MANHATTAN, Kan. – With three players reaching double figures on Thursday night, Kansas State defeated Fort Hays State, 68-57, at Bramlage Coliseum in the exhibition opener for both teams.
K-State was paced by sophomore Ashia Woods with a game-high 19 points. The guard from Wichita, Kan., also chipped in with eight rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
Joining Woods in double figures were senior Brittany Chambers and junior Chantay Caron. Chambers, a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection and 2012-13 All-Big 12 honorable mention choice, tallied a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She also led the Wildcats with five assists and four steals.
Caron netted 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and a block in a starting role in the frontcourt.
The Lady Tigers were led by center Katie Lehman with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-4 Lehman was a factor on the defensive end with six blocked shots.
Fort Hays State clawed out to an early six-point lead in the first half, 17-11, following a three-point field goal from Taylor Chandler with 12:50 remaining. K-State narrowed the Lady Tigers lead to one, 17-16, following a three-point play from Ashia Woods and a pair of free throws from Chantay Caron.
K-State used a 10-0 run halfway through the opening half to claim a 26-19 lead. The rally was jump started by Caron, as she converted in the post to narrow the gap to one. The Wildcats then followed with a long rebound from Brittany Chambers, who found Woods on an outlet pass on the fast break, who finished on a twisting layup with 5:54 to play.
Fort Hays State cut the K-State lead to four at halftime, 30-26, with the help of a 7-4 run to end the half. The Lady Tigers run was started on a three-point field goal from Traci Keyser and ended seconds before the end of the half on a Katelyn Edwards layup.
The Lady Tigers extended their run into the early stages of the second half to take a brief, 31-30 lead with 18:37 remaining on a Keyser three-pointer. K-State recovered to take an eight-point lead, 47-39, as Woods converted a lay-up with 11:54 to play.
Fort Hays State cut into the K-State lead midway through the second stanza, trimming the lead to two, 48-46, on a Melissa Nelson steal and layup with 9:39 to play. An offensive rebound and putback by Chambers pushed the Wildcats back to a five-point lead, 55-50, with under eight minutes to play.
The Wildcats were able to extend the lead to its final destination of 11, as Woods connected on a three-pointer and a layup with under seven minutes to play. The Lady Tigers were unable narrow the gap in the closing minutes of the game.
K-State will conclude its two-game exhibition schedule on Monday, as the Wildcats host Washburn at 7 p.m. Monday night’s game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Kansas City and available on the K-State Sports Network. To purchase tickets to Monday night’s game, please call the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.