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K-State WBB Eager to Build Off OT Win vs. Kansas, Prepared for Rare Morning Tipoff at Oklahoma

January 31, 2018
By Corbin McGuire

Kayla Goth used to dread getting up early in the morning. Now, K-State’s junior point guard gets up early even when doesn’t have to be. It’s part maturity and part forced routine, as the Wildcats have practiced in the morning this semester.

Goth and the rest of the Wildcats hope that change will pay dividends on Wednesday, when K-State (12-9, 4-6) plays at Oklahoma (10-11, 5-5) at 10:30 a.m., for the annual Sooner Jr. Fan Field Trip Day. More than 7,000 elementary students are expected from around the state of Oklahoma to watch the game at the Lloyd Noble Center.

“We kind of like to look at it as a little bit of an advantage because we’ve been practicing in the mornings for the spring semester,” Goth said of the morning tipoff. “We’re hoping we take a little bit of an advantage in that and see how it goes.”

“We go at 6 a.m., so getting up this early shouldn’t be too much of a problem for us,” added freshman guard Rachel Ranke. “We’re ready for it and I think getting this win on the road could be pretty big.”

The last time K-State tipped off in the morning, Goth tied her career-high 25 points in the first round of last year’s Big 12 Championship in a win against Iowa State. What she remembers, however, is what K-State head coach Jeff Mittie told her before the game.

“Coach Mittie told me if I didn’t shoot it when I was open, I was going to be in trouble, so I shot it every time I was open,” laughed Goth, averaging 16.5 points a game this season along with 6.7 assists, which rank eighth and first, respectively, in the Big 12. “Hopefully we can get the same thing done (Wednesday) and get a win.”


K-State is coming off its first regular season overtime win since 2015, as the Wildcats topped Kansas on Sunday to extend their winning streak in the Sunflower Showdown to eight games.

“We were able to grind it out and that’s definitely big for us as a team, for team morale to see, ‘Hey, we can actually win games if we don’t play to the best of our abilities,’” Goth said of K-State’s 63-59 win against Kansas. “I think it was good for us to get some experience in overtime.”

Without some clutch shooting from Ranke, the overtime would not have been possible. The native of Burnsville, Minnesota, knocked down two treys in the final minute of regulation, highlighted by a game-tying three with 12 seconds on the clock to send it to overtime.

“It wasn’t my best shooting game, but it was great having Coach Mittie have that confidence in me to take that shot. Obviously it’s pressure, and we had practiced that play before and I had never once made that shot, so I said, ‘OK, this is my time. This is where I need to make it. This is where it counts.’ After I hit it, it just felt like a relief,” Ranke said, as the win also snapped a three-game losing streak for the Wildcats. “Winning at KU was big. We knew that. I think it gave us a lot more confidence. We were struggling a little bit before but we’re ready to get back on top.”

As K-State looks to secure its fourth road win in Big 12 play this season, the Wildcats know beating the Sooners on their court will not be easy. K-State dropped its first battle with Oklahoma, 76-71, about two weeks ago in a game that saw the Sooners’ Gabbi Ortiz and Vionise Pierre-Louis combine for 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting.

“I think we just have to focus on the little things in the scouting report,” Goth said. “We need to execute a little bit better as to what the game plan is. I think we have to go in there with a lot of hustle, a lot of effort, a lot of heart. It’ll definitely be different being a morning game, so trying to stick to the plan will be key.”



We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Corbin McGuire, or K-State Associate AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.


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