HRADEC KRALOVE, Czech Republic Five Wildcats reached double figures, as Kansas State defeated the Under-18 Czech Republic national team, 86-66, on Thursday evening. This was the first of two contests for the defending Big 12 champions against Czech national teams during its 10-day tour of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria.
Junior forward Ashley Sweat paced the Wildcats with 20 points, including 15 in the first half. The product of McPherson, Kan., also tallied seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot. Senior forward Marlies Gipson displayed a strong all-around game with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Gipson, a 2008 All-Big 12 second team selection, also added four blocks and four steals to her final stat line.
Also in double figures on Thursday were senior guard Shalee Lehning with 13, junior guard Kari Kincaid with 13 and senior Kelsey Nelson with 12. All eight Wildcat players had at least two points before the end of the first half.
The Czech squad put together a solid effort in the first half, holding a 21-20 lead after the opening quarter. The Wildcats were able to stay close in the second period with six points from Sweat and five from Nelson. A Shalin Spani three and Sweat lay-up near the conclusion of the first half gave the Wildcats a 42-39 halftime edge.
K-State took control of the contest midway through the third quarter, as Gipson tallied nine straight points to push the Wildcat lead to 53-46. The Czechs made a brief come back to conclude the quarter, making the score 61-58 K-State heading to the final period.
The Wildcats were able to clamp down on the defensive end and wear out the Czech Republic squad with a 25-9 final quarter. Lehning, Sweat and Kincaid paced K-State with eight, five and five points, respectively.
Kansas State will take to the floor again on Saturday, June 28 against the U-20 Czech Republic national team.
Kansas State Stats from Thursday’s contest
Nelson, Kelsey (12-5-0-0)
Sweat, Ashley (20-7-2-3) one block
Lehning, Shalee (13-5-3-4)
Hill, Kelsey (4-2-2-1)
Spani, Shalin (4-2-0-1)
Zanotti, Danielle (4-8-2-1)
Kincaid, Kari (13-2-2-1)
Gipson, Marlies (16-12-0-4) four blocks