Wildcats Drop Heartbreaker to Aggies, 65-63

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. Ashley Sweat’s potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer just rimmed out as Kansas State dropped a hard-fought 65-63 contest to fourth-seeded Texas A&M Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship.

With the loss, Kansas State dropped to 24-7 on the season, while Texas A&M improved to 24-6.

The contest went back and forth during the second half as Texas A&M’s Danielle Gant’s layup with :23 left broke a 63-all tie before the Wildcats went down for the potential tying or winning shot. After a scramble in the paint for a loose ball, Sweat came up with the basketball and released a 10-foot jump shot just before the buzzer sounded that bounced twice around the rim and fell to the ground.

Marlies Gipson led the Wildcats with 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting, while Sweat added 19 points and Lehning 13.

Down 46-40 midway through the second half, the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run to take the lead, capped by a Gipson turn-around jumper. Neither team would take a lead larger than three points for the rest of the way in a tightly-contested game that saw six ties and 14 lead changes.

K-State took its first lead of the game at 18-17 after Gipson recorded a steal and a layup, but Texas A&M used a late first-half charge to take a 36-28 lead at the break.

Kansas State connected on 43-percent of its shots in the first half, while Texas A&M hit 63-percent. The Wildcats shot 57-percent in the second half and 49-percent for the entire game.

The Wildcats now await word on an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. The selection show for the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament will be announced live on ESPN on Monday at 6 p.m.