K-State Rallies for Wildcat Classic Title

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, but a resilient second-half effort propelled the Wildcats to a 64-60 victory over Missouri State to win the 2009 Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

Missouri State (4-3) led by 19 with 1:43 remaining in the first half and took a 39-24 advantage into the locker room at halftime. In the first frame, the Lady Bears shot 50-percent (16-for-32), which tied for the highest percentage by a K-State opponent in a half this season. The Wildcats also committed 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, the second most in a half this season, as K-State looked as though it would drop just its fourth Wildcat Classic title.

But, the intermission would spring new life into Kansas State (4-4) as it went on a 15-5 run to start the second half to pull within seven at 46-39. The stretch was capped by a Kari Kincaid three-pointer, her first make in eight attempts.

Missouri State pushed its lead out to double digits again, but K-State came right back and cut the lead to two, 56-54, on a three-point play by Brittany Chambers. Following a missed bucket on the other end, Kincaid hit her second three of the half to give Kansas State its first lead since the 16:48 mark of the first half.

The Wildcats extended their lead to six at 63-57, which ended a 24-5 run to give K-State the come-from-behind victory.

The Wildcats, who shot just 37.5-percent in the first half, shot 13-for-26 (50.0-percent) in the second half. K-State also hit five of their seven three-pointers in the second segment, while it limited Missouri State to just 8-of-30 (26.7-percent) from the field in the final 20 minutes of play.

Ashley Sweat scored 16 of her a game-high 26 points in the second half, equaling her scoring output for the second-straight game. Sweat shot 8-of-13 from the field and was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. Chambers, who finished with 18 points on Friday, scored 17 points against Missouri State and made a game-high three three-pointers.

Jalana Childs also finished in double figures with 10 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, seven of which game in the second half.

Christiana Shorter led Missouri State with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Melissa Busby scored 13 points.

Following the contest, a pair of Wildcats were named to the all-tournament team. Sweat earned tournament MVP honors for the second-straight year, while Chambers was named to the team in her first season. Shorter and Casey Garrison of Missouri State, and Jareica Hughes of UTEP were also named to the all-tournament team.

Kansas State will be off for seven days before hosting Northwestern on Sunday, December 13. Tipoff at Bramlage Coliseum is set for 2 p.m.

UTEP vs. Grambling State: UTEP's Dietra Caldwell, Jareica Hughes and Ashley Milian each scored in double figures as the Miners defeated Grambling State, 54-40, in the consolation game of the 2009 Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

UTEP (6-3) led by as many as 18 in the first frame and went into half with a 32-19 advantage. Grambling State (3-4) was unable to make up any ground as the Miners led by 24 with 10 minutes to play.

Caldwell and Hughes tied for game-high honors with 12 points, while Milian dropped in 10.

The Lady Tigers were led by Secrett Anderson for the second-straight game as she scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds. Jasher Blocker added seven points on 3-of-4 shooting.