Kansas State dished out 24 assists on 31 made field goals on Monday night, as four players reached double figures to defeat Omaha in Bramlage, 81-60. This is the seventh straight season K-State has opened with a 2-0 record. That’s according to a release from K-State Athletics.
K-State was paced in scoring by freshman Rachel Ranke with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 6-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. Her six connections from beyond the arc were the most by a Wildcat since Kindred Wesemann buried six against Oklahoma on Feb. 9, 2016.
Joining Ranke in double figures were a pair of Wildcats with full stat lines. Junior guard Kayla Goth with 16 points, nine assists, four steals, two rebounds and one block. Her nine assists were a new career-high, while its was her tenth career game in double figures for points.
Senior Shaelyn Martin finished within a whisper of K-State’s first triple-double since the 2008-09 season, as she tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists with zero turnovers. This was Martin’s fourth career game with 10 or more points, five or more rebounds and five or more assists.
In double figures for the second straight game was senior forward Kaylee Page with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. This was the third time in Page’s career that she has registered consecutive games in double figures.
Omaha (0-2) was led by Ellie Brecht with 20 points, including a 6-of-9 performance from the 3-point line. Also in double figures for the Mavericks was Claire Killian with 13 points.
The Wildcats shot 54.4 percent (31-of-57) from the floor. This was K-State’s highest field goal percentage since Jan. 2, 2017 against West Virginia when K-State tallied a 54.7 percent effort.
K-State’s 24 assists on the night were the most since Feb. 24, 2016 at Iowa State when K-State also handed out 24 assists.
Kansas State used an 18-5 run early in the first quarter to build a 20-11 lead with 4:31 remaining in the quarter. During the run, K-State was 7-of-7 from the field, which was highlighted by two 3-point field goals each from Kaylee Page and Rachel Ranke. Page would finish the first half with three 3-pointers.
Freshman Ashley Ray came off the bench in the opening quarter to add four points and a block to help the Wildcats to a 24-15 lead after the first frame. The Wildcats shot 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from the field in the opening quarter. Goth would set the school record for assists in a first quarter with six.
The Wildcats would improve their lead to 15, 38-23, as Goth buried a corner 3-pointer with 4:10 remaining. The Mavericks would hold K-State scoreless for the remainder of the first half and outscore K-State, 7-0, to pull to within eight at the half, 38-30.
K-State shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) in the first half, while Omaha tallied a 37.5 percent (12-of-32) effort. The Wildcats were 6-of-13 from beyond the arc, while the Mavericks were 5-of-12.
Kansas State would build a 12-point lead, 53-41, with 4:56 left in the third quarter. Ranke buried a pair of three-pointers to force an early Omaha timeout. Following the timeout, freshman center Ashley Ray recorded two straight field goals to cap the lead at 12.
Ray’s layup at 4:56 of the third would be K-State’s final field goal of third quarter, as Omaha held K-State to four free throws, while picking up five points of their own during the final 4:55 to pull within 11, 57-46, entering the fourth quarter.
K-State used a 17-5 run to begin the final quarter to construct a 74-51 advantage with 5:15 remaining. Ranke hit consecutive 3-pointers to send the lead to 23 and force an Omaha timeout. The Mavericks would get as close as 17 after consecutive 3-pointers after the timeout. K-State was able to answer with a 7-3 edge to outscore Omaha in the final period, 24-14.
Kansas State will end its season-opening three-game home stand on Friday at 5:30 p.m., against Florida A&M.