K-State Sports Information__- Brittany Chambers scored a game-high 21 points to lead Kansas State past Illinois, 66-48, in the quarterfinals of the Women's Invitational Tournament Saturday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 19-17 on the year and will face Utah in the semifinals of the WNIT on Wednesday night at home.
Chambers was joined in double figures by junior Chantay Caron, who scored a career-high 19 points,
and sophomore Haley Texada chipped in 16 points. Senior Mariah White collected seven rebounds, six assists and four steals, all team high marks.
In addition to forcing the Illini into 18 turnovers, K-State held Illinois, the No. 37 scoring team in the nation, to a season-low 48 points, marking the first time all season that the Illini were held under 50 points.
After trading baskets over the first 10 minutes of the game, K-State went on a 15-0 scoring run, to take a 22-8 lead at the 9:51 mark in the opening half, led by Chambers and Texada, who were the only two Wildcats to score within the first 10 minutes of the game The backcourt duo outscored the Illini 19-8 in that time frame.
Facing a considerable first-half deficit, Illinois stormed back with a 9-0 run to cut the Wildcat lead to 22-17 with just over six minutes until halftime. After going nearly four minutes without a basket, Chambers stepped up and buried a 3-pointer to halt the Illini scoring spree, sparking a 10-3 Wildcat scoring run that opened the lead back up to double figures.
During the run, Caron came alive in the closing minutes of the first half, scoring six of the Wildcats' nine final points of the first half. At the break, K-State led Illinois, 34-24.
To start the second half, K-State again came out firing, extending its lead to 46-33 at the first media timeout of the final half. K-State was able to maintain its double-digit advantage, stretching the lead to 18 points, capped by a Caron layup with 27 seconds left on the clock to seal the Wildcats' 19th win of the season.
With Saturday afternoon's win, K-State advances to the semifinals of the WNIT and will face Utah on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum. Fans can purchase tickets for Wednesday's contest online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets, by calling 1-800-221-CATS (2287) or in person at the ticket office, located inside the southwest entrance of Bramlage Coliseum. The game will be available on the K-State Sports Network and for free on K-StateHD.TV.