MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)Ayoka Lee continued to show why she is one of the best post players in the country scoring 32 points with 10 rebounds and Kansas State upset No. 10 Baylor 68-59 on Sunday.
It’s the first time the Wildcats have beaten the Lady Bears in 36 tries dating back to 2004. Kansas State beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2012.
”I think it’s a big one,” Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said. ”Baylor has had such a hold on the league that you can do that stat with a lot. It’s kind of been the way. They’ve dominated the league, right. So this is a huge win against a program that has dominated this league over the last decade.”
Kansas State (11-2, 1-0 Big 12) led by 14 in the fourth quarter, but the Bears cut the lead to four in the final minute. The Wildcats held off the Bears making five free throws down the stretch.
The Wildcats controlled the game leading for over 38 minutes and held Baylor at bay the entire game.
Lee scored 28 second half points and Serena Sundell had 10. It’s the second most points by a player in a half since Brittany Chambers had 29 in 2013.
The Bears were held to just 56 points, a season low and their least amount in a game since 2020.
”I’d like to think we had something to do with them not shooting the ball well,” Mittie said. ”I don’t know what the number says but my eyes tell me that we were able to do that pretty successfully and that’s what we wanted to do.
Baylor (10-3, 0-1) played with just seven players due to health and safety protocols. The Bears were led in scoring by Ja’Mee Asberry and Jordan Lewis who scored 14 each and NaLyssa Smith had 12.
”I think we were open early and didn’t make shots. I felt like we were just one run away and we couldn’t get there,” Baylor coach Nicki Collen said said ”Our turnovers hurt us more than anything.”
Baylor shot 21-for-54 from the field as the Wildcats went 23-for-45.
”I think it’s about are you ready to play,” Collen said. ”To me, it wasn’t that we didn’t get good shots, we just didn’t put them in the basket.”
Baylor: They aren’t the same powerhouse they were under Kim Mulkey. The Bears already have three losses this season and are starting 0-1 in the Big 12.
Kansas State: This is one of biggest wins in program history for the Wildcats. If Lee stays out of foul trouble, this team can compete with just about anybody in the country.
Baylor hosts TCU on Wednesday and Kansas State goes to Oklahoma State the same day.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25