s game promotion will be National Girls and Women in Sports Day. To purchase tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-800-221-CATS or online at kstatesports.com.