MANHATTAN, Kan. – Trailing by six with just over four minutes remaining, Kansas State strung together a 10-0 run to close out the game to defeat Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon 60-54 during K-State’s annual Play 4Kay game.
K-State (10-14, 4-9 Big 12) was led by Leticia Romero, Katya Leick and Ashia Woods who all reached double figures. Romero led all scorers with 19 points and pulled in six rebounds, dished out six assists and pocketed two steals. Leick notched 10 points and six rebounds, while Woods added 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Both team struggled from the floor in the first half, as K-State shot .323 from the field while Texas Tech (6-19, 0-14) was .333. The Wildcats held the lead for a majority of the opening stanza, building a six-point lead with 10:28 to play on a banked in 3-point field goal by Leick in front of the Texas Tech bench.
The Lady Raiders would capture its only lead of the first half, 22-20, a Haley Schneider jump shot from the top of the key with 2:07 to play. A Romero layup with under 30 seconds to play in the frame brought K-State into a 24-24 tie at the break.
At halftime of Saturday’s game, Kansas State honored one of the greatest women’s basketball teams in the program’s 46-year history as members of the 2004 Big 12 Champions celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Among the members who returned to Manhattan for the event were: Claire Coggins, Chelsea Domenico, Amy Dutmer, Brie Madden, Jessica McFarland, Kimmery Newsom, Nicole Ohlde, Naytanda Smith and Kendra Wecker. Due to commitments with their professional teams in Australia and Italy, respectively, Laurie Koehn and Megan Mahoney were unable to attend but did provide video messages for the crowd in Bramlage.
In the second half, both teams came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders as the squads combined for 39 points in the first 10 minutes of the frame. Bri Craig connected on a 3-point field goal from the top of the key to give K-State a 40-39 lead with 13:10 to play, then finished an acrobatic layup to move K-State into a 44-43 lead with 11:11 to play.
The teams would trade the lead 13 times during the second half, as Texas Tech would build a 54-48 lead with 4:11 to play. Kansas State used a 10-0 run over the final 4:11 of the game to capture the 60-54 win. The Wildcats held the Lady Raiders to two missed field goals and forced Texas Tech into four turnovers during the closing stretch.
The run was jump started by a Romero jumper and followed by a Leick three-pointer with 3:27 to play. The Wildcats then stepped to the free throw line and drained 7-of-10 attempts in the final moments of the game to secure the win.
Texas Tech was led on Saturday by Minta Spears and Marina Lizarazu. Spears registered 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Lizarazu tallied 13 points. The Lady Raiders’ leading scorer Amber Battle was held to five points on 1-of-14 shooting.
Kansas State will make a quick road trip to TCU on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The Wildcats return to Manhattan next Saturday to face West Virginia at 5 p.m. For ticket information, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.