Manhattan, KS — By the end of the first half, both teams combined for 18 turnovers, 18 fouls, 12 steals and 3 blocks.
What a great game, right? Now if I told you the score was No. 12 Texas with 27 over No. 24 Kansas State 19, would you still agree?
Typically, statistics can’t tell their own story- hence, why I’m here. But in the case of Monday’s match-up between two ranked teams —teams finishing up Big 12 conference play with everything on the line—these numbers tell the entire story, the entire struggle and the entire spectacle it was.
As is usual with ranked match-ups, play was back and forth. Poor shot choices plagued both teams. Couple that with two of the toughest displays of defense in all of women’s college basketball this year and that score doesn’t seem quite as bad.
In the second half, foul trouble started to become individual for Texas’ center Kelsey Lang and forward Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau, resulting in BOTH fouling out. Then, before two minutes had even passed, Texas as a whole had already racked up four fouls.
In total, K-State shot 27 free throws. The Wildcats center Breanna Lewis ended the night with four fouls, as well.
Trailing at one point by 15, the Cats slowly crept their way back in multiple times and came as close as trailing by three. But climbing out of a hole then creating an entirely new one became a narrative Kansas State could not overcome.
“It just looked like two fatigued teams at the end of conference play that really tried to grind this thing out,” said Texas head coach Karen Aston. “I have to compliment our team for just sticking with it. Tough defensive effort, I thought, for us (...) and we made enough plays on the offensive end to win the game. But again, an ugly game that looked like a normal last Big 12 game.”
Texas would end up with the win, 69-61, after being lead in scoring by freshman Joyner Holmes with 17 points, followed by sophomore Lashann Higgs with 16. Kansas State was led by junior Karyla Middlebrook with 14 points, followed by seniors Breanna Lewis at 12 and Kindred Wesemann at 11.