FREEPORT, Bahamas – Kansas State used an energetic, defensive first half and a late defensive stop at the end of the game to record a 49-46 win over Virginia on Friday night in the Junkanoo Jam. The win ended K-State’s three-game losing streak.
With the win, K-State ended a six-game losing streak in tournaments outside the United States. The last win for the Wildcats in a tournament outside of the United States came on Nov. 26, 2004 at the Junkanoo Jam.
K-State (3-3) was led on Friday by Haley Texada, Leticia Romero and Breanna Lewis. Texada, a junior guard from Frisco, Texas, recorded a team-high 13 points, while also pulling in seven rebounds and dishing out two assists. Texada scored in double figures in both games of the Junkanoo Jam and has three games this season in double digits.
Romero finished with a diverse stat line of seven points, a career-high 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Romero has led K-State in assists in all six games this season.
Lewis tallied eight points, pulled in 10 rebounds, blocked a shot and recorded a steal. The freshman forward from Milwaukee has blocked at least one shot in every game this season for the Wildcats.
Virginia (3-4) was paced by Sarah Imovbioh who tallied 20 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard Kelsey Wolfe notched 18 points and six assists.
The Wildcats came out in the first half as the more energetic of the two squads, with K-State capturing a 16-10 lead with 8:09 to play on a Jessica Sheble layup. K-State would expand its lead to seven, 21-14, as Texada connected on her second 3-point field goal of the half with 3:47 remaining in the opening stanza. Virginia ended the half on a 4-0 run.
The Cavaliers continued their run into the second half, opening with four quick points to secure a 22-21 lead with 17:51 to play. Virginia would build its lead to 24-21, but Katya Leick drained a three from the top of the key and Texada connected on her third 3-pointer in transition for a 27-26 K-State lead with 15:53 to play.
With Virginia leading by one, 30-29, with under 11 minutes to play, Romero recorded consecutive steals which the Wildcats turned into five points on a Romero fast break layup and a Leick three-pointer to give K-State a 34-30 lead with 10:38 to play.
Romero sparked a 9-2 run with five straight points on a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to give K-State a 47-42 lead with 3:55 to play. Virginia would cut K-State’s lead to two, 47-45, as the Wildcats went cold from the field, but a Romero fast break assist to Kindred Wesemann put K-State up 49-45 with under a minute to play.
A free throw by Wolfe brought the Cavaliers to within three, 49-46, with 23 seconds remaining. Virginia attempted a pair of three-point field goals with under seven seconds to play, but both attempts were contested by the Wildcats.
K-State shot .328 from the field, including .458 in the second half. The Wildcats held Virginia to a .268 effort from the field, including an 0-of-10 performance from beyond the arc. K-State outrebounded Virginia, 45-33, and held a 14-4 advantage in bench points including eight points from Leick.
The Wildcats will return to Manhattan to host Grambling State on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. For tickets, contact the K-State Athletics ticket office at (800) 221-CATS or at kstatesports.com/tickets. The game will also be broadcast on FCS Pacific and the K-State Sports Network.