Wildcats Rally for Senior Day Victory

"I'm so proud of them for digging deep in this game because it took everything we had," said K-State head coach Jeff Mittie after the game. "It took everything we had to come out and put up a fight like that."
The comeback took guts, there is no doubt about that, and it was filled with top-notch defense and quality scoring. Using a 28-6 run in the game's final 12 minutes, the Wildcats forced the Mountaineers into 10 second-half turnovers and connected on a season-high 91.7-percent (22-of-24) from the free throw line. 
"It was just a gutty performance. We struggled all night offensively and I think that's a credit to West Virginia's pressure," said Mittie, whose team shot just 28.1 percent (16-of-57) from the field. "They forced us into a lot of bad decisions and bad shots, but as we competed harder, we made better decisions and found some better looks in the second half."
Last night's win came in conjunction with senior night as the game marked the final time seniors Ashia Woods, Haley Texada and Heidi Brown would compete in Big 12 action in Bramlage Coliseum. 
"It was awesome. I enjoyed every second of it no matter how tired I was at one point," said Texada on going out with a bang. "The girls really did fight hard and they knew how much it meant to us. They went harder because of it. It was awesome."
In her best performance of the year, Texada finished the game with a season-high 22 points to go along with three rebounds and three steals. Showing intensity every time she touched the ball, Texada found her way to the free-throw line and went a career-best 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. 
But the senior leadership didn't stop with Texada. Woods also came alive in the game's final minutes as she racked up 10 points, grabbed four rebounds, two assists and had two steals. 
"I've enjoyed watching Haley play. She's always been so athletic and she's done well at K-State," said Texada's father, Lawrence. He was all smiles as he stood on the court, surrounded by family after the postgame senior day celebrations. "You couldn't have picked a better atmosphere to go out on on senior night. To come back from 14 down, that showed a lot of heart, a lot of guts. That's exactly what they needed. They needed their senior leadership to take over, and that's what Haley and Ashia did. I'm so proud of both of them. I'm proud of Haley for how she finished tonight. This is something that we're going to remember for a long time."
Overall in her career, Texada has scored 806 points, grabbed 253 rebounds and recorded 101 steals, while Woods has scored a total of 724 points, grabbed 451 rebounds and has a total of 188 assists and 190 steals.
"We wanted the ball in their hands," said Mittie about his seniors, "especially with the way they were playing. Haley gets that look and you just kind of say, 'We better keep her in the game.' So I think it was fitting. They both had good looks and Ashia had some big, extra rebounds in that stretch that were just huge, but it's what they've done this year for us." 
Along with the seniors, sophomore Kindred Wesemann scored in double figures by finishing with 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting, while sophomore forward Breanna Lewis led the team in both rebounding (8) and steals (4). 
"With a win and as hard as we fought as a team, that's one of the best ways to go out," said Woods after the game. "It was fun. We had stretches where we played bad, but the energy we had with Haley scoring, taking it to the hoop and being fouled, that brought a lot of energy for us and made for a great atmosphere."
Adding to the exciting atmosphere of senior night was the Wildcats' family and closest friends who were present at last night's game. While it was a special night for the players and the coaches, the game also gave the seniors' families the opportunity to reflect back on their past four years invested in K-State women's basketball.
"We've enjoyed it. The only problem is that it has gone by too fast," said Lawrence Texada with a smile. "We've truly, truly enjoyed the experience, the fans, the people here in this city, and we're going to miss it. We're still going to follow K-State women's basketball, but we're truly going to miss it."
Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship in Dallas, Texas. The Wildcats (No. 8 seed) are set to take on Kansas (No. 9 seed) on Friday, at 6 p.m., at American Airlines Center. For a look at the women's basketball Big 12 Championship schedule, please click here
For more stats, quotes, pictures and more from last night's win, please click here.

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