The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Know Your Opponent: Bramlage hosts Colorado for battle to the Sweet 16

After both facing tests, K-State and Colorado battle in round of 32
Guard+Zyanna+Walker+shoots+against+the+Portland+Pilots+in+the+round+of+64.+K-State+won+78-65+to+advance+to+the+round+of+32+where+the+Wildcats+face+Colorado.
Avery Johnson
Guard Zyanna Walker shoots against the Portland Pilots in the round of 64. K-State won 78-65 to advance to the round of 32 where the Wildcats face Colorado.
No. 4 K-State 26-7

Kansas State’s first quarter against Portland was one of the best Wildcat quarters all season. The final three were not as much. K-State constantly battled the Pilots’ press defense, never allowing them too close but never pushing them fully away. The star trio of center Ayoka Lee and guards Gabby Gregory and Serena Sundell led the way, each taking a quarter to lift the scoring efforts. Gregory led the way with 22, her season-high, knocking down three 3s and finding success in the post. The trio must strive again against Colorado, but will need more bench support for a Sweet 16 run.

No. 5 Colorado 23-9

The Colorado Buffaloes got off to a completely different opening round start than K-State. Drake rattled off nine straight to open the round of 64. Colorado responded in even greater force, taking a 24-21 lead in the first quarter and never giving it up. The Buffaloes leaned on tenacious defense, forcing 19 turnovers on just seven steals. Offensively, four Colorado leaned on four double-digit scorers, led by center Aaronette Vonleh with 18. Vonleh’s double-double mixed with seven 3-pointers brought a strong offensive flow, something that will clash with the Wildcats.

Matchup to Watch: Gregory and Sundell vs. Jaylyn Sherrod and Frida Formann

While the play of Lee and whoever must begrudgingly guard her is usually the main focus of K-State games, the round of 32 may have other plans. Against Portland, Sundell and Gregory were in control of most of the Wildcat offense. Now, they face off against a veteran guard duo in Jaylyn Sherrod and Frida Formann, two double-digit scorers with different skill sets that match K-State’s duo.

Facing off as the lead guard against Sundell comes Sherrod. Standing at 5-foot-7, the senior is one of the fastest players in the country and similar to West Virginia’s JJ Quinerly who scored 50 points in two games against the Wildcats. While different stylistically, Sundell stats match up similarly to Sherrod, each within one point, rebound, assist and steal of each other. If they face off often, the battle of height and efficiency against speed and explosiveness will take center stage.

That leaves Gregory against Formann. Both are dangerous 3-point shooters, with Gregory hitting 13 of 27 in the past five games and Formann shooting 42.7% from deep on the season to average 12.6 points per game. While Formann’s been more consistent scoring throughout the season, Gregory holds an advantage in all-around play. Gregory averages a combined seven assists and rebounds per game with Formann sitting at four. Gregory has shown the ability recently to outshoot anyone, including Formann. If she can’t Sunday afternoon, her other contributions can still win the battle.

Key Players

K-State

Guard Zyanna Walker

Forward Gisela Sanchez

Colorado

Forward Quay Miller

Center Aaronette Vonleh

Prediction: K-State 75-71

Leave a Comment
Donate to Kansas State Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Kansas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
Avery Johnson, multimedia editor
Multimedia editor for 2023-24. Previously photographer for spring 2023.
Donate to Kansas State Collegian

Comments (0)

All Kansas State Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *