MANHATTAN, Kan. – Wildcats Rally for Win over Sooners
A near triple-double from Leticia Romero and three other Wildcats in double figures provided Kansas State a second-half boost, as the Wildcats erased a five-point halftime deficit to defeat Oklahoma, 86-78, Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
The win for K-State (9-11, 3-6 Big 12) was the first over the Sooners since Jan. 31, 2004, halting a 13-game skid. The Wildcats are now 13-13 all-time against Oklahoma in games played in Manhattan.
Romero finished with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while adding also leading the contest with 10 rebounds and nine assists. This marks Romero’s 15th double figure scoring game and her third double-double this season.
Leick earned her fourth career double digit scoring game for the Wildcats, as she turned in a 22-point effort. The senior from Grey Cloud Township, Minn., made a career-high five 3-pointers.
After trailing for a majority of the game, K-State tied the game at 51 after Kindred Wesemann completed a three-point play on an acrobatic layup and free throw. Romero followed Wesemann’s play with a three-pointer of her own, to give K-State its first lead, 54-51, since the 12:07 mark of the first half.
A quick 6-0 run by the Sooners (13-8, 4-4 Big 12) gave the visitors a slight three-point advantage, 57-54, with 7:52 remaining. Trailing 59-56 with just over seven minutes remaining, Ashia Woods drove to the rim for a lay-up and was fouled. Woods completed the three-point play with the made free throw to tie the game at 59 apiece with 7:08 to play. Woods would finish with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Romero then took over for K-State, scoring 12 points in the final seven minutes of the game and giving the Wildcats the lead for good. OU would come close to tying the game on several occasions, but K-State’s defense never allowed it to happen.
The Sooners controlled the tempo of the game for most of the first half. A jumper by Kaylon Williams gave OU an 11-8 advantage after four minutes of action. Breanna Lewis hit a running layup to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game at 16-15. Two free throws from Wesemann extended that lead to 18-15 with just over 12 minutes left in the opening half.
Six straight free-throws from OU’s Sharane Campbell gave the Sooners the lead back for the rest of the half. The Sooners would stretch their lead to as many as eight points, but Leick kept the game close with her precise three-point shooting. Two free-throws from OU in the closing seconds gave the visitors a 40-35 lead at the break. This was K-State’s first win this season when trailing at halftime (1-10).
Nicole Griffin led four Sooners in double-digit scoring with 23. Morgan Hook finished with 21 points and six assists.
Bench scoring was a difference maker in the game, as the Wildcats’ reserves outscored their counterparts, 16-4, with Wesemann finishing with a career-high 14 points.
K-State will begin a two-game road trip with a Saturday night tilt against No. 23/21 Iowa State at 8 p.m., before traveling to Morgantown, W.V., to face the Mountaineers on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Wildcats return to the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 12, when the Texas Longhorns come to town. To purchase tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-800-221-CATS or online at kstatesports.com.