MANHATTAN, Kansas – Trailing by seven with just under six and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, (8/7) K-State strung together a late rally to down Oklahoma State, 69-68, on Saturday evening at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats extended its home court winning streak to 15 straight games with the win.
K-State had four players reach double figures on Saturday and were led by junior guard Brylee Glenn with a game-high 23 points, including 13 in the second half, and three steals. This was her second career game with 20 or more points and she set a new career-high for field goals made (10) and attempted (23) and tied her career-high for 3-point field goals made (3).
Junior guard and All-American candidate Serena Sundell recorded approached a double-double with 16 points, seven assists, two steals and two blocks. This was Sundell’s 10th straight game in double figures.
Senior guard Gabby Gregory tallied 11 points and four steals, while redshirt freshman Zyanna Walker came off the bench and narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds and two steals.
Oklahoma State (11-12, 4-8) also had four players in double figures and were led by Quincy Noble and Stailee Heard with 19 points each.
HOW IT HAPPENED
– K-State (21-3, 10-2 Big 12) trailed 63-56 with 6:21 to play in the fourth quarter following an Oklahoma State layup.
– The Wildcats clawed itself back into the contest with a 6-0 run to pull within one, 63-62, and force a Cowgirls timeout with 3:51 left. Oklahoma State would regroup and go back in front by four, 66-62, with 2:57 remaining.
– K-State responded with a layup from Walker with 2:40 to play and then Jaelyn Glenn connected on her only 3-pointer of the evening from the right corner with 2:01 left to push the Wildcats in front, 67-66. This was K-State’s first lead since the 6:42 mark of the third quarter.
– A Cowgirl layup by Hannah Gusters with 1:32 to play gave Oklahoma State a 68-67 lead. Gusters finished with 13 points and four rebounds.
– K-State would snare the lead back, 69-68, with 28 seconds left, as Sundell drove baseline on Gusters and finished the layup.
– After an Oklahoma State timeout, the Cowgirls ran the clock down for the last attempt. The ball found Gusters 15 feet from the basket, but she was unable to drive past Gregory for a closer attempt and her buzzer beater fell short of the rim.
– K-State ended the evening shooting 39.7 percent (27-of-68) from the field and were a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line.
– Oklahoma State shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55) including 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from long range, however the Cowgirls were 5-of-9 from (.556) from the free throw line.
– K-State leads the series, 43-37. The Wildcats are 24-11 in games played in Manhattan against the Cowgirls. Head coach Jeff Mittie is 15-12 in his career against Oklahoma State.
– The Wildcats are 229-239 (.489) in Big 12 games. This is the 14th time in program history that K-State has won 10 or more conference games, including the fourth time under the direction of Mittie.
– Head coach Jeff Mittie owns a career record of 639-365 (.636) in 32 seasons as a head coach and is 185-130 (.587) during his 10-seasons at K-State.
– K-State’s 15-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 15-game home winning streak spanning the end of the 2004-05 season to the middle of 2006-07 season.
– K-State owns a record of 243-90 (.730) as an AP ranked team. K-State is 8-4 (.667) all-time when ranked eighth in the nation.
– K-State’s starting five consisted of guards: Jaelyn Glenn, Serena Sundell, Brylee Glenn, Gabby Gregory and forward Imani Lester. This was the first time this starting five has been used this season. This was the 102nd collegiate career start and the 56th start at K-State for Gregory, the 93rd career start for Sundell, the 89th career start for Jaelyn Glenn, the 83rd career start for Brylee Glenn and the first career start for Lester.
– The Wildcats held a 33-25 lead at halftime on Saturday. Under head coach Jeff Mittie, K-State is 146-17 (.896) when leading at halftime, including a 17-0 record this season.
– K-State pocketed 10 steals on Saturday. This was K-State’s 11th game this season with 10 or more steals.
– The Wildcats tallied a 34-26 advantage in points in the paint. This was K-State’s 18th game with 30 or more points in the paint.
– Brylee Glenn notched her second career game with 20 or more points (vs. Texas Tech, Jan. 14, 2023). This was her 32nd career game and her fifth this season with 10 or more points.
– Gregory registered her 79th career game, her 38th at K-State and her ninth this season with 10 or more points.
– Sundell notched her 62nd career game with 10 or more points, including her 17th this season. Sundell owns 1,132 career points and passed Carlisa Thomas (1983-87; 1,116), Kim Price (1978-83; 1,120) and Andria Jones (1993-97; 1,126) for 31st on the K-State career scoring list.
– Sundell’s seven assists improved her career total to 487. This marked her 58th career game and the 16th this season with five or more assists.
– Sundell’s two blocked shots marked her 16th career game with two or more blocked shots. Sundell owns 68 career blocked shots, which is the school record for blocks by a guard. Sundell needs nine blocks in her career to move onto the K-State career top-10 list for blocked shots.
FROM THE HEAD COACH
K-State Head Coach Jeff Mittie
“Well that one was interesting, I have a lot of thoughts. I’m not sure that I have a lot of answers, but we knew coming in that Hannah Gusters posed a real challenge for us and I thought we did a really good job on her. Overall, though we did a really good job on her, the problem was we were late to the skips and that gave them really good three-point looks. And so we just never could get to where we were combining the defense together. We were late on the skip. We were not aggressive enough with the hands. We were on our heels, proud of us late. We made a lot of really good plays late. But the last play of the game players defended it. Terrific. Exactly how we talked about and you know, late, Jaelyn Glenn makes a huge three from the right corner, her only basket of the day and Serena Sundell gets the switch on Gusters and does what we need her to do, which is take advantage of that switch.”
On some of the issues today…
“I didn’t think our effort was very good in the third. I didn’t think our effort was very good. I didn’t think our commitment to playing with the energy we needed to and then Oklahoma State was really good. That’s a bad combination. I’m not happy with them. No, I mean, our backup centers have got to grow up. We have got to have more consistency out of (Gisela) Sanchez, (Eliza) Maupin, and (Imani) Lester. We have to have more consistency. We’ve had the big moments, right? We’ve had big moments and we’ve had big moments with Sanchez we’ve had big moments with Maupin but we need to level off and have a more consistent contribution and they’ve got to be able to play against different kinds of centers. And that’s where they’ve got to grow up and this is what we need you to do. And I just didn’t think we had as good of effort there as we could have.”
On the last K-State possession…
“The early action that we ran, got the switch, but they defended it well enough that we didn’t score off the early action. We did a good enough job of spacing that they couldn’t get switched back because Guster had been sagging off of (Brylee) Glenn and which Brylee had done a good job of taking open shots and knocking some down. So we did a good job of moving it. And then Serena gets in the corner with the same mismatch that we went into the play that we wanted, so it worked out well for us but really good awareness by our team on that play to get it back to her.”
On Brylee Glenn getting more shots…
“They weren’t guarding her, I mean, they chose to leave Gusters in the paint and they are essentially giving a player a shot or two, now today it was even more than they’ve done in the past. They have generally brought her maybe to 12, 13, 14 feet, but she wasn’t even coming to that in some stretches of this game. She had open looks and it’s not easy to do people say, ‘ah, you know, you’re open and blah, blah, blah,’ you go do a shooting drill right now see how many open shots you make. And then do it in front of seven or 8000 peopl, right. I thought Brylee did a really good job of not always shooting when she’s open because she could have taken 40 shots today. So really good job of balancing that with our team.”
On assessing the teams control of the ball…
“We always had somebody open so they weren’t trying to force turnovers. So I guess we did a good enough job there of not having too many self-inflicted turnovers, you can still have the travels, you can still have those kinds so we did a good job of not having self-inflicted ones so I’d say we did a pretty good job. I thought late we got some big plays. Serena makes a big play on the steal at the other end. You know that last seven minutes I thought Zyanna Walker made big plays. So I really thought defensively we were active down the stretch.”
Oklahoma State Head Coach Jacie Hoyt
“It’s hard to find words after a game like that and just losing another player. I’m proud of our team, I just feel like every time I’m up here it’s just on repeat, they’re doing everything we’re asking them to do. They’re competing like crazy, regardless of the circumstances. I don’t know another team that has had the circumstances that we’ve had and played. I’m so proud to get to coach the ladies on our team, the women on our team because they’re great basketball players, but my goodness, they’re just amazing people. They’re gritty, they’re resilient, they’re tough, they love each other, and they love Oklahoma State. And I wish that we could have got this win today. Kansas State’s an unbelievable team. Everyone knows that. But today was about the Cowgirls and I’m just really proud to be a part of them.”
On Emilee Ebert’s injury…
“I don’t know for sure, but I know it’s not good. It’s not good at all. So I hope I’m wrong. She wanted to play so badly today. And I’m hurting because we lost but I think I’m hurting worse because I know how much that meant to her and you know, she joined our team because we’ve been having issues and losing players to injuries and she didn’t have to come back and play for us and she did, and she’s just been so great. And I know our team wanted this bad for her today and it’s just so unfortunate. I don’t even have words for it but I don’t think the injury is good.”
On staying in the game even with 20 turnovers…
“They just continue to fight. I think K-State’s defense is so good. You know, basketball people talk about it, but the average fan just doesn’t understand how good they are defensively. They make things so hard for you to score or get anything easy. You’re not gonna get anything easy. And so we needed to take better care of the ball for sure.”
On what happened in the final possession…
“We just didn’t get the look that we wanted. They took option one away and option two. I should have probably told them to go sooner in the shot clock so that they would have had more awareness for Hannah to get that shot off a little bit earlier but I wouldn’t change it. I trusted who I trusted for a reason and I’ll go back to them 1000 times over.”
K-State will make a quick Valentine’s Day road trip, as the Wildcats visit Iowa State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and can be heard on the K-State Sports Network including the flagship stations Sunny 102.5 FM and 1350 KMAN, online at kstatesports.com, or on the K-State Sports app.