Wildcats Drop 56-44 Contest at Wyoming

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Shalee Lehning led a trio of Wildcats in double figures with 14 points but a slow first half and a 16-6 Wyoming run over the final six minutes of the game proved to be the difference as the Cowgirls held off K-State, 56-44, Thursday night at Arena Auditorium.


Kansas State (2-1) fell behind by as many as 12 points in the second half but got back to within two when a Lehning layup cut the margin to 32-30 with 10:56 minutes to go. The team’s traded baskets until an Ashley Sweat free throw drew the Cats to within 40-38 at the 5:46 mark. That is when Wyoming and Justyna Podziemska took over as she tallied eight of her game-high 20 points in the final five-plus minutes of the game.


Neither team shot well from the floor in the first half as both combined for just 15 points through the first 10 minutes of the game. The Wildcats, who finished the game at 35-percent, shot just 25-percent from the floor in the first half on 7-of-27 shooting.


Kansas State fought back late in the opening half as a Gipson jumper brought the Cats to within two at 15-13, but five turnovers over the final three minutes of the half helped Wyoming (2-0) extend its lead to 20-15 at the break.


Aside from Lehning’s 14 points, five steals and four rebounds, Gipson added 13 and a team-high six rebounds and Ashley Sweat 10 points and four rebounds, but the remaining Wildcat players totaled just seven points on the evening.


Wyoming’s Justyna Podziemska led all scorers with 20 points, while two other Cowgirls tallied 10 or more points.


Kansas State returns to action Wednesday as it heads to Cancun, Mexico, for the Caribbean Challenge. The Wildcats open the tournament with a 3 p.m. contest against Tulane before facing Michigan State on Thursday evening.