By. Trey Thomas
K-State wins 12th straight game in first game without Lee.
Kansas State proved victorious against rival Kansas, the Wildcats one step ahead seemingly all game. Despite center Ayoka Lee’s ankle surgery keeping her out of the game, the Sunflower Showdown ended in K-State's favor, winning 69-58.
K-State's defense locked the Jayhawks down in Quarter 1. Kansas could only muster eight points as the Wildcats finished with 18. Offensively, guards Brylee and Jaelyn Glenn both scored five points, each knocking down a 3-pointer.
Guard Zyanna Walker added a third Wildcat to score five first quarter points, getting most of them from the free-throw line.
The second quarter looked troublesome for Kansas at first as it was down 28-15. Slowly, the Jayhawks decreased the 13-point lead, consistently scoring in the paint. By the end of Quarter 2, Kansas was within six points, making the score 32-26.
K-State forward Eliza Maupin saw a bigger role in the quarter, getting four points. Guard Serena Sundell had a more impressive quarter than the one prior, scoring five points and racking up three assists going into the half.
“We have a lot of girls who can step up,” Sundell said. “I think Eliza was one tonight who came in and did her job.”
Early in the third quarter, Kansas would continue to get it done in the paint. The Wildcat lead would be cut down to four points with the score at 36-32.
Brylee Glenn had other ideas.
She would knock down a 3-pointer as well as an and-1 layup to put K-State up 10.
The Wildcats maintained its 10-point lead all third quarter, as Kansas could not shorten it as much as it did in the second quarter. The score would be 50-43 going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter saw better perimeter shooting from Kansas. The Jayhawks would only make two 3-pointers all game and both came in the fourth. This, as well as decent success in the paint, helped bring the score to 57-54.
“It felt a little too close for comfort,” Sundell said. “We just had to make sure to get focused and control what we can control.”
The Wildcats turned it up on defense as Kansas would only score two more times, letting K-State win comfortably in the end.
Head coach Jeff Mitte said he loved what the student section had to offer as they created an atmosphere filled with energy.
“When KU made two or three baskets to put it within three, half the crowd stood up and I thought, ‘That's the energy we need,’” Mittie said.
Sundell contributed everywhere, finishing with a stat line of 15 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. Walker scored 15 points as Brylee Glenn scored 13.
K-State will travel to Texas to take on Baylor at 7:30 Monday.