Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson reacts during the first half of an NCAA tournament first-round college basketball game against Princeton in Bridgeport, Conn., Saturday, March 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
NORMAN, Okla. – For the second straight game, a poor field goal percentage for a half sealed Kansas State’s fate, as the Wildcats dropped a 72-57 decision to Oklahoma on Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center. This was K-State fourth straight road loss.
Kansas State (13-13, 4-10 Big 12) was paced by Brittany Chambers and Bri Craig. Chambers finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. The effort was the 31st career game of 20 or more points for Chambers and her 13th this season.
With a three-point field goal in the first half, Chambers knocked down the 300th of her career and became the 32nd player in NCAA Division I history with 300 career 3-point field goals made. She joins former Wildcat, Laurie Koehn (392 – NCAA record), as the second player in Big 12 history and school history with 300 or more career 3-point field goals made. Kansas State becomes the first school in NCAA Division I history with two players in their history with 300 career 3-point field goals made.
By playing 40 minutes on Wednesday for the 31st time in her career, Chambers claimed the K-State career record for minutes played with 4,306, passing former Wildcat All-American and current assistant coach Shalee Lehning (4,271).
Craig added 12 points and tied her career-high with eight rebounds. The freshman from Lincoln, Neb., has 12 games with double figures this season. She has 13 games with two or more made 3-point field goals
Oklahoma (19-7, 9-5) saw three players in double digits led by Aaryn Ellenberg with 18 points and five assists. Joanna McFarland tallied 15 points and her eighth straight game in double figures on the glass with 10 rebounds.
K-State started off cold from the field, going 1-of-11 including 0-of-6 from beyond the arc, and trailed Oklahoma 13-6 with 11:34 to play. The Wildcats trimmed the Sooners lead to four, 15-11, as Chambers registered the Wildcats’ first 3-point field goal of the night and Craig recorded a putback.
With three straight 3-point field goals and a 13-0 run, Oklahoma increased its lead to 17, 28-11, with under five minutes remaining in the first half. A pair of late baskets, including a banked in three-pointer at the halftime buzzer, from Craig brought K-State back to within 11 at the half, 32-21.
The Wildcats shot only .206 from the field (7-of-34) in the opening half, but held a 23-22 edge on the glass including 10 offensive boards in the first stanza.
Oklahoma raced out of the locker room at halftime to secure a 40-24 lead with an 8-2 run in the first two and a half minutes and forcing a K-State timeout. Griffin registered four points during the run to extend the lead.
The Sooners lead would balloon to 25, 55-30, with the aid of a 15-4 run over a six-minute stretch midway through the second half. K-State was able to bring the game back to within 18 with under three minutes to play.
For the game, K-State shot .299 from the field (20-of-67), while the Sooners turned in a .525 field goal percentage (31-of-59). The Wildcats outrebounded the Sooners, 42-40, but Oklahoma tallied a 34-22 edge in points in the paint.
Kansas State will return to Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday, for its second-to-last regular season home game of the 2012-13 season. The Wildcats will host Iowa State at 2 p.m., with the game marking K-State’s participation in the “Play 4Kay” national initiative for breast cancer awareness. The first 4,000 fans will receive a free pink K-State t-shirt and survivors of breast cancer survivors will be honored prior to the end of the first half. For ticket information, visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets or call (800) 221-CATS.