MANHATTAN, Kansas- K-State capitalized on a huge advantage in the second and third quarters to push through a sluggish first frame to earn a 73-59 win over Houston on Sunday afternoon at the Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State (8-1) has won 16 straight home games outside of conference, with the most recent loss coming on December 8, 2020 to Idaho State.
The Wildcats were led by the senior trio Gaby Gregory and second graders Jaelyn Glenn and Serena Sundell. Gregory led all scorers with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting and a 7-of-8 shot from the foul line. She also scored five rebounds.
Glenn scored 18 points, including a career-best 8-of-12 performance from the free throw line. She also hit her season-high on the glass with eight rebounds and gave three assists, conceded three steals and blocked two shots.
Sundell carded 11 points, eight assists with zero turnovers, six rebounds and two steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
– Houston (1-7) went into Sunday’s game with six losses by seven points or less, including overtime decisions against Florida State and Florida.
– The Cougars, entering the game 33.9 percent from the field, took a 12-1 lead and finished the opening frame with a 20-17 advantage on a 52.9 percent performance (9 of 17) from the field .
– K-State launched its 38-17 attack in the game’s middle 20 minutes with an own performance of 52.9 percent (9 of 17) from field in the second quarter, blocking defense. The Wildcats scored seven points from three Houston turnovers in the frame and held the Cougars on a 3-of-16 (.188) shootout in the final 10 minutes of the second quarter.
– With a 40-29 lead at halftime, K-State extended their lead to 18, 55-37 by beating Houston 15-8 in the third quarter. Defensively, K-State frustrated the Cougars to a 3-of-15 (.200) third quarter.
– The Wildcats held a Houston run off the foul line in the fourth quarter with a near-perfect effort as K-State was 10-of-12 (.833), including an 8-of-10 effort in the last 2: 16 of the game.
– K-State leads the series 2-0 with Houston. This was the first meeting between the schools since November 24, 1977.
– The Wildcats are 53-13 all-time against current members of the American Athletic Conference.
– K-State head coach Jeff Mittie is 11-6 in his career against Houston.
– Sundays from five was Sarah Schematsi, Jaelyn Glenn, Serena Sundell, Brylee Glenn and Emile Ebert. This was the first time this group had started a game together this season.
– K-State opened the season with 70 or more points in eight of its first nine games.
– For the game, K-State shot 40.4 percent (21 of 52) from the field.
– K-State was 5 of 21 (0.238) from the 3 point range.
– The Wildcats were 26 of 31 (.839) from the free throw line. This was the third time this season that K-State had 20 or more free throws in a game. This was the fourth time the Wildcats have shot 80.0 percent or more from the charity streak.
– Houston shot 35.8 percent (24 of 67) from the field, including a 4 of 16 (.250) performance from 3-point range.
– Gaby Gregory scored her 49th career game in double figures for points and her eighth at K-State. This was Gregory’s 14th career game to score 20 or more and her sixth at K-State.
– Gregory’s career college score is 975.
– The Tulsa, Oklahoma guard finished their 35th career game with two links from afar with two or more links from deep.
– Gregory hit five or more rebounds for the 29th time in her career and fifth time at K-State.
– In the second year Jaelyn Glenn reached double digits for the eighth time this season and the 15th time in her career. This was her sixth straight game in double figures, the longest streak of her career.
– Glenn hit two or more 3-point field goals in a two-link game on Sunday for the 18th time of her career.
– In the second year Serena Sundell scored her 25th career game in double figures for points and her sixth this season.
– Sundell hit five or more rebounds for the 15th time of her career and seventh time this season.
– Sundell ranks 24th in school history for career assists as her eight on Sunday took her career total to 222.
– Senior Emile Ebert was 3-of-3 from the foul line and extended her consecutive streak of free throws to 28, which is the fourth-longest streak in school history. Ebert is a 20-of-20 from the foul line this season and made her last eight free throws of the 2021-22 season.
FROM THE HEAD COACH
K-State head coach Jeff Mittie
Opening speech …
“My opening speech will be just a hair shorter than the first time out. That started on the shoot today and seemed to carry over a bit in terms of our energy and that was a big concern for me. You know, it’s one thing like I told them, it’s one thing when the other team takes the lead and you’re committed and doing things well and talking and doing some things but I didn’t like ours, I liked our dressing room before the game, so of course I wanted to at least try to get their attention and I’m proud that our group came back. You know Houston played very well at that stage so they stretch that thing out to 12 to 1 but there’s a lot of basketball left and our group after that, probably the last 12 minutes of the first half I thought we had really good played.
On his messages during the first time out…
“They still went out and scored a few points after that, you know, man to man helped. They had some players knock down some shots against the zone. Our activity in the zone was not very good. They weren’t a good shooting team, but you know, they have some capable players and they certainly shot well at this range. I think the main thing, my problem early on, and I just finished telling them, is that we weren’t ready to be physical, we weren’t ready to be aggressive. And we’re playing against a team that is their strength. And boy, if you linger for 10-15 minutes and don’t respond to that, then you can be a real problem. And I did. I think we came out after that and we were more physical and more committed. So I thought it was a little bit better.
On Eliza Maupins minutes in the game…
“In the beginning I just felt like we need someone who has a little bounce and is super athletic, she’s really good that defensively. So the areas where we weren’t playing very well I thought but then it didn’t take long, a minute to be able to see this boy, she was good looking and had a good balance to her. So today I played her a little more around five, but it was all just her early looks were really good.”
On the team’s rebound…
“Below average? They dropped us a few here. They’re not a big team. They were really fast on the ball. They were faster on the ball than us, I thought it got better. I think our guards really had in that one Problems, our guards were really late on some rebound plays I think, but I felt it was below par, we have to want to be a lot better in the future.
In focus for Wednesday’s game…
“Well I’m just thinking about us, I think we need to keep growing to handle the pressure better, the defensive pressure better. I think we have to learn that we have to control what we control. You know, we shouldn’t have been surprised by her physicality. We’ve been in for eight games. We shouldn’t, we have to be the aggressor. And we weren’t early in this game, so we have to learn from that. It’s not as much about Wednesday as it is for us to be ready on Tuesday and be ready when the bell rings.
FROM THE GROUND
Gaby GregoryK-State Senior Guard
What they did well to take the lead…
“I think in games like this where you’re playing against a team that’s super aggressive on defense you’re going to get trapped and things like that. It sometimes takes seconds before you somehow get into the flow. And I think once we got there we kind of got used to their aggressiveness and we could come down and do our offense or do our push and things like that. We were able to get the shots we wanted and I think that really made a difference.
Jaelyn GlennK-State Sophomore Guaapprox
To switch between first and second half…
“I think our energy was different. I think a lot of people found their rush was a lot better than going down. That was the biggest thing I noticed. I think Eliza [Maupin] brought a lot of energy when she gave the tip. I think that was really like a big turning point for us and it boosted our energy by a whole lot.
On playing after a week off…
“I think we probably didn’t come out the way we wanted or expected just because we had a week off. It’s always nice to get back into the flow of things and have a week off.”
K-State returns to the Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday, December 7 when the Wildcats host Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, call (800) 221-CATS or visit kstatesports.com. Wednesday’s game will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.