Cats Drop Heartbreaker to No. 11 Aggies

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Kansas State stormed out to a 33-25 halftime lead behind freshman Taelor Karr's career-high 19 points, but 11th-ranked Texas A&M rallied in the second half to claim a 69-63 win over the Wildcats Saturday night at Reed Arena.

Kansas State (12-12, 4-6) had four players in double figures, led by Karr's career night. Brittany Chambers chipped in 17 points, Kari Kincaid had 13 and Ashley Sweat moved into fourth place on the K-State career scoring charts with 10 points in the contest.

The Aggies (17-6, 5-5) opened the second half on an 11-0 run over the first six minutes, capped by a Tanisha Smith three-pointer, to take a 36-33 lead. K-State, which set a Reed Arena record with 11 made three-point field goals in the game, did not score in the second half until the 12:42 mark but kept the contest close and eventually regained the lead at 41-40 following Kincaid's three-pointer with 10:07 left.

Texas A&M widened the margin to 50-43 at the 7:19 mark, but a Chambers' three-pointer brought the Cats right back to within four at 50-46. The Cats kept the deficit at four points or less until a fastbreak layup by A&M with 4:09 left extended the lead to 56-50. Following a Sweat jumper, the Aggies went on a 7-0 run to up the lead to 63-52 and the Wildcats would only get as close as six points the rest of the way.

K-State shot just 30-percent from the floor in the contest, including 28-percent in the second half, while the Aggies connected on 50-percent of their field goals in the second half and 46-percent overall. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Aggies, 41-36, for the game and collected a whopping 20 offensive rebounds.

After trailing by seven midway through the opening half, Karr put the Wildcats in front, 19-18, with a three from the right corner with 8:05 to play. The Aggies' Tyra White answered with a jumper from the right wing, but Kari Kincaid found Karr on a backdoor cut and a layup for a 21-20 edge with 7:29 to play.

Karr bumped K-State's lead to four with her third 3-point field goal of the first half with 6:11 to play. Two hustle offensive rebounds by Branshea Brown resulted in a deep three from Brittany Chambers at the 3:49 mark and capped an 18-4 run to give K-State a 27-20 lead.

The Wildcats' lead grew to eight following the first 4-point play of the season, as Karr connected on her fourth 3-pointer while being knocked to the floor by Damitria Buchanan with 37.5 seconds remaining. Karr drained the ensuing free throw to give a career-high 19 points in the opening stanza and the Wildcats a 33-25 lead at the break.

K-State shot just .333 from the field in the first half, but recorded 11 offensive rebounds that resulted in 14 second chance points.

Kansas State continues its two-game road trip through the state of Texas on Wednesday as the Wildcats face No. 14/19 Texas at 7 p.m.