Dec. 28, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Kansas State looked to create some momentum entering Big 12 action next week with an upset over North Carolina State, but the Wildcats fell to the Wolfpack on Saturday 77-60 in its first game in the Surf N’ Slam Classic at the Viejas Arena.
Kansas State (5-5) was led by Leticia Romero and Ashlynn Knoll. Romero finished with 15 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. This was her seventh career game in double figures and her seventh game with five or more rebounds.
Knoll tallied a career-high 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and hauled in a career-high six rebounds, all coming off the bench.
North Carolina State (12-1) was led by senior center Markeisha Gatling, who tallied 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and 12 rebounds. Joining Gatling with a double-double was her low post partner Kody Burke with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
NC State raced out to a 14-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game, forcing K-State to call an early timeout. The timeout calmed the Wildcats, as K-State scored six straight points to narrow the deficit to 14-11 with 13:32 to play on an Ashia Woods layup.
K-State would trim NC State’s lead to one on three different occasions in the first stanza, but were unable to secure the lead. The Wildcats were jump started by Bri Craig, who nailed three 3-point field goals off the bench in just a four-minute span, to bring the Wildcats to within one twice at 23-22 and 28-27.
The Wolfpack would rebuild its lead to seven twice with under two minutes to play, but a Haley Texada jumper before the halftime horn brought K-State to within five, 36-31.
NC State used a 16-4 run in the first nine minutes of the second half to capture a 51-35 lead with 11:01 to play. During the stretch, K-State was just 2-of-16 from the field. The Wolfpack would build its led to 22 with 7:03 to play.
K-State wouldn’t go away quietly, as the Wildcats cut the deficit to 14 with a 9-2 run, 62-48, with 5:17 to play on a Haley Texada steal and fast break layup. Texada finished with 11 points, five rebounds and two steals.
The Wildcats’ bench outscored the Wolfpack bench, 25-12, marking the ninth game this season K-State has outscored its opponents’ bench. K-State registered a season-high 12 steals and registered 16 points off 18 NC State turnovers.
The Wolfpack shot .441 from the field and outrebounded K-State, 48-29. K-State shot .381 from the field.
K-State will face UC Riverside on Monday at 5:30 p.m. (CT) in its final game in the Surf N’ Slam Classic and its final non-conference game of 2013. The game will be available on the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com/allaccess. The Wildcats return to Bramlage Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 2 to face Baylor at 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 800-221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.