Manhattan, KS — There was no day of rest when it came to Sunday’s game in Bramlage Coliseum. From the moment the game started, the Wildcats were on their toes and ready to catch the Cardinals asleep. However, as the game progressed, the focus for Kansas State dwindled down, but not too much as they were able to respond to Lamar’s runs and win, 68-43.
Right away, Kansas State had outstanding defense going from man to man defense to a zone and managed to cause 11 turnovers within the first half alone. With two steals, three blocks, and 20 total rebounds, the Wildcats knew their game and had their defensive schemes ready to keep Lamar from scoring easy baskets.
The drive in their eyes could be seen from the nosebleeds. Key players, Breanna Lewis, Kaya Goth and Kindred Wesemann, flew to the basket several times and carried the team in points in the first half. By the end of the first half Lewis, Goth and Wesemann combined for 33 of the teams total 42, whereas the Cardinals only had 21.
It was not only layups that gave Kansas State the lead, as they spaced the floor out to open the paint for driving lanes and would kick the ball out to spot up shooters behind the three-point line from all angles of the court. The team had 13 assists within the first half, showcasing their cohesiveness and strong talent.
Lamar played tough but lost touch in the first half with the stronger Kansas State team. Moe Kinard and Kiandra Bowers each had seven points, making up over half of the Cardinals points at the half. Although their full court press created a stir up in the Wildcats’ offense, it wasn’t enough to completely slow them down as Kansas State still outscored Lamar a little over 2-to-1.
“I think we played a great team… we started the game off, and we looked a little shocked, and we never recovered from the first ten minutes,” said Lamar’s Head Coach Robin Harmony.
As the third quarter rolled around, Lamar had it out for Kansas State and wanted redemption. Even though the Cardinals outscored the Wildcats in the third period, 10-8, Lamar still had four more turnovers and remained in a big deficit.
The only thing beating Kansas State in the second half wasn’t the score, or the Cardinals — they became complacent. Yes, they were winning by 22 points after the half, and continued to stay 20+ points ahead in the third, but they had 22 lazy turnovers, missed multiple layups and lost grasp of the ball on multiple rebounds.
They had a cushion to make mistakes, but compared to the team they were in the first half; they lost sight of their drive and technique.
The fourth quarter picked up better than the third but not much. Even with the errors and turnovers, the home team never gave up their 20+ lead. Their game was not as crisp and clean as the first half, but even while playing sloppier than before, they managed to stay on top and continue to fight against the physical Lamar defense and pushing up the court fighting their exhaustion.
When they did make mistakes, like a sloppy pass, a three-second violation or a missed rebound, the Wildcats made sure to make up for it in one way or another.
“We didn’t handle the pressure, certainly Lamar played tough…You know this was a different style. I thought we would have our struggles and that didn’t disappoint,” said Wildcats Head Coach Jeff Mittie.
Lamar’s Bowers and Kinard finished with 11 and 13 points, respectively as the Cardinals top scorers. Kansas State’s Lewis, Wesemann and Goth scored 18, 12 and 11 points, respectively as they led the Wildcats.