Leticia Romero scored 25 points to help Kansas State jump out to a large first half lead before hanging on against a pesky Charlotte squad as the Wildcats defeated the 49ers 73-65 before an announced crowd of 3,780 Sunday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State scored the game’s first 15 points getting the run started on a pair of treys by Kindred Wesemann. Charlotte finally got on the board with 5:54 gone on the clock on a three-point basket by Hillary Sigmon. The Wildcats first half barrage continued as K-State stretched its advantage to as much as 27-5 with 10:19 remaining before halftime.
However, Charlotte which opened its season with a 66-56 win over Liberty on Friday night got their bearings and began cutting into the deficit. The 49ers out of Conference USA closed the first half with a 23-12 run to get to within 39-28 at the break. The early stages of the second half represented scoring surges for both teams. The Wildcats widened their lead to 45-30 with 15:38 remaining before the Niners scored seven straight points to cut the deficit down to 45-37. Right after that K-State went on an 11-0 run to extend the lead back to 19 points at 56-37 but Charlotte would not give up and whittled the lead down to just four points with 15 seconds left. The Wildcats then sealed the game making four straight free throws to close things out and win their second game in less than 48 hours. The Wildcats rolled past Tennessee State in their season opener Friday night 85-53.
Romero, a Freshman guard from Spain who is quickly making a name for herself in the Kansas State Women’s Basketball program led all scorers with 25 points in 37 minutes of playing time. Katya Leick added nine points and Haley Texada and Chantay Caron added seven points apiece. The 49ers had four players in double figures led by Ayanna Holmes’ 15 points. Sigmon added 14 points, Kira Gordon had 11 and Lefty Webster added 10 points.
Both teams had a challenge trying to get into a rhythm in this game as 58 total fouls were called, 32 of them in the first half.
Kansas State (2-0) will hit the road for the first time in the 2013-14 season when they travel to El Paso, Texas to face UTEP next Saturday. The Miners won last season in Bramlage Coliseum to hand the Wildcats their first loss after an 8-0 start. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
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