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Late layup by Jaelyn Glenn lifts No. 7 Kansas State past UCF

Jaelyn Glenn
Posted at 8:45 PM, Feb 17, 2024

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Jaelyn Glenn's layup with 2 seconds left lifted No. 7 Kansas State to a 60-58 victory over UCF Saturday afternoon. Glenn caught a three-quarter court pass from Serena Sundell after the Knights had tied it.

“We’re finding ways to win,” a less-than-pleased Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said after the game. “I think that’s really important for this team. I think it’s important that we understand that that’s not easy to do. And finding a way is pretty good. (But) there’s a lot we can do better.

"That’s a heck of a play by Zy (Zyanna Walker, who threw a quick inbounds pass) to Serena to Jae (Glenn) with no timeouts to get that done. That’s a heads up play at a really good time.”

Gabby Gregory led Kansas State (22-4, 11-3 Big 12) with 19 points. Eliza Maupin had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sundell and Zyanna Walker had 10 points each.

UCF (12-12, 3-11 Big 12) was led by Kaitlin Peterson with 26 points. Mya Burns added 10 points.

After giving up two quick buckets and the lead to start the second half, K-State went on a 12-2 run to take its largest advantage of the game at 39-30. The Wildcats led 46-36 at the end of the third quarter.

“We (aren’t) playing very well,” Mittie said. "I think we’ve got a little mental fatigue as a group right now. Our focus is not where it needs to be for very long."

K-State struggled to put away UCF, partly because they shot just 3-of-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Peterson cut the deficit to 56-54 with a pair of free throws with 46 seconds left.

Sundell stretched it to 58-54 with a layup with 28.3 seconds left. Peterson's layup with 20.9 left trimmed it to 58-56. Burns then tied it with 6 seconds left before Glenn's game-winner.

“I told my team, we played for 39 minutes, and 54 seconds, and I’m proud of them for that fight on the road,” UCF head coach Sytia Messer said. “But we have to finish the deal. When you’re taking a program and elevating to the Big 12, it’s going to take a little bit more.

"These losses are tough. But I keep telling my players we’re one possession away from winning more games.”

The Knights scored the first seven points of the game, prompting K-State to use its first timeout with 7:18 left in the first quarter. The Knights shot 53.3% (8-of-15) from the field in the first quarter while holding K-State to just 3-of-13 (23.1%), and they led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.

“We weren’t really hitting our 3-pointers, and Coach Mittie just told us we needed to attack the basket,” Gregory said. “We had stretches of time where that’s all we were doing. We were trying to attack the basket, and not shoot 3s. I think we did a really good job just listening to the gameplan and listening to what he told us. It kind of got us going and that carried over onto the defensive side.”

K-State returned the favor in the second quarter, scoring the first 8 points to tie the game at 18-18. The Wildcats took their first lead at 22-21 on a short jumper by Sundell with 3:13 left in the half. The Wildcats led 27-24 at halftime, despite shooting 0-of-11 from 3-point range.

Maupin led all scorers with 12 points. UCF was led by Laila Jewett and Peterson with 6 points each.

THE TAKEAWAY:

UCF: The Knights could have used more support for Peterson. They stayed in the game late with Peterson as the only dependable offensive player.

Kansas State: The Wildcats need a healthy Ayoka Lee, who missed Saturday's game with a right-ankle injury. Lee missed six games with an injury to her left ankle before playing Wednesday against Iowa State. She injured her right ankle in the second quarter against the Cyclones, but finished the game scoring 20 points in a double-OT loss. She is listed as day-to-day.

UP NEXT:

UCF: The Knights continue their road trip with a game at Oklahoma State Wednesday night.

Kansas State: The Wildcats will host West Virginia Wednesday night.