LAS VEGAS, Nev. – K-State looked to end its recent down turn on Thursday night at the World Vision Classic, but the Wildcats ran into a solid foe in No. 5/5 Notre Dame, 87-57, at the Cox Pavilion. K-State has now lost three straight after opening the season with seven consecutive wins.
K-State (7-3) had three players reach double figures for the second straight game and was led by senior and All-America candidate Brittany Chambers with 18 points and seven rebounds despite a high ankle sprain she suffered against UTEP on Dec. 16. With her point output on Thursday, the guard from Jordan, Minn., moved into eighth on the K-State career scoring list with 1,559 and passing Tammie Romstad (1978-82; 1,548).
Joining Chambers in double figures were sophomore Haley Texada and Ashia Woods. Texada tallied 11 points, while Woods carded 10 points and five rebounds.
For the 10th straight game this season, K-State reached double figures in steals with 12 for the night. For the season, the Wildcats have 120 steals, or 12.0 per game.
Notre Dame (8-1) saw five players reach double figures, led by consensus All-American Skylar Diggins with a game-high 22 points and dished out eight assists. Joining Diggins in twin figures were Natalie Achonwa with 13 points, while Kayla McBride added 12 and Kaila Turner chipped in with 11 off the bench.
Notre Dame forced the Wildcats into seven turnovers in the first six minutes, scoring 11 points off those K-State errors including eight in transition to take a 17-5 lead. The Fighting Irish were led during this stretch by Diggins with 11 points.
The Fighting Irish would build their lead to 21 at 41-19 with 4:12 remaining the in half. Consecutive three-point field goals from Haley Texada and Kendra Spresser narrowed the deficit to 16, 41-25, with 2:17 to play. Notre Dame was able to rebuild its lead back to 24, 49-25, before halftime with a 7-0 run capped by a Kaila Turner three-pointer before the halftime buzzer.
K-State was able to bring the contest to within 21 points following a Chantay Caron three-point play with 11:54 remaining in the second half, but Notre Dame proved to be too strong and built its lead to as many as 31 with under four minutes to play.
K-State will conclude action at the World Vision Classic on Friday afternoon. The Wildcats will face UNLV at 5 p.m. (CT), which will be a rematch of last season’s final game of the BTI Invitational in which UNLV defeated the Wildcats, 44-38. The game on Friday will be available on the K-State Sports Network.