K-State Women End European Trip With Win

SAMORIN, Slovakia – Kansas State women’s basketball faced BK Samorin from the Slovakian Extraliga for the second time in three days, and the Wildcats avenged an earlier eight-point loss with a 103-56 drubbing of the hosts on Saturday afternoon at the Sportscentrum Samoria. K-State ends its European tour with a 2-2 overall record.
 
“Early in the game we had good energy, but not great shot selection,” said head coach Jeff Mittie about the start of Saturday’s game. “We had some individual plays that were good. The last time we played this team, we had five assists in the first half. This time we had 13 in the first half, the majority of those come in the second quarter. I thought our shot selection got better. We have so many young ones out there they tend to think every shot is a good shot. We had a big size advantage on the inside this afternoon and we needed to explore that more.often. As the game went on we did just that.”
 
Of the nine players in action for K-State on Saturday, six players reached double figures led by the sophomore forward duo of Eternati Willock and Peyton Williams. Willock registered her first double figure scoring effort of the trip with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds.
 
Williams tallied her second double-double of the tour, finishing with 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The product of Topeka, Kansas, averaged 11.0 points during the four games.
 
Senior forward Kaylee Page carded double figures for the third straight game with 16 points. Page tied for the team lead for the tour with 11.3 points per game.
 
Freshmen guards Cymone Goodrich and Rachel Ranke chipped in with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Goodrich dished out seven of K-State’s 21 assists on Saturday. Ranke averaged 11.3 points during the tour.
 
For the second straight game against BK Samorin, K-State held a double figure lead after the first quarter, 27-11. Williams registered six points in the opening quarter while senior guard/forward Shaelyn Martin and Willock each added five points.
 
Unlike the game on Thursday, the Wildcats improved their play in the second quarter and outscored BK Samorin in the frame, 36-13. Willock was outstanding in the quarter with 10 points.
 
Kansas State kept BK Samorin at arm’s length in the third quarter, as Williams scored 14 of K-State’s 22 points in the stanza. The Wildcats held an 85-47 lead after three quarters.
 
“We came back knowing we had to finish this tour strong,” said Williams. “We took the last game and knew we couldn’t play like we did in the third quarter of that game. We wanted to come back and play strong and fight through.”
 
Kansas State’s defense finished off the tour strong, holding BK Samorin to just nine points and three made field goals in the final quarter.
 
Overall, Mittie was encouraged by what he saw during the four-game trip to Europe including the off the court benefits for his young team.
 
“Everybody had bright spots on this trip. We had enough adversity that I think it was a purposeful trip," Mittie said. "The education you get on a trip like this is invaluable. We’ll be in five countries in the 11 days. We are in Slovakia right now. We’ll travel back to Austria tonight. Tomorrow morning, we’ll fly into Amsterdam. We’ll only be in the airport but we’re still getting that culture. The history over here is so unique. On the way over to the gym today, our guide told us about how Communism fell in the country in the late 80s but really didn’t take hold until the early 90s and just having our players hear that as we crossed the border from Austria into Slovakia was unique and educational. There are so many things that are off the court lessons to our team. On the court, certainly for a young team, having to fight through just different things whether it be fatigue or a stretch of not playing well all of those things are things we can carry over from this month.”
 
For the 2017-18 season, K-State returns six letter winners from the 2016-17 squad that reached the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament and secured 23 wins. Overall, K-State returns 72 percent of its assists, 56 percent of its rebounding and 52 percent of its scoring.

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