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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Wildcats’ season of riches ends in round of 32 loss to Colorado

After+the+game%2C+head+coach+Jeff+Mittie%2C+surrounded+by+guards+Jaelyn+Glenn+and+Zyanna+Walker+and+center+Ayoka+Lee%2C+applauds+the+Bramlage+Coliseum+crowd.+K-State+fell+in+the+round+of+32+to+Colorado+63-50+in+front+of+a+sold-out+Bramlage+Coliseum.
Avery Johnson
After the game, head coach Jeff Mittie, surrounded by guards Jaelyn Glenn and Zyanna Walker and center Ayoka Lee, applauds the Bramlage Coliseum crowd. K-State fell in the round of 32 to Colorado 63-50 in front of a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State women’s basketball’s historic season came to a close in a 63-50 loss to Colorado. K-State’s season included many feats, such as a No. 2 overall ranking, two victories over No. 1 seed opponents and selling out Bramlage Coliseum Sunday afternoon. 

“That’s a pretty good crowd to go out on,” senior guard Gabby Gregory said.

The day also saw K-State record the single-season record for assists and steals in program history.

The first half was a constant back-and-forth. K-State tied at the end of the first quarter and led by two at the end of the second both off last-second shots from guard Serena Sundell.

Momentum swung toward Colorado with five minutes left in the third quarter. Tied at 39-39, Colorado guard Jaylyn Sherrod was called for a defensive foul on Sundell. Sherrod talked with the officials, and the play was reviewed with a change to a flagrant foul on Sundell, giving the Buffaloes two free throws and the ball. From then on, the Wildcats never saw the lead again.

Head coach Jeff Mittie said the call was not the reason the game flipped.

Throughout the game, especially in the second half, K-State struggled in multiple facets. Firstly, the Wildcats recorded 22 turnovers, constantly struggling to complete entry passes to center Ayoka Lee in the post with Buffalo center Aaronette Vonleh recording seven steals. 

“I think Vonleh is one of the stronger players in the country, but she combines athleticism you don’t always see,” Mittie said.

The Wildcats also struggled defensively on the boards, allowing 12 offensive rebounds while only snagging six.

The main issue in the second half came offensively as the Wildcats simply struggled to score. After scoring 35 on 56% in the first half, the Wildcats scored just 15 points on 22.2% in the final half. Colorado finished with a 35.1 shooting percentage, but made 19-25 free throws compared to K-State’s 5-10.

Mittie said that Colorado’s 16 fastbreak points compared to K-State’s two was another component to the loss.

The Wildcats loss moved the record to 26-8, the most wins for the program since the 2002-03 season. K-State senior guards Gregory and Rebekah Dallinger played in their final game as Wildcats while Lee’s decision to return for another year is still unknown as Mittie said he does not know if she’ll return or not.

“I love them as people every day,” Mittie said about his team leaders, hugging Lee, Gregory and Sundell after taking them out of the game.

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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.
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