Wildcats bow out of Big Dance with 23-11 final record
Kansas State needed more than a home court advantage to beat Stanford, apparently.
Looking for its first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 15 years, the No. 7 Wildcats were no match for No. 2 Stanford, who used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to grab control in a 69-48 victory Monday evening.
The Cardinal (30-5) were one of the first teams K-State has faced this year that had the size and athleticism to compete with star center Bre Lewis, who picked up two fouls in the first quarter and was held to just nine points in the game.
“Not much went right for us early in this game,” K-State coach Jeff Mittie said. “Turnovers were a problem for us. Rebounding was a big problem for us.”
Stanford led 39-21 at halftime. The Wildcats made a small rally late in the third quarter to close the gap from 25 to 18, but would get no closer the rest of the way.
“(Stanford’s) defense is underrated,” Mittie said. “When they are making shots, they’re a Final Four team.”
The Cardinal were paced by Brittany McPhee’s 21 points. She was 7 of 14 from the field, including 5 of 7 from three-point range, and also recorded six rebounds and five assists.
Kindred Wesemann was K-State’s leading scorer with 11 points. But out of the nine Wildcats who scored, only two scored more than six points.
The Wildcats (23-11) didn’t advance further in the NCAA Tournament than they did a year ago, when they lost to South Carolina in the Second Round, but K-State did win four more games.
The loss ended five Wildcats’ college careers, most notably Lewis and Wesemann.
“When you talk about replacing them, we can find a three-point shooter and we can find a center,” Mittie said. “Can we find people with their kind of leadership? That’s what we have to do. We will miss them.”