No. 23 KSU women lose to OU 65-57

17 Jan

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Aaryn Ellenberg scored 31 points as the Sooners upset No. 23 Kansas State 65-57 in Bramlage on Tuesday night.

Ellenberg also stole the ball nine times, but her scoring – particularly the five 3-pointers she hit in the first half – carried Oklahoma throughout the game.

“She gets a few going, and there’s no telling how long the floodgates might be open,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. “She just scores the basketball. That’s what she does.”

Tasha Dickey led the Wildcats with 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Jalana Childs added 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Kansas State trailed by just two points with under three minutes left to play, but free throws by Nicole Griffin and Morgan Hook widened the gap just enough, and a few more free throws sealed the deal.

Griffin scored the first basket of the second half to put the Wildcats down 35-25, but the Wildcats responded with a 13-2 run to briefly claim a one-point lead early.

After a pair of baskets from Ellenberg and one apiece from Childs and Branshea Brown, the Wildcats still led, 42-41.

The Sooners ran off 11 straight points to gain a 52-42 advantage with just under nine minutes remaining in the game. Six of those points came from Ellenberg.

“I felt like we wasted a lot of offensive possessions,” said Kansas State coach Deb Patterson. “Give credit to Oklahoma. It was a situation where … mixing that zone and man kept us off balance. I felt like we looked extremely unprepared and didn’t bring the poise that OU brought.”

Yet again, the Wildcats steadily chipped away at Oklahoma’s lead.

Brittany Chambers and Childs repeatedly drove to the basket and drew fouls, and their 7-of-8 free throw shooting in that stretch allowed the Wildcats to get within two points of Oklahoma, 58-56.

The Wildcats took a quick 8-3 lead to start the game. Oklahoma answered almost immediately, however, reeling off 11 straight points to give itself a 14-8 cushion.

Ellenberg gave the Sooners their first double-digit, 23-12, lead by swishing one from beyond the arc. Her precision shooting gave her 19 points before the break.

From there, Tasha Dickey scored four baskets in a 13-5 run that put the Wildcats within three points of the Sooners with a few minutes to go in the half.

Then Ellenberg hit another 3-pointer, and Whitney Hand made a last-second fast break layup to put the Sooners up by 33-25 at halftime.

At the break, Oklahoma shot 7 of 9 from three-point range while Kansas State made only 1 of 16 attempts. The Wildcats kept the game close with their inside play, winning the first half rebounding battle 20-15 and dominating in the paint 20-4.

In the second half, Oklahoma went 0-of-4 from the three-point line. However, Sooners scored 14 in the paint after the break, six more than the Wildcats did in that span.

The Wildcats entered the game armed with wins over two AP Top 10 teams, a first for the program since the 2001-2002 season. The last time Kansas State defeated Oklahoma was Jan. 31, 2004.

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