The Kansas State Wildcats came into Saturday's match against Colorado with two 20-point losses on their mind. And it was K-State junior guard Twiggy McIntyre's 3-point basket eight seconds into the game set the tone early.
"I think our team came out of the shoot very, very focused on being aggressive and we made that a priority," Coach Deb Patterson said. "I think they were tired of playing passive."
Two days of "brutal" practices and the comforts of home made all the difference in the world for K-State in their 85-66 victory over the Buffs in Bramlage Coliseum. (The end of 31-game losing streak in Lawrence was just an added bonus…)
The Wildcats (12-3, 2-2) went on a first half tear with a 19-0 run over seven minutes, and were able to turn 14 Colorado turnovers into 21 points.
Kansas State's backcourt duo of McIntyre and freshman guard Shalee Lehning did a little bit of everything.
In her second career Big 12 start, McIntyre went a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown in the first half and finished with a game-high 22 points. Lehning recorded a career-high five steals to go along with 10 assists, eight rebounds, six points and just two turnovers.
"When you get those two in the backcourt playing at the level that they did, we've got a chance" Patterson said.
"I think those two carried the load and brought us everything we could've asked for."
K-State set a new season-high in field-goal percentage in a half at 69-percent and went into the locker room with a 56-27 lead.
Colorado (6-10, 1-3) continued to struggle in the second half turning the ball over on their first possession. They finished with 25 turnovers.
The Buff's leading scorers, Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic who were averaging 18 points a game, were held to 11 and 14 points respectively
"Teams don't fold after losing games in this league," Patterson said. "And I think when you get an opportunity at home it gives you a little added punch."