Slow Start to Second Half Costs Wildcats
NORMAN, Okla. – Trailing by just five at the half, Kansas State was unable to overcome a 16-6 run by Oklahoma to begin the second half as K-State fell for the fourth straight game on Saturday night, 61-50.
The Wildcats (6-9, 0-4 Big 12) was paced by the tandem of Leticia Romero and Ashia Woods. The duo entered Saturday night’s game responsible for 55.7 percent of K-State’s scoring in Big 12 play and combined for 29 of K-State’s 50 points.
Romero registered her second career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She also dished out four assists and pocketed three steals. The freshman guard from Las Palmas, Spain has scored in double figures in 11 games this season, including three of four league games.
Woods joined Romero in double figures with 10 points. She also added three rebounds, three steals and two assists to her final stat line. The junior guard from Wichita has scored in double figures 11 times in her career, including six this season.
K-State tallied its second slow start from the field in a Big 12 road game, as the Wildcats opened 3-of-18 from the field. Despite the cold shooting, K-State trailed Oklahoma (11-6, 2-2 Big 12) by just six, 12-6, with 7:51 to play in the first half.
The Wildcats remained in the game in the first half, cutting the Sooners’ lead to three, 19-16, with 1:36 to play on a Romero layup in transition and a pair of Katya Leick free throws. Nicole Griffin tallied four points at the end of the half to give the Sooners a 23-18 lead at the half.
K-State shot .207 from the field (6-of-29) in the first stanza, but forced Oklahoma into nine turnovers and held the Sooners to a .320 field goal percentage (8-of-25).
Oklahoma used a 16-6 run in the first eight minutes of the second half to hold a 39-24 lead with 12:18 to play. Aaryn Ellenberg scored 14 of the 16 points during the run, including a pair of three-point field goals and six free throws.
After Ellenberg went on her individual run, Oklahoma was paced by Sharane Campbell. Campbell notched eight straight points for the Sooners to build the OU lead back to 47-30 with 9:12 to play.
K-State clawed back to within eight, 49-41, with 6:29 to play. Romero notched a three, while Heidi Brown sank a pair of free throws. Brown finished with five points off the bench, as K-State held a 14-8 edge in bench points.
The Wildcats defense held the Sooners’ offense in check late in the game, but a scramble for a loose ball following a K-State miss with Oklahoma holding a 58-48 lead with 2:12 remaining, resulted in a transition three-point field goal for Ellenberg with two minutes to play and make the score 61-48.
Oklahoma was led on Saturday night by Ellenberg with a game-high 23 points. Griffin finished with 14 points, including a 10-of-13 effort from the foul line.
For the game, K-State shot .295 from the field and held a 23-18 edge in points in the paint. Oklahoma shot .408 from the field and were 17-of-22 from the foul line while K-State was 8-of-11 from the charity stripe.
K-State will close out its two-game road trip on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats will face Texas Tech at 7 p.m., in Lubbock. The game will be available on the K-State Sports Network and at kstatesports.com/allaccess.