Another quality opponent. Another close game. Another loss for the Wichita State women’s basketball team.
That’s been the script the Shockers have followed so far this season, and they added the latest line in a 48-43 setback against Kansas State in front of a season-high 2,586 fans inside Koch Arena on Tuesday night.
WSU dropped to 3-5 on the season and all five losses have come by five points or less.
“We’re to the point where we need to get over the hump and start executing,” WSU senior Chynna Turner said. “Losing five games like this should motivate you even more.”
Zone defenses have befuddled WSU all season, but K-State proved the same can be done in man-to-man. For the first 30 minutes of the game, the Shockers scored points on 13 of their 52 possessions and faced a 38-27 deficit.
“We had a choice,” WSU coach Jody Adams said. “We could either give in or we could fight back.”
The Shockers choose the latter and made things interesting. Chynna Turner’s fifth three-pointer of the season was the highlight of a 8-0 burst that put them in position, down 41-38 with 6:07 remaining, to win the game.
But the execution down the stretch faltered and WSU missed three shots and turned the ball over four times. The Shockers finished shooting 18 of 45 with 21 turnovers.
“We’ve got to set the tempo better,” Adams said. “As the coach, I’ll take the blame for that. I’ve got to do a better job of getting the team in positions where we can score and do a better job of calling plays.”
Wichita State succeeded in turning the game into a defensive stalemate, holding K-State 20 points under its season average in scoring.
The difference was when K-State needed a basket, it had a player to go to. Brittany Chambers scored a game-high 18 points, but none more important than her up-and-under layup to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 46-40 with 1:07 left.
“It was one of those moments where we have Brittany Chambers and you don’t,” K-State coach Deb Patterson said.
The offense seemed to be the focus of concern after the game. Adams said scoring during crunch time is something the Shockers have to continue to work on in practice. Senior point guard Jessica Diamond was the only Shocker in double-digits at 13 points.
In their five losses, the Shockers have had 13 defensive possessions in the final four minutes with the score separated by three points or less. Of those 13 possible defensive stands, WSU has made only two. The other 11 times the opposition has scored points.
“We have time to make the changes,” freshman guard Alex Harden said. “And we will make those changes.”
Halftime—Kansas State 20, Wichita State 15. 3-pt. shooting—KSU 4-16 (Spresser 2-5, White 1-1, Chambers 1-5, Caron 0-1, Craig 0-1, Texada 0-3), WSU 2-6 (Turner 1-2, Diamond 1-3, Jacobs 0-1). Rebounds—KSU 36 (Caron 9), WSU 30 (Price 10). Assists—KSU 8 (White 4), WSU 7 (Turner 3). Fouls—KSU 15, WSU 14. A—2,586.