MANHATTAN, Kansas – Hosting its first NCAA Tournament since 2003, Kansas State snapped Drake’s 22-game win streak on Saturday, 67-54, to advance to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are now 6-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in the Little Apple.
Kansas State (23-10) held the lead for over 37 minutes on Saturday. The Wildcats were paced by the senior duo of Breanna Lewisand Kindred Wesemann. Lewis registered her first career double-double in NCAA Tournament play with 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 11 rebounds. Wesemann added 16 points, five assists and two steals.
Drake (28-5) was paced by senior Lizzy Wendell with 17 points on 5-of-14 shooting. The Wildcats held Wendell to four points under her scoring average (21.1 ppg). The Bulldogs also saw freshman Becca Hittner add 13 points and sophomore Sammie Bachrodt add 10.
K-State shot 42.9 percent (21-of-49) from the field on Saturday, including 50.0 percent effort in the first quarter and a 62.5 percent output in the fourth. Drake entered Saturday averaging 83 points a game, but were held to a 36.5 percent (19-of-52) performance from the field.
The Wildcats handed out 21 assists on their 26 made field goals and pocketed 11 steals. Kansas State finished the day with a 22-8 advantage in points off turnovers. This was the sixth game this season K-State tallied 20 or more points off turnovers.
K-State responded to a pair of Drake 3-pointers with a 10-2 run in the first quarter to take a 13-8 lead with 4:08 left. A 9-2 run boosted K-State’s lead to 20-13 at the end of opening quarter. Lewis tallied back-to-back layups and Lanie Page buried a 3-pointer off the bench during the run.
Drake pushed back to with two, 22-20, with 8:20 left in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 burst. K-State absorbed the rally and rebuilt the lead to eight, 30-22, with a 8-2 advantage. Lewis started the scoring with a layup and Wesemann capped the run with her second 3-pointer of the half. Drake pulled within five at the half, 30-25.
In the opening half, K-State forced 10 Drake turnovers including seven in the first quarter. The Wildcats held a 17-4 edge in points off turnovers at the half. K-State also distanced themselves from Drake in the paint, outscoring the Bulldogs 16-8.
Lewis scored eight of K-State’s 13 points in the third quarter to send the Wildcats into the fourth quarter with a 43-35 lead. K-State held Drake to just 10 points in the quarter, which was the result of a 4-of-16 effort from the field and three turnovers.
The Bulldogs cut K-State’s lead to six, 43-37, on the first possession of the fourth quarter. This was the closest Drake would get for the remainder of the game. K-State received three straight field goals from Lewis to keep K-State in front by 10, 54-44, with 5:51 left.
A three-pointer from Wendell with 5:01 remaining brought the Bulldogs to within seven, 54-47, but Wesemann answered back with a 3-pointer of her own. On K-State’s next offensive possession, Wesemann connected on a midrange jumper to keep K-State in front by 10.
Drake’s Hittner buried a 3-pointer on its next possession to again pull within seven, 59-52, but Karyla Middlebrook connected on her first 3-pointer of the afternoon to give the Wildcats a 62-52 lead with 3:04 left. Hittner’s 3-pointer at 3:36 of the fourth quarter was Drake’s second to last field goal of the day as K-State held the Bulldogs without a field goal for 3:30 down the stretch.
After a defensive stop, Wesemann drained her fourth 3-pointer with 2:32 remaining to put the game out of reach and send K-State to the Round of 32.
This is the second straight season and the 11th time in program history that K-State has advanced at least one round in the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas State will face Stanford on Monday night. A game time will be announced at a later time. The game will be available on ESPN2 and ESPN3. The game will also be broadcast on the K-State Sports Network. For tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS or visit the ticket office in Bramlage Coliseum.
• K-State is in its 49th season of women’s basketball and owns an overall record of 914-566… Head coach Jeff Mittie owns a career record of 514-272, including a 61-37 mark in three seasons at K-State.
• This was K-State’s 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament… Kansas State holds an all-time record of 13-14 in the NCAA Tournament, including a 2-1 mark in the Mittie era.
• K-State leads the series with Drake, 13-5… K-State is 84-19 against schools from the Missouri Valley Conference… K-State is 2-0 against teams from the MVC in the NCAA Tournament.
• K-State’s starting lineup: guards – Kindred Wesemann, Karyla Middlebrook and Kayla Goth; forward – Peyton Williams; center – Breanna Lewis… It was the third time this season and the second straight game K-State used this starting lineup… Wesemann has played in 127 career games and started 106, while Lewis has played in 127 career games and started 122… Both Wesemann and Lewis have started every game this season… Williams made her 22nd start this season… It was the 29th career K-State start for Middlebrook and the 100th of her collegiate career… Middlebrook has played in 104 career collegiate games… Goth made her eighth start of the season and ninth of her career.
• K-State has made a 3-point field goal in 339 straight games, a streak that dates back to Feb. 7, 2007… The Wildcats made eight 3-pointers, their 24th game this year and 70th in the Mittie era with five or more made 3-pointers… The Wildcats are now 18-6 this season when making five or more 3-pointers.
• The Wildcats held a 30-25 lead at halftime… K-State is 19-0 this season when leading at the half… In the Jeff Mittie era, K-State is 47-3 when leading at halftime.
• Lewis finished with her ninth double-double this season and the 21st of her career… She is now tied for sixth in school history for career double-doubles… This was her third career NCAA Tournament game in double figures and was a new career-high for an NCAA Tournament game… Lewis has now scored 20 or more points in consecutive NCAA Tournament games… Lewis has 79 career games in double figures and 21st with 20 or more points… This was her 92nd career game with five or more rebounds and her 27th with 10 or more rebounds.
• Wesemann carded her 29th game in double figures this season and the 64th of her career… She was 4-of-12 from beyond the arc… This was her 78th career game with two or more connections from deep and her 27th this season…She has made four or more 3-point field goals in a game 24 times in her career… She notched a new career season-high for 3-point field goals made with 89… Wesemann tallied two steals to set a new career season-high with 63 this season… Her two steals moved her into a tie for ninth in school history for career steals with 193.
• Kaylee Page ended the afternoon 2-of-4 from beyond the arc… This was her 27th career game with two or more 3-point field goals made and her 16th this season.
• Playing in her first career NCAA Tournament, Karyla Middlebrook handed out seven assists and pocketed four steals… Her four steals were a new season-high at K-State… She has nine games this season with five or more assists.