Texada Leads Wildcats to WNIT Victory
"We got off to a great start," said Wildcat head coach Jeff Mittie after last night's game. "We certainly had our legs under us, and we had great energy. We were pretty amped up to play. They were pretty excited to play tonight."
Opening the game on a 10-0 run, the Wildcats (19-13) stole the lead early and never looked back as the game progressed. Shooting 60-percent from the field (18-of-30) in the first half, K-State took a 50-32 lead going into halftime.
It marked one of the best halves of basketball the Wildcats have played all season, and was much to the credit of senior guard Haley Texada.
Perhaps the biggest factor in the victory, Texada's offensive effort was nothing short of outstanding as she finished with a career-high 30 points. The Frisco, Texas, native was on fire from the start as she recorded 19 first-half points. For the game, Texada shot 8-of-11 from the field, including four three-pointers, and was 10-of-13 from the free-throw line.
"It was flowing," said Texada about her offensive game. "It was good. My teammates helped me get open shots, and we were going pretty hard. We had a lot of energy so we were moving, and I think that created openings for me. My game is coming around. It's a more complete game and it's starting to flow a little bit easier."
Texada has been playing some of the best basketball of her career in this final stretch. She has averaged an impressive 23.5 points in the Wildcats' past four games and said she won't be slowing down any time soon.
"It's postseason - a lot is on the line," said Texada. "It's win or go home at this point, and if you're not locked in and you're not ready, anyone can come in here and win."
Yesterday evening's game marked Texada's eighth career 20-point performance and her 45th game scoring points in double figures.
"I think she's been locked in," said Mittie. "I know that in my conversations with her, she wants to leave it all on the floor. It's been really fun to watch her compete because she really has had a great focus to her."
Along with Texada, three other Wildcats scored in double digits. Sophomore Breanna Lewis scored 11 points and senior Ashia Woods and junior Bri Craig scored 10 apiece. Freshman Shaelyn Martin showed an added toughness as she grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, dished out five assists and pocketed three steals.
The Wildcats will stay at home for the second round of the WNIT as they face the Missouri Tigers (18-13, 7-9 SEC) at 2 p.m., on Sunday.
"It's a big deal," said Craig about playing at home in Bramlage Coliseum. "Especially if we continue to win. Having that home crowd and having those people come out and support us, I think it's a big deal along the stretch."
The Tigers travel to Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday coming off of a 69-61 win at Northern Iowa in the WNIT's first round.
"We're going to need more (fans) on Sunday. I thought it was a good, solid crowd tonight for the first round, but certainly I hope people get excited for the Missouri game because, obviously, that name in this part of the country will be a great matchup," said Mittie. "A lot of people remember those games against Missouri. I grew up in Big Eight country. I watched all those games, and I think it'll be a great matchup."
Tickets for Sunday afternoon's game are available now by calling the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS, visiting www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by stopping by the office in Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets are priced at $15 for chair backs, $10 for adult general admission and $5 for student and children. Priority seating for season-ticket holders will not be available for the WNIT with all tickets made available on a first come, first serve basis.
For a recap, stats, photos and more from last night's game, please click here.
CATS OPEN BIG 12 SCHEDULE AT NO. 14 TEXAS
Coming off of a 3-2 win over Stephen F Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas, on Tuesday evening, the Wildcat baseball team (11-9) continues its trip to the Lone Star State by opening up Big 12 play with a three-game series at No. 14 Texas (13-8, 2-1 Big 12) tonight.
With the first pitch set for 6 p.m., tonight's game will take place at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas.
For more information on this weekend's K-State baseball series, please click here.