ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands – (25/rv) K-State converted a three-point halftime lead into a 38-point victory, 76-38, over Clemson with a dominant third quarter on Thursday night in the Paradise Jam Reef Division.
K-State (6-0) won six consecutive games to start a season for the first time since the 2016-17 season, when the Wildcats started the season with nine consecutive wins. This is the third time in the Jeff Mittie era in which the Wildcats have started a season with six consecutive wins (2014-15 and 2016-17).
The Wildcats saw four players hit double digits for the second straight game as senior Gabby Gregory scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Sophomore Jaelyn Glenn put up 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-6 from long range.
Sophomore Brylee Glenn recorded 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, while senior Emily Ebert Added 11 points from the bench.
HOW IT HAPPENED
– K-State led 32-29 at halftime, after a first half with four draws and three substitutions. The Wildcats used an 11-3 run to permanently wrestle the lead away from Clemson (3-2) in the second quarter.
– After the Tigers answered a layup from Jaelyn Glenn to start the third quarter with a jump shot with 9:19 left, K-State would make a game-deciding 23-0 run from the nine minutes to 52 seconds left in the game third frame.
– The run started with a three-pointer from Gregory with 8:54 to play in the third. Jaelyn Glenn followed with a pair of three-pointers, one on each side of a Clemson timeout.
— Sophomore Serena Sundell converted a three-point play with 5:48 to play to extend the K-State lead to 46-31.
– Two layups from Brylee Glenn, one on each side of another Clemson timeout with 4:17 left to play, pushed the Wildcat advantage to 22 points, 53-31.
— Ebert ended the quarter with two free throws and a three-pointer before the end of the quarter to send the Wildcats to a 30-4 aggregate in the third quarter and a 62-33 lead at the end of the stanza.
– In the second half, K-State Clemson closed defensively, leading the Tigers to shoot 2-of-18 (.111) and just nine total points in the half. The nine points in the second half were the fewest allowed in the half of this season and the fewest since six first-half points allowed to Oklahoma State on February 20, 2022.
– This is K-State’s third appearance at the Paradise Jam (2001 and 2016). The Wildcats have a 6-1 record in games played at the Paradise Jam, including a current five-game winning streak dating back to the last game of the event in 2001.
– The Wildcats have a 120-63 record in regular season tournaments, including a 10-6 record in the Jeff Mittie era.
– K-State leads the series with Clemson, 3-1.
– The Wildcats are 8-11 all-time against current members of the ACC.
– The five starting Thursday were Jaelyn Glenn, Serena Sundell, Brylee Glenn, Gabby Gregory and Taylor Lauterbach. This season, this was the second time that this group started a game together.
– K-State opened the season with six consecutive games of 70 or more points for the first time in the program’s history.
– Before the game, K-State shot 43.5 percent (27-of-62) from the field. The Wildcats have made 24 or more field goals in all six games this season.
– K-State was 12-of-28 (.429) from 3-point range. This marked the fourth time this season that the Wildcats had made 10 or more 3-point field goals in a game. The four games with 10 or more 3-point field goals equal the 2021-22 season total.
– With the 30 points scored in the third quarter on Thursday, the Wildcats have scored 30 or more points in a quarter three times this season.
– Gabby Gregory recorded her 47th career game in double digits and her sixth at K-State. This was Gregory’s 12th career game with 20 or more points and her fourth with K-State.
— Gregory tied her career high for a second straight game with six 3-point field goals on Thursday, her 33rd career game with two or more deep connections and her eighth career game with four or more 3-pointers made. This was her second game in a row with six connections from 3-point range, as she shoots 12-of-25 (.480) from long range in the last two games.
– Sophomore Jaelyn Glenn hit double digits for the fifth time this season and 12th time in her career. Glenn made two or more 3-point field goals in a game for the 15th time in her career. She pocketed or stole two in a game for the 16th time in her career.
– Sophomore Brylee Glenn hit double digits for the first time this season and 13th time in her career. Glenn made two or more three-point field goals in a game for the eighth time in her career.
– Senior Emily Ebert scored her first game in double digits this season and the 12th of her career. Ebert attempted six free throws on the season. This season, Ebert is 13 of 13 from the charity streak.
FROM THE HEAD COACH
K State head coach Jeff Mittie
On the run of the third quarter and what the half-time talk entailed…
“We felt like we were too extended defensively and so we got too many fouls. They split us up with the dribble. We obviously bounced the ball back really well in that third quarter part. They were kind of one and ready. The other emphasis was on breaking any kind of pressure. We wanted to do it with the pass, not the dribble and we spent too much time dribbling in that part where we weren’t very good. So I think that we have a better rhythm in terms of moving the ball with the pass And you know, our players play very well together they have to be able to trust that they will help each other and I think they are starting to get better at that .”
About everyone involved in scoring the third quarter…
“There were a few times when I didn’t feel like they played very well with the open player. I didn’t feel like they were tied together. I’ll use the Kansas City Chiefs in our area as an example. The way they it spread to their wide receivers. It’s nice to see and I’d say the same with us. While Gabby (Gregory) had the hot hand. Jay (Jaelyn Glenn) had a hot hand. I thought Brylee (Glenn) made the good reads all night. Serena, I thought, had really found the open player. Serena said to me at one point, “We don’t need to call plays” because I had to call a pair. She lobbed Eliza We got this seen parts of this team this season where they play really well together when they get stuck and get going.
On the defensive performance in the second half…
“We didn’t zone much this year. We felt like we had to do two things better. When we were man-to-man we had to guard the ball better. When we’re in zone we need to get people off the free-throw line Now we didn’t keep them off the free-throw line very successfully tonight. But I felt that when the zone was tighter and not too long, I felt our height played a part by missing some shots.”
In preparation for three games in three days…
“We referenced it last week when we went through it that this was good preparation for the Virgin Islands and we even referenced playing late and so you hope one of those things that you benched as a player get your body ready for the next day you realize how you got your rest how you hydrate all those things are mentally important keep it simple we’ll get some rest tonight and really deal with those things in the morning we’ll get it to the work. This is the fun, why you do these tournaments. It’s fun in the prep. You get a lot of coffee and you go to work and tell the players to get a lot of rest and I think our group had that opportunity last week to practice what we hope they use wisely.”
K-State continues the action in the Paradise Jam’s Reef Division on Thursday afternoon as the Wildcats take on Northern Arizona at 4:45 p.m. (CT). Friday’s game will air on ESPN3 and can be heard on the K-State Sports Network.