Cats Fall in OT to Defending National Champs

The Lady Cats took Baylor down to the wire and gave them all they could handle- before coming up a bit short in Dallas 79-74.

Kansas State scored the final seven points of regulation, including a contested three-pointer by Kimberly Dietz that tied the game, but No. 10-ranked Baylor proved to be too much in overtime as the Lady Bears held off the Wildcats, 79-74, Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship at Reunion Arena.

Dietz finished with 19 points to lead Kansas State (19-10). The Wildcats also got 18 from Claire Coggins, who missed the final 4:39 of the game and most of the overtime, after being shaken up in a loose-ball scramble. Jessica McFarland added 14 points, with four coming in the extra session.

All-American Sophia Young, who overtook Kendra Wecker as the Big 12's all-time leading scorer in the game, finished with a game-high 35 points, including six in a row during overtime to put Baylor (23-5) up 78-71 with just under a minute to go in the game.

Another three-pointer by Dietz was all the Wildcats could manage down the stretch as K-State could get no closer than four during the balance of the overtime. But late in regulation, it appeared that the Wildcats wouldn't even get that far.

Leading 61-58, Baylor used a 5-1 run, including four points by Young, to build a 66-59 lead with 1:34 showing on the clock.

Marlies Gipson, who scored 11 points before fouling out in overtime, broke the ice with a jumper from the right wing, then nailed a pair of free throws before Dietz sent the game into extra time with her last-second trey from the top of the key.

It was the fourth overtime loss of the season for the Wildcats, and just the second overtime game in the history of the Big 12 Women's Championship. Ironically, that first OT game also featured K-State and Baylor.

Kansas State got off to a hot start and led by as many as seven points in the early going as the Wildcats got four points from Jessica McFarland and a three-pointer by Coggins to take a 19-12 lead with 13:40 to play in the first half.

Baylor, though, was quick to respond. The Bears used an attacking defense to fuel its offense during a 16-3 run to go on top, 28-22.

Gipson stuck a three-pointer from the corner to break a nearly five-minute drought for K-State and make it 28-25. But, the Wildcats were unable to regain the lead before the half as Baylor took a 39-35 edge into the lockerroom.

Kansas State will learn its postseason fate on Monday, March 13, when the berths for both the NCAA and WNIT Tournaments are announced. ESPN will present the exclusive, live announcement of the women's 64-team field on the NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Special at 6 p.m. (CT).

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