MANHATTAN, Kansas – Kansas State rung in the new year with a resounding 86-71 upset win over No. 12 West Virginia on Sunday at Bramlage Coliseum. The win by the Wildcats ended a two-game skid and snapped the Mountaineers’ 13-game win streak to open the season.
This was K-State’s second win of the season over an Associated Press top 25 opponent and was the highest ranked opponent the Wildcats have defeated since downing No. 12 Oklahoma State on Jan. 23, 2013.
Kansas State (11-3, 1-1 Big 12) had four players score in double figures led by Naismith Trophy candidate Breanna Lewis with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and nine rebounds. Lewis has led K-State in rebounding in 10 straight games.
Joining Lewis in double figures were senior guard Kindred Wesemann with 16 points and five assists and 10 points each from juniors Shaelyn Martin and Kaylee Page. Martin also dished out a game-high eight assists.
West Virginia (13-1, 1-1 Big 12) also had four players in double figures paced by Chania Ray with 23 points, including a 6-of-10 effort from beyond the arc.
Kansas State shot a season-high 54.7 percent (35-of-64) from the field, which is the third time this season K-State has been over 50.0 percent from the field in a game and the first time since Nov. 14, 2016 against Tulsa. West Virginia shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor and were 14-of-29 (.483) from the 3-point line. K-State did its damage from near the rim, outscoring West Virginia 54-22 in the paint. The 54 points in the lane were the second-high total by the Wildcats this season.
Page’s 10 points were part of a 28-0 advantage in bench points for K-State on Sunday. Joining Page were freshman Eternati Willock with nine points and four rebounds, while sophomore Kayla Goth added five points and senior Jessica Sheble chipped in with four points and four rebounds.
The first quarter featured five ties and three lead changes as the teams played a back and forth opening 10 minutes. K-State secured a 17-14 lead with 2:55 left, as Page scored five straight points to push K-State in front.
After Ray rattled home her second 3-pointer of the first quarter to tie the game at 20, K-State ended the quarter with four straight points from Lewis to hold a 24-20 lead after one quarter. Lewis registered eight points on 4-of-4 shooting in the first quarter.
Kansas State continued its offensive momentum into the second quarter, scoring the first six points of the frame to build a 30-20 lead with 7:25 to play. Ray ended West Virginia’s five-minute drought without a field goal by draining a transition 3-pointer to pull within seven, 30-23, with 6:50 to play. The Wildcats continued their offensive push, as Martin found Sheble for a left handed hook shot to force a Mountaineer timeout with 5:44 left in the first half.
The Wildcat offensive machine continued to roll after the timeout, as K-State went on a 9-5 run to force a second West Virginia timeout with 3:27 left. Willock continued her strong first half with a layup and Martin followed with a pair of layups.
West Virginia was able to within 10, 46-36, as Kristina King completed a 3-point play with 1:14 remaining before halftime. The Wildcats were able to quickly push the advantage back to 14 with 38 seconds left as Page finished a layup and Karyla Middlebrook converted a running lefthanded layup. K-State would hold a 51-39 lead at the half. Middlebrook finished the afternoon with nine points.
The 51 first half points by K-State were a season-high for an opening half and the most since Dec. 13, 2015 when K-State scored 54 points in the first half against Florida Atlantic.
K-State shot 61.1 percent (22-of-36) from the field in the first half, including a 63.2 percent effort in the second quarter. West Virginia checked in at 44.8 percent (13-of-29). The Mountaineers were aided by a 9-of-14 performance from the 3-point line in the opening half, while K-State did their damage near the rim, holding a 34-8 advantage in points in the paint.
West Virginia opened the second half with an 8-2 run, bolstered by a 3-pointers from Ray and Tynice Martin, which forced a K-State timeout with 8:02 to play in the third quarter leading 53-47.
The Wildcats responded well to the timeout, as K-State dashed out to a 11-2 run to increase its lead to 15, 64-49, with 4:48 left in the third quarter. Page started the run with her second 3-pointer of the afternoon, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Wesemann. Following a transition layup from Lewis, West Virginia was forced to call a timeout to halt the run.
Following the West Virginia timeout, K-State ended the third quarter by outscoring the Mountaineers 10-6 and held a 74-55 lead entering the fourth quarter.
West Virginia outscored K-State 16-12 in the final quarter, narrowing the game to 14 points, 82-68, with 2:58 remaining. A Lewis putback and a Wesemann jumper with 1:19 remaining in the game halted the comeback attempt.