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(10/9) K-State Outlasts (22/22) West Virginia in Overtime

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MANHATTAN, Kansas (KStateSports.com) – (10/9) K-State used a double-double effort from All-American candidate Ayoka Lee and key playmaking in overtime to power past (22/22) West Virginia, 73-64, on Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum. Dating back to the final two home wins of last season, the Wildcats have now won 17 consecutive home games.

BOX SCORE

K-State (23-4, 12-3 Big 12) has secured 23 wins this season, tied for the most in the Jeff Mittie era and most by the Wildcats since the 2016-17 season.

With its 12th Big 12 win of the season, K-State has secured the program’s most league wins since the 2007-08 season (13). This is the sixth time in K-State women’s basketball history in which the Wildcats have won 12 or more conference games in a season.

K-State collected its fifth win this season over an Associated Press top-25 opponent. The Wildcats are one of eight teams in the nation with five or more wins against AP ranked opponents. With its five AP top-25 wins this season, the Wildcats tied for the second-most ranked wins in a single-season in program history. The five ranked wins are the most since the 2003-04 season (5).

The Wildcats featured two players in double figures on Wednesday and were led by Lee with a game-high 34 points, including 28 in the second half and overtime, on 12-of-17 shooting, 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal in her first home game since January 13 due to an ankle injury. This was Lee’s third game this season and the 14th of her career with 30 or more points. This was her 56th career double-double improving upon her own school record.

Joining Lee in double figures was junior guard and All-American candidate Serena Sundell with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, three assists and two blocked shots. This was Sundell’s 13th straight game in double figures. With her three dishes, Sundell surpassed the 500-mark for career assists with 502. She is the fifth player in program history with 500 or more career assists.

West Virginia (22-4, 11-4) was led by JJ Quinerly with 23 points and five steals.

HOW IT HAPPENED
– K-State entered the fourth quarter down six, 41-35, but held a 57-53 lead with 10 seconds remaining in regulation after a free throw from Eliza Maupin.
– West Virginia would call timeout and advance the ball and were rewarded with a banked in 3-pointer from Quinerly with five seconds left. Lee would be fouled on the inbound play and make one of two free throws with four seconds left. The Mountaineers would go the length of the floor in four seconds and convert a layup from Jordan Harrison as time expired to send the game to overtime.
– In overtime, Lee would score nine of K-State’s 15 points. She made a layup and was fouled after West Virginia’s Quinerly missed a 3-pointer on their initial possession. Lee missed her free throw, but Brylee Glenn chased down the rebound. Glenn ended the night with eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Sundell would then make a jumper in the paint for a 62-58 lead with 4:05 left in overtime.
– West Virginia would tie the game at 62 but the Wildcats rattled off an 11-0 run to build a 73-62 lead with 14 seconds left. Lee scored eight of the 11 points to stake the Wildcats to the advantage.
– For the night, K-State shot 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the field including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from beyond the arc. The Wildcats shot 61.3 percent (19-of-31) from the charity stripe.
– West Virginia was held to 35.2 percent (25-of-71) shooting including 26.7 percent (8-of-30) from long range.

QUICK FACTS
– K-State leads the series, 8-18. The Wildcats are 4-8 against the Mountaineers in Manhattan. Head coach Jeff Mittie is 8-21 in his career against West Virginia.
– The Wildcats are 231-240 (.490) in Big 12 games.
– Head coach Jeff Mittie owns a career record of 640-366 (.636) in 32 seasons as a head coach and is 186-131 (.587) during his 10-seasons at K-State.
– K-State’s 17-game home court winning streak is the longest home court winning streak in the Mittie era, which started with the final two home wins of the 2022-23 season. This is K-State’s longest home court winning streak since an 18-game home winning streak in the 2002-03 season. This is the second-longest home winning streak in Bramlage Coliseum.
– K-State’s 15-game home court winning streak this season is the longest single-season home winning streak since the Wildcats won 19 consecutive home games in the 2002-03 season.
– K-State owns a record of 245-91 (.729) as an AP ranked team. K-State is 13-4 (.765) all-time when ranked 10th in the nation. The Wildcats are 4-5 (.444) all-time against teams ranked 22nd in the AP poll.
– With its attendance of 4,266 on Wednesday night, the 2023-24 season has moved into ninth in school history for total attendance in a season with 73,878 in 15 home games.

TEAM NOTES
– K-State’s starting five consisted of guards: Jaelyn GlennSerena SundellBrylee GlennGabby Gregory and center Ayoka Lee. This was the 20th time this starting five has been used this season. This was the 107th career start for Lee, the 105th collegiate career start and the 59th start at K-State for Gregory, the 96th career start for Sundell, the 92nd career start for Jaelyn Glenn and the 86th career start for Brylee Glenn.
– K-State is 30-30 (.500) all-time in single overtime games. The Wildcats are 1-1 in overtime games this season.
– K-State shot 50.0 percent or better in a quarter twice on Wednesday. This season, the Wildcats have 38 quarters with a field goal percentage of 50.0 percent or better.
– K-State blocked six shots on Wednesday. This moved K-State’s season total for blocks to 155, the sixth time in the Mittie era in which K-State has blocked 150 or more shots in a season.
– The Wildcats tallied a 42-22 advantage in points in the paint. This was K-State’s 21st game with 30 or more points in the paint. This is the fourth season under Mittie, and the third straight season, in which K-State has recorded 1,000 or more points in the paint (1,022).

PLAYER NOTES
– Lee recorded her 98th career game with 10 or more points and her 47th career game with 20 or more points. Lee has scored in every game of her career (107 games). Lee’s career total stands at 2,071 and ranks fourth in school history. Lee needs 86 points to pass Brittany Chambers (2009-13; 2,156) for third on the K-State career scoring list.
– This was Lee’s 28th career game with 10 or more made field goals. She has shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in 76 career games.
– Lee hauled in 11 rebounds on Wednesday. Lee’s career total for rebounds stands at 1,051, second in school history. She needs 37 rebounds to pass Kendra Wecker (2001-05; 1,087) for the school record for career rebounds. This was Lee’s 57th career game with 10 or more rebounds and her 98th career game with five or more rebounds.
– Lee improved her career blocked shot total to 293, improving her school record for career blocked shots. This was Lee’s 78th career game with two or more blocked shots. Lee ranks eighth all-time in Big 12 history for career blocked shots.
– Sundell notched her 65th career game with 10 or more points, including her 20th this season. Sundell owns 1,173 career points and passed Jan Laughlin (1971-75; 1,165), Priscilla Gary (1981-83; 1,169) and Angie Bonner (1981-84; 1,170) for 27th on the K-State career scoring list.
– Sundell’s three assists on Wednesday improved her career total to 502. She is the fifth player in program history with 500 or more career assists. Sundell is also the fifth player in program history with 1,000 or more career points and 500 or more career assists.
– Gabby Gregory dished out eight assists on Wednesday. This was her 10th career game and her seventh this season with five or more assists.
– Eliza Maupin pulled down seven rebounds on Wednesday. This was her 12th career game and her third this season with five or more rebounds.
– Maupin’s pocketed two steals on Wednesday; her seventh career game with two or more steals.
– Brylee Glenn pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds on Wednesday. This was her first career game with 10 or more rebounds and her 10th career game with five or more rebounds.
– Jaelyn Glenn hauled in five rebounds on Wednesday night. This was Glenn’s 12th game this season and the 40th of her career with five or more rebounds.
– With her 3-pointer on Wednesday, Jaelyn Glenn became the fourth player in program history with 150 or more made 3-pointers and 175 or more steals.
– Jaelyn Glenn pocketed three steals on Wednesday. This was her 53rd career game with two or more steals.

FROM THE HEAD COACH
K-State Head Coach Jeff Mittie

On what it took to get Ayoka Lee back on the court…
“I try to stay out of those decisions with medical. That’s not my area. I wasn’t sure after yesterday’s practice, she went through most of it. But late, it got a little bit sore. And I thought maybe she did a little too much. We tried to test it this morning. And I think it was just okay quite honestly, and she said she wanted to go. That came from medical to me, they said ‘Hey, she wants to go in.’ I said that’s great news. And they wanted me to keep her around that 20-minute mark. That got a little bit extended, but I think you could tell she wasn’t coming off. And yeah, she was just playing really well.”

On the team’s overall performance…
“I think this was as good of a committed game as we’ve had to what we talked about doing. We shot seven threes in a 45-minute game. We wanted to go inside. We wanted to go inside the entire game. We didn’t say we weren’t taking threes. But what we said was we can’t just look once, we gotta go more than one time inside. And in the past, we’ve probably taken some half-guarded ones. But this is the most committed I’ve seen us in a long time.”

On if Ayoka Lee is Big 12 Player of the Year worthy…
“Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve played 50% of our Big 12 games without her, and I don’t know how that’ll impact it, but I don’t think there is a more impactful player in the league for their program. And you don’t need my quotes. All you need to do is watch the game, right? If you didn’t see the game, go rewatch it. I got asked after the game on the court ‘How much does she mean to you?’ I’m like, ‘Well, you don’t need me to tell you.’ I mean, you just watch, everybody watch the game. I mean, it’s pretty easy to see, right?”

On what his message was to fix the problems the team faced in the first quarter…
“The one downfall to this particular team is we tend to be a little reserved at times. And I didn’t like our aggressiveness in that stretch and I did not think we were decisive at all. And if you’re not decisive against West Virginia, you can see how good their defense is, they force 23 and a half turnovers  (per game) in league play. They lead the league in turnover margin. They lead the league in victory margin. They’re blowing people out and their starts have been unbelievable. They’ve held two or three teams scoreless in the first quarter. It’s an amazing thing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stat like that. So it’s not just us they did it too, right? But when it is you, boy you feel like you can do a lot of things better and I just felt like we were indecisive in that stretch.”

On how the team executed down the stretch…
“I think they got this look in their eyes where they weren’t gonna lose. They felt like they had the momentum, and it was a dejected huddle for about 30 seconds going into overtime. And I was really proud of them because they came out of there with their eyes forward but you could see it when we got off to a good start in overtime, you could sense it. I think the crowd helped us. I think the energy in the building was fantastic. I just wish there were more of them. We’ve had better crowds, that was one of the lower-attended games in the last month, and boy they missed a great one.”

On Taryn Sides’ performance…
“I thought it was next play mentality because [JJ] Quinerly took it from her, and she went back and got it at the other end. I think they were critical minutes because the game could have gone the other way. We’d just had a technical, they get a couple of freebie chances. Our point guard’s out of the game, and Taryn steadied the ship and gave us really good minutes.”

West Virginia Head Coach Mark Kellogg
Opening statement…
“Congrats to Kansas State and Coach Mittie. That is a really good basketball team. They present some problems for us and a lot of teams. Really proud of our group. I thought that was a good women’s college basketball game. Two really good teams go in kind of toe-to-toe, back-and-forth. Great environment, got loud in there a couple of times. I don’t have much of a voice, so I was trying to get my assistants to help me talk because it was loud and I didn’t have a voice. Fun to be a part of it. I wish we came out certainly on the other end. No moral victories or anything like that for us but like I said, I’m proud of our group to battle back and getting the thing to overtime. We missed too many layups and missed wide-open threes. I think they were kind of daring us to shoot a little bit, maybe got a little hesitant from time to time. But we had some layups that we missed, especially there late in the third quarter that I know we’d like to have back,  probably could have got that lead to double figures going into the fourth and might have changed the game a little bit, but [Ayoka} Lee is a problem. She’s an All-American for a reason and one of the best players in the country. I didn’t think we got a good whistle at all. Not gonna really go there, but that was a little disappointing, for sure. They made the plays. They made a few more than we did. But both teams played hard and competed. Like I said, great environment, and fun to be a part of it. Proud of my kids, but we need to bounce back from this one. This is a little bit of a brutal stretch for us. We get Baylor on Saturday, so we don’t have a long time to rest or think about this one but we’ll get better. Hats off to K-State. Well done for sure.”

On Kansas State’s offense and Ayoka Lee
“Made shots and got fouled and made layups. They do a great job of getting [Ayoka] Lee the ball and we tried different looks. She is just a hard guard. She’s unique and different, and I’m saying that in such a good way, if she’s on your team, she’s a hard guard and I thought we did our best and for a while had done a pretty good job and then, you know, it was obvious in the third quarter they were coming out with the deliberate intent to get her some touches. And we didn’t do a great job. We tried to throw different bodies or different looks, tried to make her work on defense a little bit, and just tried to throw everything at her but she had an answer.”

On JJ Quinerly and Serena Sundell
“They’re great. I think [JJ] Quinerly plays at an elite level, and she was a first-team all-league kid a year ago and was preseason. I love Serena Sundell. I knew her when she was little. I was coaching at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Missouri, where she was from so I knew of her when she was little. Now she’s grown up and, she plays at her pace, controls tempo, and runs the show for them. I think she’s one of the better point guards.”

FROM THE FLOOR
K-State Senior Center Ayoka Lee

On playing in Bramlage again…
“So good. There’s nothing like playing in Bramlage. Just playing with this team in a game like that. We knew it’d be a good game and just getting to compete with them. Yeah, it feels great.”

On not being able to play on Saturday…
“It was tough. Like going around the mountain again is just hard. I had to do what it took to get my body right and I knew coach [Jeff Mittie] knew that playing that game probably would just be digging myself a bigger hole. It was the smart thing to do.”

On how the team has grown since she had been out…
“I think it’s hard to because obviously, we have to play differently when I’m not in the game. And credit to the guards like it’s hard to alternate between, you know, like a perimeter game versus trying to get it inside and like back out to the perimeter. So credit to them for being flexible and adapting to that. Coach Mittie said a few weeks ago, all these close game situations are just teaching us how to win games and how to have poise and just continue to fight when it is a close game.”

K-State Junior Guard Brylee Glenn
On how close games have prepared the team…
“I think the energy that we brought like at the end of the game, it didn’t feel like anyone was tired, everyone was ready. Going into overtime, it was kind of a drag, but everyone had high energy and then it just gave us all the confidence to go out and get it done.”

K-State Freshman Guard Taryn Sides
On having to play extended minutes…
“I it’s a next-man-up mentality. I knew that my team needed me in that situation and I just wanted to be composed and poised for them and just make the right plays, take my time and just be a leader as best as I could. It’s always tough when your starting point guard goes out, that’s the leader of our team, the quarterback of your team, if you will. So them having to adapt to me as a freshman coming in, in a big game big situation, credit to them. They made plays and it worked out.”

On how it felt to make multiple big plays down the stretch…
“I think as a player that’s what you look forward to, and what you want is to make those big plays in big moments. I just knew that when my time came, I wasn’t going to focus on the situation at hand, and just go out there and play basketball the best I could.”

On how it feels to play with Ayoka Lee
“When I heard that she was coming back, I was just so pumped to play with her. I mean, she makes it easy for everyone on the team, you get to just lob it up there and she’ll catch it and go score, but not just on the offensive end on the defensive end as well. We just know that she’s going to be there. If a girl gets past us on accident, she’ll have our back. And then like, not even playing, but like her leadership or personality. I just love being around her and she just makes the team better not just on the floor but off the floor as well.”

UP NEXT
K-State visits Kansas on Sunday for the Dillons Sunflower Showdown at 1 p.m.

Sunday’s game can be seen on ESPN2.