K-State Holds on for 64-61 Win in Ruston

RUSTON, La.   Claire Coggins scored 17 points and Kimberly Dietz added 15 as Kansas State held off a late Louisiana Tech rally for a 64-61 win at Thomas Assembly Center Tuesday night.


Coggins, who added five assists and four steals, came up big at the end of the game as her deflection of a Tech pass with seven seconds left kept the Lady Techsters from attempting a game-winning shot. Marlies Gipson followed with two free throws after a foul and Louisiana Tech’s desperation three at the buzzer came up short.


Kansas State, which shot 45-percent from the field, improved to 7-1 on the season, while Louisiana Tech dropped to 2-6. The Wildcats also handed the Lady Techsters just their 23rd loss at home in the history of the Tech program.


Coggins and Dietz paced four Wildcats who scored in double figures as Shalee Lehning and Gipson each added 10 points. Lehning neared a triple-double on the night with a game-high nine rebounds and six assists to go along with her 10 points, while Gipson blocked three shots and collected six rebounds. Coggins and Lehning also each played a full 40 minutes in the game on Tuesday.


K-State’s defense forced a season-high 16 steals and 28 turnovers and held Louisiana Tech to 39-percent shooting, as no Wildcat opponent this season has shot better than 40-percent from the field.


The Wildcats built a commanding 20-point lead in the first half as Kansas State forced 15 turnovers and hit 59-percent (17-29) of its field goals en route to a 43-27 halftime lead.


But, Louisiana Tech rallied back, making its way to the free throw line and taking full advantage as Kansas State played much of the second half with its front line in foul trouble. The Lady Techsters hit 22-of-26 free throws for the game, including a 14-of-15 mark in the second half, and pulled to within as many as one point late in the game.


Tech limited the Wildcats to 29-percent shooting (7-24) and forced 16 second half turnovers as it methodically climbed back into the game. Trailing 57-42 with 9:43 to play, Tech used a 19-5 run to cut the deficit to one before Coggins deflection and Gipson’s free throws sealed the win.


Eboni Mangum led Tech with 16 points while Jo Sneed added 13 and Ty Moore 11.


K-State returns to action Saturday as it faces UMKC at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.