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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Iowa State spoils women’s basketball’s senior night

Wildcats lose second game against Iowa state in Lee, Gregory and Dallinger’s senior night
Guard Gabby Gregory fights through an Iowa State defender in the 82-76 Wildcat loss. Gregory was honored on senior night along with center Ayoka Lee and guard Rebekah Dallinger.

Kansas State women’s basketball was unable to celebrate its senior night with a victory, falling 82-76 to Iowa State. 

“I think the adjustment period we’re in, we’re not responding very well to that,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “I thought our decisiveness was better tonight. … I go to the rebound numbers [Iowa State 47-30 rebounding advantage]. Those numbers are not very good.”

The loss featured plenty of notable statistical performances from each side. Iowa State’s forward Addy Brown led the way with game highs in points (24) and rebounds (11), notching a double-double.

Brown was not the only player to record a double-double. Guard Serena Sundell notched her first career double-double with a career high 10 assists and 15 points. 

“She’s a talented player, we’ve seen that,” Mittie said. “We’ve seen her do a lot of really good things.”

Celebrating their senior nights, center Ayoka Lee led K-State with 20 points while Gabby Gregory added nine points. Guard Rebekah Dallinger received playing time in the second quarter.

Unlike recent history, the Wildcats started off senior night scorching. The quarter included five K-State 3-pointers, more than any game since the first battle with Iowa State. By the end of the quarter, K-State’s 18-8 lead crumbled to just 18-15.

From then on out, the game stayed neck-and-neck until late in the fourth quarter. The Cyclone offense thrived in the fourth quarter, scoring 26 points on 62.5% shooting. Mittie said that teams have found success when K-State plays drop coverage with Lee, saying she is not moving as well as before.

“We’re going to have to really work on that because that’s been something we’ve been exposed in the last two games,” Mittie said. “We did trap a little bit with [forward Eliza] Maupin in the game. We got some turnovers that way but it’s fairly predictable.”

Still, K-State found success at times in the fourth quarter implementing a full court press.

“We had talked about that when we went small we wanted to put some full court pressure on them,” Mittie said. “It was a gameplan coming in.”

The game featured 13 lead changes as both teams flip-flopped the lead often in the third quarter. With six minutes left in the game, Iowa State gained a five-point lead and never allowed K-State to get within a possession except for 30 seconds.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats knocked down 11 3-pointers on the night, led by guard Jaelyn Glenn with three.

“I think they were kind of sagging off us a little bit,” Gregory said. “I think we were confident and knocked some shots down.”

K-State finishes the regular season on the road against Texas Tech at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“Yoki said it best [during the senior night festivities], we feel like we got a lot of basketball [left],” Mittie said.

Senior night festivities

The jerseys of center Ayoka Lee, guard Gabby Gregory and guard Rebekah Dallinger are displayed senior night. The three seniors were recognized after the Wildcats fell to Iowa State Feb. 28. (Grace Parks)

After the game, the Wildcats celebrated all three seniors, Lee, Gregory and Dallinger. Head coach Jeff Mittie spoke to the crowd about his seniors, followed by Lee.

“These three are as good as I’ve coached,” Mittie said at the postgame press conference. “They come in every day, they work, they are good teammates, they’re quality people on campus, [the] community loves them.”

Mittie said that Dallinger is one of his favorite players he’s ever coached.

“She’s got the same attitude every day and she hasn’t played a lot this year,” Mittie said. “It said a lot about her character.”

After the game, Lee and Gregory were asked to talk about each other.

“It’s just been such a joy to have Gabby here,” Lee said. “The energy she brings is what we needed as a team. I’ve never had a teammate like her. I’m just grateful to have played with her.”

Gregory reemphasized how she came to play at K-State because of Lee.

“I came to Kansas State to play with her,” Gregory said. “I knew how good of a basketball player she was but I had no idea what an incredible person she was until I came here. And I just feel so lucky that I was able to come to K-State and have one of my best friends. … She’ll be one of my best friends for life.”

Lee said at the postgame press conference that she would not answer questions on if she will return next season with her last year of eligibility.

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About the Contributor
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
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