K-State drops heartbreaker to Colorado, 60-58

MANHATTAN, Kan. Candice Rucker hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds to play and Colorado escaped Bramlage Coliseum with a 60-58 win over Kansas State Wednesday night.

Ashley Sweat scored a career-high 18 points and keyed a late rally by Kansas State (16-9, 4-8 Big 12), which trailed by as many as six in the second half.

Claire Coggins added 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 18 seconds to go that tied the game at 58-58, and Shana Wheeler chipped in with 10 points for her first double-figure scoring effort in nearly a month.

Jackie McFarland paced Colorado (11-13, 5-7 Big 12) with 18 points as the Buffaloes picked up their first season sweep of the Wildcats since 2001.

Colorado led by a bucket at the break, but K-State came out on fire in the second half and jumped out to a 40-35 lead just over eight minutes in following a Wheeler layup and a pair of free throws by Sweat.

Colorado quickly regained the advantage then got layups from Rucker and Caley Dow to forge its largest lead of the game at 54-48 with four minutes to go.

Two free throws by Sweat with under a minute remaining pulled the Cats within three and set up Coggins game-tying triple.

But the K-State was unable to stop the ball on the Buffaloes ensuing possession and Rucker was awarded what proved to be two game-winning free throws after driving to the basket and being fouled by Sweat.

Seven ties and six lead changes highlighted as back-and-forth first half during which neither team was able to generate more than a five-point lead.

Colorado used a 7-2 run to turn a 15-15 tie into a 22-17 lead six minutes before the break.

The Wildcats responded by scoring seven straight points, including six by Dietz, who finished the game with nine and ignited the run with steals and layups on back-to-back possessions.

But it was the Buffaloes who were able to take the lead into the locker room. McFarland dropped in a layup for the final points of the half with 1:12 remaining and Colorado got consecutive stops out of its defense for a 28-26 lead at the break.

Kansas State returns to the road on Sunday, Feb. 18, when the Wildcats go for a season sweep in the Sunflower State showdown at Kansas. The game, which will be televised by Fox Sports Net, is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.