3:00 PM ET, January 14, 2012
United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kansas State coach Deb Patterson knew she was stretching her starters but the decision to stay with them paid off.All but one starter played 38 minutes or more, and the Wildcats beat Texas Tech (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) 62-61 on Saturday"I was about ready to knock myself out because I felt like I was pushing these guys really beyond their limit in a game like this, with the emotion, the stress, the athleticism of Tech," she said. "But I just felt like we had to play it out."Jalana Childs, who scored 23 points to lead Kansas State, said she felt all 38 of her minutes."I was pretty tired," said the senior who tied her career high against the Lady Raiders. "So every time there was a foul shot, even though it was on their end, I was taking that rest on my knees, trying to take a breath."Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry pointed to missed opportunities."Free throws, mental toughness," she said. "Division I basketball players need to be able to make a free throw. We've worked and we've worked on them, and we'll continue to work on them, and we've just got to step up there and have enough toughness to make them."Texas Tech made 9 of 17 free throws, while Kansas State shot 9 for 12.Childs scored seven of the Wildcats' last nine points to erase Texas Tech's 58-53 lead. She hit two free throws with 1:43 to put Kansas State (13-3, 4-0) up for the first time since 43-40 earlier in the half.Patterson said as Texas Tech fought back from its 10-point deficit at half her players were missing something."I felt as though we were not necessarily answering well with our mind or with our bodies at that point in time," Patterson said. "We wanted things a little easier, and against a quick, aggressive defense like Tech was bringing -- extending the floor -- you know, I'm not going to say we made a lot of great decisions."The Lady Raiders had a chance with 6.6 seconds left after a jump ball. But Monique Smalls missed a short jumper as time expired.Kierra Mallard scored 18 points and Christine Hyde and Morris scored 10 each. The win gave the Wildcats their first 4-0 start since winning the regular season Big 12 title in 2007-08.For much of the game Kansas State ran the shot clock down to fewer than 10 seconds, reducing the Lady Raiders' possessions and forcing them to play defense.The Lady Raiders opened the second half on 16-6 run, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Casey Morris to tie it at 43, to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit -- their largest this season.They went ahead for the first time since early in the game on a shot by Mallard and steadily pulled ahead, getting their largest lead at 58-53.The Wildcats lost Tasha Dickey, who finished with 17 points, when she fouled out with Texas Tech leading 58-55. Branshea Brown made a key bucket to pull Kansas State within 61-60. Childs then hit two free throws.