MANHATTAN, Kansas – (4/2) K-State used a second half comeback, late fourth quarter free throws and a final defensive stand to down a scrappy BYU squad, 67-65, at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday evening. This was K-State’s 14th straight victory, tying the second-longest winning streak in program history with the 2008-09 team which won 14 consecutive games to begin the season.
K-State improved its overall record to 20-1 for the first time in program history. This is the 27th time in program history K-State has won 20 or more games in a season. K-State and Gonzaga are the only two teams in the nation to have won 20 games so far this season.
The Wildcats completed the first half of its Big 12 schedule at 9-0 for the first time since the league expanded to an 18-game schedule in 2012-13. This is the first time since the formation of the league in 1996-97 that K-State won its first nine in conference action and the first team in the league since Baylor in 2019-20 to win its first nine Big 12 games. This is the third time and first since 2003-04 that K-State won nine consecutive Big 12 games at any point of its league slate.
K-State had three players reach double figures on Saturday and were led by sophomore forward Gisela Sanchez with a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting including a career-high 3-of-5 from long range. She also added three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Junior guard and All-American candidate Serena Sundell approached a triple-double with 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Senior Gabby Gregory notched 10 points, all in the third quarter to spark a 25-point frame by the Wildcats and capture a second half lead.
BYU (12-9, 2-6) was led by Lauren Gustin with 25 points and 21 rebounds. Gustin’s 21 rebounds set the opponent Bramlage Coliseum record, breaking the mark of 20 previously set by Kristy Ryan of Sacramento State on March 3, 1994.
HOW IT HAPPENED
– K-State trailed by three at halftime, 26-23, after scoring a season-low seven points in the second quarter on 2-of-16 shooting in the frame.
– The Wildcats captured a 31-30 lead with 6:51 remaining in the third quarter, as Gregory connected on her first 3-pointer of the day. Gregory would give the Wildcats its largest lead since the first quarter, 35-31, with her second 3-pointer with 6:04 to play.
– The Cougars would go on a 6-0 run, finding Gustin on three straight trips for baskets and to push BYU into a 40-36 lead with 3:55 remaining in the third stanza.
– The Wildcats would claw back into the lead, 46-42, with a 10-2 run as Jaelyn Glenn capped the run with her third 3-pointer of the day with 1:20 to play. After a 3-pointer by BYU to narrow the game to one, 46-45, Zyanna Walker beat the buzzer with a baseline jumper to send K-State into the fourth frame with a 48-45 lead.
– K-State would build a six-point advantage, 62-56, on Sanchez’s third 3-pointer of the evening with 4:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. This would be K-State’s final made field goal of the game.
– BYU squared the game at 62 with 2:52 to play on the strength of a 6-0 run, with Gustin scoring the four of the six points.
– Brylee Glenn would be fouled by a BYU player as she hauled in an offensive rebound with 57 seconds left. Glenn made one of two free throws for a 63-62 lead. BYU’s Amari Whiting would make a pair of free throws after a K-State foul with 44 seconds left to push the Cougars into a 64-63 lead.
– A hard drive from Sundell resulted in a foul on BYU with 37 seconds remaining. Sundell made both free throws to put the Wildcats back in front by one, 65-64.
– After a defensive stop by the Wildcats, Walker was fouled with 24 seconds left and made one of two free throws for a 66-64 K-State lead. On Walker’s second attempt, Emma Calvert was fouled by K-State on the rebound attempt. Calvert would make one of two free throws to bring BYU to within one, 66-65.
– Sundell was fouled with 18 seconds left and made one of two free throws. BYU called its final timeout and advance the ball. The Cougars attempted to find Calvert, but her layup was blocked out of bounds by Walker with 4.4 seconds remaining. A layup attempt from Kailey Woolston rolled off and went off a Wildcat out of bounds with two seconds to play. A jumper from Kaylee Smiler missed and BYU tapped the rebound out of bounds with two-tenths of a second remaining.
– The game saw 12 ties and eight lead changes, with K-State leading for just over 22 minutes of the contest.
– K-State shot 36.1 percent (22-of-61) from the field for the game and were 10-of-27 from long range.
– K-State leads the series with BYU, 4-0. The Wildcats are 2-0 in games played in Manhattan.
– The Wildcats are 228-237 (.490) in Big 12 games.
– Head coach Jeff Mittie owns a career record of 638-363 (.637) in 32 seasons as a head coach and is 184-128 (.590) during his 10-seasons at K-State.
– K-State’s 14-game home court winning streak is the longest home court winning streak in the Mittie era, which started with the final two home wins of the 2022-23 season. This is K-State’s longest home court winning streak since a 14-game home winning streak spanning the end of the 2007-08 season to the end of the 2008-09 season.
– K-State owns a record of 242-88 (.733) as an AP ranked team. K-State is 11-1 (.917) all-time when ranked 4th in the nation.
– With its attendance of 8,180 on Saturday, Kansas State achieved its second straight crowd of 8,000 or better this season. When the crowd is 7,500 or more in Bramlage, K-State is 45-12 (.789).
– K-State’s starting five consisted of guards: Jaelyn Glenn, Serena Sundell, Brylee Glenn, Gabby Gregory and forward Gisela Sanchez. This was the third time this starting five has been used this season. This was the 99th collegiate career start and the 53rd start at K-State for Gregory, the 90th career start for Sundell, the 86th career start for Jaelyn Glenn, the 80th career start for Brylee Glenn and the third career start for Sanchez.
– K-State had three players reach double figures in scoring on Saturday. This is the 16th time (15-1) this season in which the Wildcats had three or more players in double figures.
– K-State shot 50.0 percent or better in one quarter on Saturday. For the season, K-State owns 33 quarters with a field goal percentage of 50.0 percent or better.
– Sundell notched her 59th career game with 10 or more points, including her 14th this season. Sundell owns 1,087 career points and remains 37th on the K-State career scoring list.
– This was Sundell’s 38th career game and the 12th this season with five or more rebounds.
– Sundell’s eight assists equaled her season-high of eight against Missouri on Dec. 9. This marked her 55th career game and the 13th this season with five or more assists.
– Sundell pocketed four steals for the second straight game. This was her ninth career game with four or more steals and her 33rd career game with two or more steals.
– Gregory registered her 78th career game, her 37th at K-State and her eighth this season with 10 or more points.
– Gregory made two 3-pointers on Saturday, which is the 65th time in her career with two or more connections from long range. During her time at K-State, Gregory has made 115 from long range.
– Jaelyn Glenn made three 3-pointers on Saturday. This was her 43rd career game with two or more connections from long range.
– Sanchez reached double figures for the fifth time in her career and the fourth time this season.
– Sanchez made three 3-pointers, a new career-high. This was her third career game with two or more connections from long range.
FROM THE HEAD COACH
K-State Head Coach Jeff Mittie
“A good hard-fought game, a lot of credit to BYU for coming here in front of that crowd and playing as well as they did. They certainly took advantage of some things that we’ve got to clean up better, but proud of my group for just battling through and persevering and making plays late in a day where we didn’t have a whole lot of answers for them. We found enough answers in the last couple of minutes to come out with a win.”
On the team’s performance allowing the win…
“I think being aggressive late, getting to the free throw line when we couldn’t make baskets, and then the three-point line was the difference. We made 10 [three-pointers] they only made five, so you know they were able to get some looks. Gisela Sanchez got herself going from the three-point line and she’d been really struggling for a while. We were able to get Jaelyn Glenn a couple looks. I think that’s how you flip that, we defended the three-point line well and we were able to get some good looks from deep outside the three-point line.”
On defending BYU’s senior forward, Lauren Gustin…
“Looking at the numbers, yeah we didn’t do a very good job and we had different people on her. She’s a heck of a player. I told her that after the game, I said “you know, you are a heck of a warrior out there.” 25 points and 21 rebounds, that’s a heck of a performance. She is a tough player and we just didn’t have any answers for it.”
On the difference in playmaking by the third quarter…
“We missed a lot of layups in that first half. I don’t remember what the number was, but we missed a lot of layups so we just talked about being stronger at the rim. I thought we were a little stronger by the third quarter. In the first half, we had opportunities to get to the free throw line, because we were pretty weak with the shots and avoided contact. We just didn’t get to the line at all. So I thought those were critical for us.”
On the importance of Big 12 Conference play…
“It’s critical because you’re not going to play great for 18 games. The other team is going to do some things and they had a great rhythm today with great timing. We thought about doubling up on Lauren Gustin. The problem was that she was getting so deep, the double teams not going to work that deep. You have to get her off the block to double team or you have to disrupt some timing. They had great timing all day when we fronted her. We didn’t have enough ball pressure to take the lob away we talked about. I just think you got to win a game like this. You have to find a way and we did.”
On the defensive performance tonight…
“Not very good in a lot of areas. I thought physically we got beat up down low. I thought off of the drive we were very undisciplined. They had us questioning what we were doing. That’s my fault. I have to get this team to play better. Discipline and defensively, this was probably our most uneven performance that we’ve had all year.”
BYU Head Coach Amber Whiting
“I’m super proud of my girls, my women. They brought the fight tonight and they didn’t give up. K State punched a couple times and we made sure we held them and punched back. Just really proud of them. One thing that’s really hard. We stress all the time turnovers and we had 17 again, but on the flip side, we tried to get to the line a lot and can’t shoot just 10 shots when we’re trying to do that, or 10 free throws when we’re trying to do that. We got to be able to get to the line a lot more than what we’re doing right now.”
On holding K-State to no field goals in the last 4:30…
“I would have said we were going to win the game if you told me that before the game. I mean, that’s huge, right? Like we talked about in the third quarter. We didn’t get the stops that we needed. And so we talked in the fourth like we got to get stops we got to string together kills and so I felt like they just really dug in in that moment. It showed me a lot of grit and toughness in that moment and played really unselfish and played together on defense and offense, so can’t complain.”
On Lauren Gustin’s 21 rebounds…
“That’s awesome. I didn’t know that, but that’s what she does. And so I expect every night she steps out she gets a double-double. And so for her to bring it like that is huge, but she wants to win. And she doesn’t care about the record. She doesn’t care about stuff she just wants to win.”
On the competition in the Big 12 Conference.…
“I love it, it’s what we signed up for. It’s a gauntlet and it is every night out is a test and a trial and there’s no easy games. There’s no night off. But that’s what’s fun about it. And I like the challenges and I feel like when you get to go out and fight every night. It gets your adrenaline going and get your blood pumping and that’s what is fun about it.”
On the atmosphere tonight…
“It’s amazing. They come out and they support and that’s what women’s sports should look like. So I loved it. It was fun. I mean, it was very, very loud. It was really hard to hear, really hard to get calls out there. But I mean if we play in a venue like that every night out and make ours the same, it’s just huge. It’s women’s sports, and it’s what is trending towards it. It’s awesome that they have that kind of support here.”
FROM THE FLOOR
K-State Senior Guard Gabby Gregory
On the playing down in the post…
“It was pretty tough. Without Ayoka [Lee] in there, we’re pretty undersized in that position right now. So just tried to fight as hard as we could in there. Specifically, Lauren [Gustin], I mean, she’s talented, just a really great athlete. So it obviously gave us trouble the whole game. ”
On hitting some big shots in the 3rd…
“It feels good to see the ball go in the basket. I need to try to get that to spread to the other quarters. But yeah, it feels good. It just shows what I’m capable of doing in the offense. I’m just not doing it all four quarters, but hopefully, I can fix that.”
On grinding out the last few wins…
“I think it’s just a testament to how hard we work. We’re working on a lot of stuff in practice and I don’t think a lot of teams thought that we could win these big games without Ayoka [Lee] out there. Everyone’s had to step up their game and I think everyone has to play at a higher level without her out there. We’re going to fight as hard as we can all 40 minutes and that’s the best we can do.”
On if they have to block out the national noise…
“I don’t think that it matters that much. I mean, what’s the difference between (being ranked) ten, four or three. You still have a target on your back. So I think that we’re just more focused on every day in practice and what we need to work on next game, taking one day at a time.”
K-State Junior Guard Jaelyn Glenn
On getting outshot and outrebounded but still getting the win…
“I think we’re just a hard-working team. We went into our huddles and Coach [Jeff] Mittie talked about where we were lacking and everything. But that didn’t waiver everything that we did as a team if that kind of makes sense. So we just kept working hard, making those adjustments, and getting ourselves back into the game to be successful.”
On getting more aggressive in the 2nd half…
“I feel like we just got more aggressive in the second half. Kind of just knowing the foul count and knowing that if we were aggressive, we could get to the free throw line. I think we were more aggressive in the second half and that also opened a lot of shots on the outside.”
On Serena Sundell tying her season-high in assists with 8…
“Serena is an amazing player. Just seeing her, get downhill and create plays for other people. I think that not only shows that she’s a great player, but she’s also unselfish and she’s willing to share the ball with her teammates in areas like that. You know, she could have gotten downhill and tried to get herself a basket but she decides to share the ball, and that opens up shots for outside players.”
K-State begins a two-game road trip on Wednesday, as the Wildcats visit Oklahoma at 6 p.m.
Wednesday’s game can be seen on ESPN+ and can be heard on the K-State Sports Network including 1150 KSAL and 106.7 FM in Salina.