Brittany Chambers scored a game-high 28 points as Kansas State ran past Illinois State, 57-48, in the second round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament on Monday night in Bramlage Coliseum. Following her 42 points on Thursday night, Chambers has now scored more points in back-to-back games than any player in program history.
Although K-State (17-17) shot a frigid 30 percent on the night, the Wildcats connected on 11 shots from beyond the arc on their way to setting a new Big 12 record for most 3-pointers made in a season with 302. The previous mark was held by Iowa State, who registered 300 makes during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
Haley Texada joined Chambers as the only other Wildcat in double figures as she added 13 points. Despite facing a considerable size advantage, K-State out-rebounded Illinois State, 45-35, led by Chambers and Chantay Caron, who pulled down eight boards apiece.
After back-and-forth action to open the game, K-State was able to take control thanks to a 15-4 scoring run, fueled by Chambers, who scored 12 of the Wildcats’ final 17 points of the first half. For the second straight game, Chambers dominated from the beginning, pouring in 21 points before the half.
Despite shooting 36.1 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, K-State’s defensive pressure held the Illinois State (24-11) to 44 percent from the floor, including 0-for-7 from beyond the arc, as the Wildcats went into halftime with a 36-23 lead.
The two teams traded blows for much of the second half before K-State opened up an 18-point lead with just under 13 minutes to play. Despite the deficit, the Redbirds were able to chip away at the Wildcat lead by holding K-State without a field goal for nearly seven minutes, cutting K-State’s lead to eight points with just under a minute remaining in the contest.
With momentum clearly with Illinois State, Caron sank a 3-pointer with 41 ticks on the clock to slow the Redbirds’ charge and preserve the Wildcat Victory.
With Monday night’s win, Kansas State advances to the Round of 16 of the 2013 WNIT and will face Ball State on Thursday night at 7 p.m., in Bramlage Coliseum.