Wildcat Comeback Falls Short in Home Finale

MANHATTAN, Kan. After the Wildcats gave up a double-digit lead to Texas Tech and fell behind by double digits themselves, Kansas State nearly completed an incredible comeback but came up short one by point, falling to the Lady Raiders 64-63 on Senior Night at Bramlage Coliseum.

Senior forward Jalana Childs had one of her best games of her career as she posted 22 points to lead the Wildcats. She was 6-of-13 shooting and a strong 10-of-13 at the free-throw line. Childs was at the line when she made two free throws in the final minute to pull the Wildcats within a point, but K-State could not capitalize on a missed free throw by the Lady Raiders twice after Childs put K-State (18-12, 9-9) within striking distance.

Junior guard Brittany Chambers joined Childs in double figures with 11 points, hitting three times from beyond the arc. Chambers led the team in rebounds with eight. Senior forwardBranshea Brown also reached double digits with 10 points.

Texas Tech (18-12, 6-12) was led by Shauntal Nobles with 16 points, and the pair of Monique Smalls and Kierra Mallard scored 15 points. Smalls tallied a game-high six steals while pulling in six boards and dishing out four assists.

Both teams exchanged the lead in the early stages of the contest, but K-State used a 17-3 run to capture a 26-11 lead on the Lady Raiders with 10:02 to play. The run was jump started by consecutive layups by Chantay Caron. Chambers tallied two 3-point field goals during the run, while four of the five seniors all registered points in the scoring outburst.

The Wildcats built a 33-16 lead on a Chambers offensive rebound and put back with 6:52 to play, but Texas Tech cut into the K-State lead for the remainder of the opening stanza. The Lady Raiders used a 14-3 run to climb back to within six, 36-30. Mallard was the key during the run by Texas Tech with six points and 11 points in the first half.

Texas Tech used the momentum they built with the first half run to dominate the first four minutes of the second half and take a 42-38 lead with 16:07 to play. The Lady Raiders outscored K-State, 12-2, to open the second half, as Texas Tech was led on the interior by Nobles with eight points during the rally.

K-State trimmed the Lady Raiders lead to three, 46-43, on a layup by Caron with 12:42 to play. Texas Tech, however, answered with three consecutive layups to increase the lead back to eight, 52-44, and force a K-State timeout.

After Texas Tech increased its lead to 12 with 8:34 remaining, K-State strung together a 10-2 run to narrow the game to four, 58-54, with 6:18 to play. The Wildcats’ rally was highlighted by threes from Mariah White and Chambers.

The Lady Raiders registered its final point of the night on a Nobles free throw with 3:20 to play. In the final three minutes, K-State tallied five free throws from Childs and a layup from Brown to close to within one, 64-63.

The Wildcats’ comeback was almost completed, as the Lady Raiders’ Smalls missed the first of a one-and-one free throw and Dickey pulled in the rebound with 10 seconds left. Dickey’s ensuing down court pass to an open Chambers was too long and K-State fell just short.

Texas Tech shot .509 from the field for the game, while K-State was .460. The Wildcats finished 11-of-19 from the foul line, including 7-of-14 from the charity stripe in the second half.

(Story courtesy of KStateSports.com)