From K-State Athletics
Kansas State used a stifling second half defensive effort to win its ninth straight season-opener with a 61-46 win over Omaha on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats have now won 25 of its last 27 home openers, including a 5-0 mark under head coach Jeff Mittie.
K-State (1-0) trailed by eight at the half, 30-22, and by as many as 13 early in the third quarter, but the Wildcats forced Omaha to shoot 22.2 percent (6-of-27) from the field in the second half to outscore the Mavericks in the second half, 39-16. K-State was aided by forcing 13 Omaha turnovers in the second half, which K-State converted into 17 points.
The Wildcats were led by three players in double figures, as Jasauen Beard carded a game-high 12 points and added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Rachel Ranke tallied 11 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Junior forward Peyton Williams tallied her eighth career double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. This was the second time in three seasons that Williams has registered a double-double in a season-opener.
The Mavericks were led by Elena Pilakouta with 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Kansas State held a 6-5 lead early in the first quarter, after Kayla Goth found Williams for a jumper in the middle of the lane with 6:16 remaining in the opening quarter. Goth finished with four points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Omaha (1-1) then used an 8-0 run to build a 13-6 lead with 3:28 to play including a three-pointer from Mariah Murdie. The Wildcats closed to within two, 15-13, as Christianna Carr converted a mid-range jumper with 1:45 to play. The Mavericks ended the quarter with a Josie Filer layup for a 17-13 lead.
K-State used a hot start in the second quarter to tie the game at 17, as Jasausen Beard tallied all four points. Beard would score six points in the quarter to lead K-State in scoring at halftime.
Omaha would build its lead to nine, 30-21, with 1:34 to play. The Mavericks used a 13-5 run to end the opening half. K-State went scoreless for almost five minutes to aid the Omaha run.
Kansas State used a 14-1 run midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 36 with 2:44 to play in the frame. Omaha then strung together a 5-0 rally to regain the lead at 41-36 with 1:05 to play.
Carr gave the Wildcats a boost with a three-point play with 11 second left in the third and bring K-State to within two, 41-39, entering the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, K-State chipped into the Omaha lead by going 8-of-9 from the foul line.
Kansas State dashed out to a 9-0 run to gain its first lead since the 7:45 mark of the first quarter and force a Mavericks timeout. Beard tied the game at 41 with a layup. Ranke quickly followed with a steals and went coast-to-coast with a layup to give the Wildcats the lead at 9:08 of the final frame.
Kali Jones added a layup and Ranke knocked down a 3-point to force the Omaha timeout and give K-State a 48-41 lead. K-State continued to pour on the points, outscoring Omaha 22-5 in the final quarter.
For the night, Kansas State was 21-of-57 (.368) from the field and cooled Omaha off to an 18-of-57 (.316) effort. The Wildcats were 15-of-22 (.682) from the free throw line, while Omaha was 6-of-10. K-State had the edge on the boards, 43-37.