MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Texas star Imani Boyette was held in check. It was her backup who caused all sorts of problems for Kansas State.
Kelsey Lang scored 10 points off the bench as Boyette sat out with early foul trouble, and No. 6 Texas pulled away late from the Wildcats to win 66-51 on Saturday night.
“In bringing in Lang, there’s not much of a drop-off at all,” Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said. “Lang is one of the most talented centers in the league, and just because she happens to come off the bench for this team, well, that’s a player that’s started a lot of games in her career at Texas.”
Brooke McCarty led the Longhorns (20-1, 9-1 Big 12) with 15 points and went 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
“It was a weird game for us,” coach Karen Aston said. “Obviously, Imani getting in foul trouble was different for us because she hasn’t all year. But I was extremely pleased with our bench play. I thought Kelsey came in and really asserted herself in the first half.”
Lang had eight points in the second quarter and finished with six rebounds. Boyette sat out all but 3 minutes of the first half and didn’t score until the 8-minute mark of the third quarter. Still, she managed eight points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes.
Kansas State’s counter inside, Breanna Lewis, had 12 points and four rebounds but fouled out with more than 5 minutes to play. Jessica Sheble added 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
“Obviously, Texas is 20-1 for a reason,” Mittie said. “You’re not going to back in to a victory against Texas. You’ve got to go make some plays, and I’m disappointed that we didn’t.”
Boyette finally got on the board in the third quarter, scoring her first points on a jumper with 7:58 left. She later added a pair of free throws and a tough hook shot as Texas forced five more turnovers by Kansas State (14-6, 4-5).
The Longhorns stretched a 12-point, third-quarter lead to 20 early in the fourth on Lang’s layup, one of five field goals to open the final period. Eleven of Kansas State’s 21 fourth-quarter points came from the foul line.
Texas outscored Kansas State 17-6 in the second quarter after falling behind by as many as seven points in the first. Boyette spent 17 minutes on the bench in the first half after picking up two early fouls.
The Longhorns forced 11 of Kansas State’s 18 total turnovers in the first 20 minutes to take a double-digit lead, but not without some push back from the Wildcats. Sheble closed the second quarter with consecutive layups to cut the deficit to 29-21 at halftime.
“It’s not even February yet and we just won our 20th game,” Aston said. “I am pleased with how our team is preparing themselves. I knew they would come out to play.”
Kansas State honored former players Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker at halftime. The duo was inducted into the program’s 2016 Hall of Fame class. Both players’ jerseys hang from the rafters at Bramlage Coliseum.
Texas: The Longhorns have tied for the third-fastest team in school history to reach 20 wins. … Boyette has failed to produce a double-double in only two of 10 conference games.
Kansas State: Including Saturday’s game, the Wildcats will play five of six against opponents ranked in the Top 25. … The loss snapped a four-game winning streak.
Texas: At Iowa State on Saturday.
Kansas State: At No. 4 Baylor on Wednesday.