KANSAS CITY, Mo. - First Team All-Big 12 performer Brittany Chambers scored a game-high 20 points while fellow all-conference pick Jalana Childs added 14 as fourth-seeded Kansas State defeated fifth-seeded Iowa State, 56-53, Wednesday in quarterfinal action of the Phillips 66 Women's Basketball Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
With the win, K-State improved to 21-9 on the season and advanced to face top-seeded Baylor (29-2) Friday in the semifinals of the conference championship. That game is scheduled for 12 p.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Net. The victory also gave Wildcat head coach Deb Patterson, the winningest coach in school history, her 300th career win as head coach.
Clinging to a 52-47 lead with just over three minutes remaining, both teams forced turnovers on the defensive side of the ball before Taelor Karr converted a layup in transition to extend the Cats' lead to 54-47 with 1:47 left.
Iowa State's Kelsey Bolte then hit consecutive jumpers to make it a one-possession game at 54-51 before Childs answered with a running layup with 28 seconds left to up the margin back to five. Following an Iowa State bucket, the Wildcats held on for the win as two Iowa State three-point attempts in the closing seconds came up short.
"Today was another classic, gritty, possession-by-possession Big 12 basketball game," said Patterson, who is now 300-172 as head coach. "I know we beat a great team and a great program and I cannot say enough about the toughness and special play we got from Brittany and Jalana. It was not a pretty game on the offensive end in the second half, but I thought our defense made the difference in the contest."
Chambers and Childs led the way for the Cats in scoring, while Karr and Branshea Brown each added seven and Mariah White had six. K-State, which shot 48 percent for the game, dominated inside as the Wildcats outscored the Cyclones, 38-16, in the paint.
K-State opened a 38-29 lead early in the second half as Chambers scored the first six points of the half for the Wildcats and White made a driving layup. But the Cyclones stormed back to cut the Wildcat lead to 40-36 until another Chambers three extended the margin back to seven at 43-36 with 11:38 left.
A steal from Chantay Caron followed by a jumper in transition by Karr and a driving layup from Chambers gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game at 13, 49-36, at the 7:34 mark. But, Iowa State made a late run as two straight long-range three's cut the K-State lead to seven at 49-42 with 5:24 left. Following a Karr three-pointer, the Cyclones then cut the lead to five at 52-47 following five straight points.
Hallie Christofferson led Iowa State with 18 points, while Bolte added 10.
The Wildcats grabbed an early 7-2 lead in the game after layups by Brown and White and a Chambers three. After K-State went ahead 11-6, Iowa State cut the lead to two with a three-pointer but Chambers followed with a layup in transition to up the lead back to four with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Brown and Childs scored five straight in the paint for the Cats before a three-point play by the Cyclones made it 18-14 with 8:17 left. K-State held a 22-19 lead before the Cyclones tied up the game at 22 with a three-point play of their own. Childs then stepped up for K-State and scored six of the final eight points in the half as the Cats took a 30-25 lead at the break.
Childs led the way with 10 first-half points while Chambers poured in nine as K-State shot 44 percent in the first 20 minutes. Neither team shot efficiently from three-point range in the first half, but the Wildcats took care of the ball with seven assists and just one turnover while forcing the Cyclones into eight first-half miscues.