Chelsea Gardner scored 29 points the last two on free throws to end the game and CeCe Harper added 20 points as Kansas overcame a 16-point first half deficit and rallied to knock off Kansas State 87-84 in overtime in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship Friday night at Chesapeake Bank Arena in Oklahoma City.
For a good portion of the first half the game mirrored the game on February 26 between the two teams in Lawrence when K-State won 76-68 after building a 21-0 first half lead then allowing the Jayhawks to tie the contest before recovering in time to win. K-State led 30-14 in this game before Kansas closed the first half on a 17-4 run to trail 34-31 at intermission.
The game remained close throughout much of the second half and KU appeared to have the game won in regulation on a late basket but the Wildcats forced overtime on Breanna Lewis’ basket at the buzzer to tie the score 73-73. K-State then built an 84-78 lead with just over two minutes left in the extra session but attrition hurt the Wildcats badly at the worst possible time when Lewis and Leticia Romero both fouled out and the Jayhawks took advantage in scoring the game’s last nine points for the win. Lewis was Kansas State’s leading scorer with 20 points, joining her in double figures were Kindred Wesemann with 18 points, Katya Leick with 17, Romero with 15 and Ashia Woods added 11. It was the first and only time this season the Wildcats had five players in double figures. Kansas will advance to the Quarterfinals where they will face Baylor on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Jayhawks earlier this season ended the Lady Bear’s 53-game conference winning streak.
Kansas State (11-19) bids farewell to three seniors in Leick, Ashlynn Knoll and Chantay Caron as the 2013-14 campaign comes to an end.
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