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Ayoka Lee Sets Double-Double Record as (12/16) K-State Rolls

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KStateSports.com) Entering Monday night’s game, All-American Ayoka Lee sat in a tie for the K-State career double-doubles record, she would break the record in grand fashion as the 12th-ranked Wildcats cruised past Oral Roberts, 102-59, on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

BOX SCORE

K-State improved its record to 11-1 for the first time under the direction of head coach Jeff Mittie. This is the best start for K-State since opening the 2008-09 season with a 12-0 mark.

Lee, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, registered her second career game and just the second in school history with 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds as she finished with 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting, a career-high 21 rebounds, five blocks and a steal in 23 minutes of action. With the performance, Lee broke the tie with Kendra Wecker for career double-doubles at K-State with her 53rd.

Lee’s 21 rebounds were one off the single-game school record of 22 by Peyton Williams set at TCU on Feb. 1, 2021.

Joining Lee in double figures were senior guard Gabby Gregory with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

Redshirt freshman Zyanna Walker notched 14 points, four rebounds, two steals, a career-high two blocks and an assist, while redshirt sophomore Gisela Sanchez chipped in with 13 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED
– Following a tightly contested first quarter that saw the Wildcats in front by two, 19-17, K-State raced to a 30-point second quarter to build a 49-32 lead at halftime. The 49 points were a season-high for the Wildcats in a first half.
– Over a four-minute stretch in the second quarter, K-State went on a 19-3 run, turning a five-point lead into a 17-point advantage, 40-23. The run started with three straight 3-pointers from Serena SundellJaelyn Glenn and Gabby Gregory. Lee then added an old-fashioned three-point play with 5:54 remaining and was followed by a layup from Jaelyn Glenn and a steal and layup from Zyanna Walker. Lee capped the run with a jumper following a scramble for a loose ball in front of the Oral Roberts bench.
– Lee led the charge in the opening half with 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. The product of Byron, Minnesota, surpassed the school double-doubles record on a jumper with 4:23 to play in the second quarter.
– K-State kept its foot on the accelerator in the third quarter, outscoring the Golden Eagles, 33-14, in the frame. The Wildcats shot 70.0 percent (14-of-20). This was the third time this season K-State has shot 70.0 percent or better in a quarter including a season-high 76.9 percent against Western Kentucky on Nov. 24, 2023.
– The Wildcats turned a 15-point lead, 49-34, with 9:19 remaining into a 29-point advantage, 63-34, with 4:53 to play in the third quarter with a 14-0 run. Five different Wildcats scored during the run to blow open the game.
– Over the second and third quarters, the Wildcats outscored the Golden Eagles, 63-29, while shooting 60.5 percent (26-of-43) from the field.
– In the fourth quarter, Ja’Mia Harris took a fast break feed from Taryn Sides and finished a layup with just over a minute remaining to push K-State over the century mark for the second time this season.
– For the night, K-State shot 49.4 percent (40-of-81) and held Oral Roberts (6-4), who entered the game averaging 85.4 points per game to 59 points on 28.4 percent (19-of-67) shooting.

QUICK FACTS
– K-State leads the series with Oral Roberts, 8-2, including a current win streak of six straight. The Wildcats are 43-6 against current members of the Summit League. This was the second straight meeting between the schools in which K-State scored 100 or more points.
– The Wildcats are 5-0 in the month of December. In its history, K-State is 242-103 (.701) in the 12th month and 41-18 (.695) in the Jeff Mittie era. The Wildcats have recorded a .500 or better record in the month of December 48 times including a current streak of 28 consecutive seasons.
– K-State head coach Jeff Mittie owns a career record of 629-363 (.634) and is 175-128 (.578) during his 10-seasons at K-State.
– K-State owns a record of 386-154 (.715) during its 36-seasons in Bramlage Coliseum. Head coach Jeff Mittie is 116-46 (.716) in home games with the Wildcats.
– K-State has won 27 straight non-conference home games dating back to December of 2020. Kansas State is 227-29 (.887) against non-conference foes, while Mittie is 73-8 (.901).
– K-State owns a record of 233-88 (.726) as an AP ranked team. K-State is 15-4 (.789) all-time when ranked 12th in the nation.

TEAM NOTES
– K-State’s starting five consisted of guards: Jaelyn GlennSerena SundellBrylee GlennGabby Gregory and center Ayoka Lee. This was the 12th time this starting five has been used this season. This was the 99th career start for Lee, the 90th collegiate career start and the 44th start at K-State for Gregory, the 81st career start for Sundell, the 77th career start for Jaelyn Glenn and the 71st career start for Brylee Glenn.
– The Wildcats held a 49-32 lead at halftime on Monday. Under head coach Jeff Mittie, K-State is 139-17 (.891) when leading at halftime, including a 10-0 record this season.
– K-State shot 50.0 percent or better in two quarters on Monday night. For the season, K-State owns 19 quarters with a field goal percentage of 50.0 percent or better.
– The Wildcats dished out 28 assists on Monday. When K-State hands out 20 or more assists over the last 16 seasons, the Wildcats are 87-7 (.926), including a 6-0 record this season. The Wildcats have handed out 20 or more assists in five straight games.
– K-State registered a 61-35 advantage in rebounds on Monday. This is the 11th time K-State has outrebounded its opponent this season (10-1). The 61 rebounds were the most by the Wildcats this season and the most since pulling in 61 against Northwestern State on Nov. 27, 2021. The 61 rebounds are tied for the third-most in a single-game in school history.
– K-State recorded its third game this season with a combined 20 or more blocks and steals in a game (12 steals/10 blocks). The Wildcats are 22-1 when achieving a combination of 20 or more steals and blocks in a game.

PLAYER NOTES
– Lee recorded her 91st career game with 10 or more points and her 42nd career game with 20 or more points. Lee has scored in every game of her career (99 games).
– Lee hauled in a career-high 21 rebounds on Monday. With her total, Lee passed former teammate Peyton Williams (2016-20; 967) for third in school history for career rebounds with 988. She needs eight rebounds to pass Nicole Ohlde (2000-04; 995) for second in school history.
– With her five blocks on Monday, Lee improved her career total to 260 and ranks second in program history, passing Marlies Gipson (2005-09; 257) for second in school history. This was her 17th career game with five or more blocks, which improves upon her own school record.
– Gregory registered her 74th career game and her fourth this season with 10 or more points.
– Gregory made three 3-pointers on Monday, which is the 61st time in her career with two or more connections from long range. With her three connections, Gregory reached the 200-mark for three-point field goals made in her collegiate career. During her time at K-State, Gregory has made 103 from long range.
– Gregory hauled in six rebounds on Monday. This was her 52nd career game and her sixth this season with five or more boards.
– Taryn Sides handed out a career-high 10 assists on Monday. This was her sixth game this season with five or more assists and her first in double figures. She is the first Wildcat to hand out 10 or more assists this season and the first since Serena Sundell dished out 10 against Oklahoma State on Jan. 4, 2023.
– Jaelyn Glenn pocketed three steals on Monday. This was Glenn’s 45th career game with two or more steals.
– Walker secured her fifth game this season with 10 or more points.
– This was Walker’s second game this season with two or more connections from 3-point range.
– Sanchez reached double figures for the fourth time in her career and the third time this season.

FROM THE HEAD COACH
K-State Head Coach Jeff Mittie

On the frustration he felt after the first quarter…
“There’s a couple things. I think it’s one thing to not play well because the other team plays well. The things I didn’t like were things that I didn’t like in our preparation. It’s one of the few times a year I haven’t liked our preparation. Shootaround was not sharp, shootaround was not focused. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t to the standard that we’ve talked about getting to. I did not like our defensive talk, which I thought was going to be stressed against them because they could stretch [Ayoka] Lee out to the perimeter. So in communicating where that player was, was going to be critical. We talked about finding the point guard early. We talked about finding 10 [Taleyah Jones]] early, and I just didn’t like the things that we pride ourselves on doing, talking defensively, offensively playing together. I just didn’t think we were doing those things very well.”

On Ayoka Lee’s performance…
“Yeah, I thought Yokie {Ayoka Lee] battled. I don’t think we were as timely getting her the basketball tonight. I credit Oral Roberts for that. They had good awareness. Anytime we took a cutter through the lane, that cutter stopped with Lee, and they did a good job of that. So I thought Yokie really battled. [I’m] obviously really impressed with the rebounds because when you’re being stretched out to the three point line, that’s really hard for a center to get the amount of defensive rebounds as she got tonight.”

On Gisela Sanchez’s performance…
“Yeah, I thought she did some good things tonight. She was rested from her lack of shootaround. She played well tonight and I was glad to see it because she did not have a good shootaround, she was not very talkative. I almost wondered if she was sick. And I thought she responded well tonight and I thought she did play with a good pace. And thought she did some good things. She continues to grow in her understanding of things and that’s really big for us because she’s a matchup problem for another team.”

On holding the opponent under 60 points for the fifth straight game…
“I thought our one-on-one defense got better as the game wore on. I thought it was a little soft early in the game and I thought they were getting to spots, particularly in the last four or five minutes of that first quarter. I thought they were getting deep against us but I thought we got better as the game went on. I thought our talk got better. That was probably the thing that I was the least happy with. We have been a really good team at shootaround of talking our way through either problems, the scout, or both. And we did not do that very well at all today, but I thought in the game we got better. I’ll be honest, at halftime I didn’t talk at all. I asked them questions because I said ‘alright, you tell me what you need to do better, you tell me what’s working, you tell me how we play better.’ So I was pleased with that communication at halftime, but to hold them under 60; this team can really score, and they’ve scored all year long, and we did some decent things tonight to do that.”

On what Ayoka Lee means to K-State Women’s Basketball…
“I think it’s a lot deeper than just basketball. This is a young lady that’s been Scholar Athlete of the Year in the Big 12. She has represented Kansas State Athletics at numerous events, whether it be the Cat-Backer tour or Ahearn Fund dinners, whether it be pep rallies at the start of the year or Student Athlete Council, or all the above. Now her being an outstanding basketball player gives her a wider platform, and I think she just uses that really, really well. She has as good of an appreciation of the opportunities that are provided to student athletes as any player I’ve ever had, and in this era where there’s a lot of entitlement, there’s a lot of ‘this is what I’m owed’ out there, she sets the tone in that locker room. We don’t have that in our locker room. We’re owed nothing, we earn everything we get, we’re owed nothing. We’re lucky to be at Kansas State, we’re lucky we represent Kansas State. I don’t think there’s a better representative. And I think we’ve got a lot of really good ones in our athletic department but there’s no one better than Ayoka Lee. Now when you talk about nationally, 61 points [in a game], breaking the record. Comes off of a knee injury that is a challenging knee injury to recover from, and to do it the way she’s done it and to come back and play the way she’s played. I don’t think that whole story is written. But yeah, she’s meant a lot to us, but not just us, I think the athletic department overall and the university as well, because she does it so well. And I’m lucky to coach her and I’m lucky to coach this group because we’ve got a lot of really good ones in here. But they’ve got a good leader in her that has shown the way.”

FROM THE FLOOR
K-State Senior Center Ayoka Lee

On what it means to break the double-double school record…
“What does that mean me? Um, good question. It’s really cool. I think it’s a testament to just like all the workouts, just all the work I’ve put in here, like all the way back to like my first year playing, you know, that doesn’t happen just in one year, two seasons playing. So I think it’s just really cool to reflect on how much time it takes to get there.”

On being close to breaking the single game rebound record …
“I’ve always been told rebounding is effort, I would say I believe that. So yeah, I think with teams like this, just like taking advantage of, I think we were a little bit longer in some areas and then just going hard to the boards and being aggressive. I’m trying to be in the right spot when the shot goes up, but yeah, effort I think is a big thing.”

On her preference of games with lots of possessions…
“I like us in transition. So I think whenever we can get fast breaks I think that’s like really good and really fun. Teams that like to shoot it in like the first five seconds of the shot clock, not my jam, I don’t love that. But I think we can guard it so that’s really all that matters.”

K-State Senior Guard Gabby Gregory
On playing with a teammate like Ayoka Lee
“It’s been fun, obviously. I mean, I’ve never played with somebody like this before. So it’s just been a lot of fun and a work in progress. And I think every game, everyone’s just getting the offense and everything is just flowing so much better every game so I think it’ll be scary come March.”

On the tally for the GAP Goat…
“Seven. Yeah, he put his chain on so I don’t know if we got another one after that. I think it was just seven but still, we got it.”

On her preference of games with lots of possessions…
“I like that. I was a little tired a little bit. It was fun, I mean, I like it. We get up and down the floor running. I think sometimes it gets a little boring when it’s just everyone’s holding the ball and just running offense. But I think there’s good things to learn from both styles of play and different things to execute out of them.”

UP NEXT
K-State completes its three-game home stand on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats host Southern at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, call (800) 221-CATS or visit kstatesports.com/tickets.