Young Kansas State women routed by No. 9 Baylor
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)
Although Kansas State has its youngest team in 36 years, but coach Deb Patterson wants her team to move beyond its early season youth.
Ashia Woods scored a career-high 27 points and Leticia Romero added 20 points and five rebounds in the Wildcats' 92-63 loss to No. 9 Baylor on Thursday night in the teams' Big 12 opener.
''This league is full of teams with their own unique style and they'll put it to you if you're not tough and fierce,'' Patterson said. ''We're in league play now. Our freshmen need to be sophomores, our sophomores need to be juniors and our juniors need to be seniors in their mentality. We've just got to get more trains on the track.''
Patterson was pleased, though, with her leading duo's play.
''This was a top 10 team in the country and look at the numbers these two posted,'' Patterson said. ''If you're Baylor defensively, these are the two kids you're saying that you better guard because no one else is hurting you. They still answered the call.''
Odyssey Sims scored 40 points and Sune Agbuke had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Lady Bears (11-1, 1-0). Sims shot 12 for 19 from the field and 12 for 16 on free throws as Baylor won its 50th straight Big 12 game.
Sims, who came in averaging just over 30 points per game, scored 15 in the first half points on 5-for-7 shooting.
Two free throws from Woods cut the Bears' lead to 15-10 with 13:13 left in the first half and that was as close as the Wildcats (6-6, 0-1) got the rest of the way.
Baylor began the day second in the nation in scoring at 99.2 points per game, trailing only Oregon's 105.3.
''We took good shots,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''If you look at our field goal percentage, that's pretty good on the road. We didn't miss a lot of shots and the ones we did miss were good shots. We played from start to finish very solid.''
Despite holding the Lady Bears under their season average, Patterson didn't see many positives in her team's defensive performance.
''Tonight was more a story of not getting the job done on the boards and defensively,'' Patterson said. ''That's rare for us. We've always been able to rely on playing real aggressive, accountable defense.''
Woods and Romero kept the Wildcats within breathing distance in the first half, scoring nine points apiece.
Sims was even stronger in the second half. The senior stymied the Wildcats with 25 second-half points including a final 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 30 points with 1:52 left in the game.
''To get tougher,'' Woods said of Kansas State's needed steps moving forward. ''We're a young team and the Big 12 isn't going to get easy and every team is hard. We've just got to understand that we've got to be tough and fight every single night.''
Sims finished seven points short of her career high, set earlier this season against Kentucky.
''There is more distribution of the ball,'' Patterson said of Baylor's team after losing former All-American center Brittney Griner to graduation. ''It's obviously Odyssey Sims' team and she can be very, very dominant with the ball now. There's more movement because she moves more.''
Baylor beat Kansas State for the 17th straight time since the Wildcats' last win in the series on Jan. 27, 2004.