K-State Falls to SMU at Junkanoo Jam
FREEPORT, Bahamas – Despite a career-high performance from Ashia Woods in her in season debut, Kansas State dropped its opening game of the Junkanoo Jam to SMU on Friday evening, 68-57. The Wildcats have now lost three straight since opening the season with consecutive wins.
K-State (2-2) was led by Woods with a career-high 15 points. She also added three rebounds and two steals. Woods made her first appearance of the season, after receiving clearance following her complete recovery from a tear of her Achilles tendon on Jan. 21.
Woods’ effort led a K-State bench performance that outscored SMU’s bench 22-18. Through the first five games this season, K-State has a 129-99 advantage over its opponent in bench points.
Joining Woods in double figures were Haley Texada and Leticia Romero. Texada registered 13 points, a career-high nine rebounds and dished out four assists. Romero reached double figures for the fourth time this season with 10 points to go with six assists and a career-high five steals.
SMU (6-0) was paced by Keena Mays with 15 points. Destynee Hives-McCray added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
K-State avoided its third straight slow start and jumped out to an early lead on the Mustangs. SMU fought back with an 8-2 run to secure a 13-10 lead with 14:33 to play. Woods then came off the bench to spark the Wildcats with six straight points to push K-State into a 16-13 lead with 12:46 to play.
After SMU to a brief 17-16 lead, Woods knocked down her first three-point field goal of the season to give K-State a 19-17 edge. A steal and layup from Leticia Romero gave K-State a 21-17 lead with 9:06 to play.
A 13-4 run from the Mustangs pushed them into a 30-25 lead, capped by a Mays’ three-point field goal with 4:36 to play. SMU would end the opening half up 38-30.
K-State was able to narrow SMU’s lead to five, 41-36, in the opening stages of the second half. The Mustangs would rebuild its lead to 15, 54-39, with 9:08 to play on the strength of a 13-3 run.
The Wildcats would string together an 8-3 run, with Romero carding four points during the rally to bring the score to 61-49 with 1:28 remaining. The Mustangs would hold off the Wildcats down the stretch from the foul line.
K-State shot .348 from the field of the offensive end and held SMU to .333. The Wildcats recorded 11 steals and four blocks for the second straight game. The Mustangs were 21-of-27 from the foul line, while K-State had trouble converting from the charity stripe, shooting 6-of-14.
K-State will face Virginia on Friday at 4:45 p.m. (CT), in its final game of the Junkanoo Jam. The game will be available on the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com/allaccess. The Wildcats will return to Manhattan to host Grambling State on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. For tickets, contact the K-State Athletics ticket office at (800) 221-CATS or at kstatesports.com/tickets.
– kstatesports.com –