K-State women’s basketball upsets 10th-ranked Baylor on Sunday


(Courtesy: K-State Sports)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Sports) — K-State used a big first quarter and a 28-point second-half from Ayoka Lee to upset (10/10) Baylor, 68-59, on Sunday afternoon. With the win, K-State snapped a 36-game losing streak to Baylor with the Wildcats’ last win over the Bears coming on January 27, 2004, in Manhattan.

The win was also K-State’s first win over an Associated Press top-10 opponent since downing 10th-ranked Texas Tech on January 14, 2012, in Lubbock, Texas.

“I think it’s a big one,” said K-State head coach Jeff Mittie about the win on Sunday. “Baylor has had such a hold on the league that you can do that stat with a lot. It’s kind of been the way. They’ve dominated the league, right. So this is a huge win against a program that has dominated this league over the last decade. So, from that perspective. Yeah, it’s a big one for us.”

The Wildcats were led by Lee with a game-high 32 points, including 28 points in the second half. She did her damage on 11-of-16 shooting from the field and a 10-of-13 effort from the foul line, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists. This was Lee’s fourth game this season with 30 or more points and 10 or more rebounds.

Lee’s 28 second-half points are the most in a half since Brittany Chambers set the school record of 29 against Texas Southern on March 21, 2013. Among her 28-point second half, Lee set the school record for points in a quarter with 19 in the third quarter, surpassing the previous record of 18 by Kayla Goth on February 27, 2019, against West Virginia. Lee would outscore Baylor, 19-17, on her own in the third quarter.

Joining Lee in double figures was freshman Serena Sundell with 10 points and a game-high six assists. This was Sundell’s fourth game this season with 10 or more points and five or more assists.

Overall, the Wildcats shot 51.1 percent (23-of-45) from the field and carded a 75.0 percent (18-of-24) performance from the free throw line. This was the third time this season K-State has shot 50.0 percent or better from the field.

Defensively, K-State held Baylor to its season-low for points and the fewest points in a game since scoring 56 at Iowa State on March 8, 2020. The Wildcats held the Bears to their third-lowest shooting performance, 38.9 percent (21-of-54), this season.

“I’d like to think we had something to do with them not shooting the ball well,” said Mittie about the team’s defensive performance. “I think that what I was pleased with was that the pace of the game was where we wanted it. They weren’t in transition, which we wanted to get them out of transition. And so we talked about getting them, they generally are in transition about 25% of the game. We wanted to get them below that number. I don’t know what the number says but my eyes tell me that we were able to do that pretty successfully and that’s what we wanted to do.”

K-State (11-2, 1-0 Big 12) used a 10-0 run to build a 10-2 lead with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter. The Wildcats held Baylor without a field goal for over six minutes before a layup from NaLyssa Smith with 2:56 remaining ended the drought.

After the layup from the Bears, the Wildcats scored eight straight points to build an 18-4 lead and force a Baylor timeout with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter. Rebekah Dallinger started the burst with a 3-pointer and was followed by a 3-pointer from Serena Sundell. Laura Macke forced the timeout with a driving layup.

The Wildcats would end the first frame with an 18-7 lead. K-State shot 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from the field and held Baylor to 23.1 percent (3-of-13) including an 0-of-7 effort from beyond the arc.

K-State was able to extend its advantage to 15 points on two occasions, as Taylor Lauterbach finished an old-fashioned 3-point play in the lane. After a Baylor tip-in, Cymone Goodrich answered with a mid-range jumper to give K-State at 25-12 lead with 4:31 to play in the second quarter.

A jumper from Jada Moore with 3:19 in the second quarter gave K-State a 29-17 lead. Despite four late points from the Bears, the Wildcats would hold a 29-21 halftime lead.

K-State completed the first half shooting 50.0 percent (11-of-22) from the field including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Baylor shot 30.0 percent (9-of-30) from the field and was held to their second-lowest first half total this season.

In the third quarter, Lee would score 19 of K-State’s 20 points in the frame as the Wildcats built a 49-38 advantage. After Baylor (10-3, 0-1) cut the K-State lead to six, 31-25, with 8:21 remaining it was a heavy dose of Lee as she outscored the Bears 7-1 over the next two minutes to push K-State into a 38-26 lead with 6:20 remaining.

Baylor closed to within five, 38-33, with 3:50 to play but Lee went to work again pushed K-State into a 49-38 lead.

In the fourth quarter, K-State would build a 14-point advantage, 57-43, with 6:54 to play in the fourth quarter after a pair of Lee layups.

The Bears would cut into the Wildcat lead with an 11-2 run to pull within four, 63-59, with 49 seconds left. K-State would get a pair of defensive stops to halt the Baylor rally and then knocked down four free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the win.

The Wildcats improve to 9-0 at home this season. The nine straight home wins ties for the longest home court winning streak in the Jeff Mittie era.

K-State will play three of its next four games away from Bramlage, as the Wildcats start a two-game road trip next week at Oklahoma State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday’s game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and also can be heard on the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com and on the K-State Sports app.

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