Manhattan, KS. — The Golden Hurricane hoped for some “scaredy cats, ” but Kansas State lived up to its name and played as wild as they could. No matter how hard Tulsa fought, Kansas State came out stronger and scrappier for an 82-62 victory at home.
The Wildcats’ Kindred Wesemann started the team out with a three, followed it up with a steal, and finished with an and-one. Breanna Lewis fed off of her teammate's confidence and added several layups, rebounds, and assists of her own. With Wesemann and Lewis leading the team, Kansas State pulled ahead early -- and maintained their lead.
Lewis fought through Tulsa’s tough defense, withstanding the physical toll that the Golden Hurricane continued to exude. However, when Tulsa centered its focus on Lewis, they forgot about the talent they were leaving out.
“They lock up on [Lewis]; they’re not helping on others… we can show we have balance. It makes it hard to double team,” said Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie.
Not only were the Wildcats crushing Tulsa on offense, their defense was ruthless, too. Kansas State held the Golden Hurricane to only 12 made field goals and allowed just one offensive rebound before the half.
But Tulsa didn’t wilt, as they fought back hard. Tatyana Perez responded to the tough defense with two three-pointers and a jumper. Ebony Parker battled as well to keep Tulsa alive, as she was 3-for-4 from three-point land to start and finished 5-12.
One thing that was apparent in the first half action was how Kansas State just obliterated the Golden Hurricane on the glass. Before halftime, the Wildcats had 23 total rebounds compared to Tulsa’s 10 total rebounds. Wherever there was one blue jersey, two or three white Kansas State jerseys would follow close behind.
As the third quarter came around, K-State was relentless and didn’t let down. Wesemann added a three, then a jumper, while Eternati Willock kept them alive and well down low. Down by 17 points, the Golden Hurricane began to lose its togetherness and appeared discombobulated.
Just after the third quarter ended, Tulsa tried to chip away at the 20-point deficit in front of them, but only managed to shave it down to a measly 19 with a jumper from Erika Wakefield. It was obvious that the Golden Hurricane were not match for Kansas State.
Even as the fourth quarter rolled around, it was essentially Deja vu again, as Shaelyn Martin was like a magnet, getting Tulsa to continue to foul her, and even had an and-one — giving the Wildcats a 23-point lead.
The Wildcats owned the court from beginning to end with strong performances by Wesemann and Lewis. Although Tulsa tried to stay afloat, the Golden Hurricane was never able to catch up to the Wildcats.
“I love it. I want to keep it going… I do what I need to do. I just want to play hard every game,” said Lewis.
Wesemann rounded out the night with 12 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds, while Lewis ended the game with 18 points and 6 rebounds. For Tulsa, Parker finished with 15 points; Wakefield finished with 15 points, and Perez had 10.