<
>
9-3, 0-1 Conf
69
Final/OT
12OTT
TA&M3427869
KSU25361071
71

Mariah White's OT layup for K-State silences A&M

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Mariah White offered a quick prayer when she tossed up a runner with the game tied in the waning seconds of overtime.

The Kansas State guard fought through traffic and banked the ball in with 1.6 seconds left in the extra period to lift the Wildcats over No. 8 Texas A&M 71-69 on Wednesday night.

"I just dribbled around," said White, who finished with 12 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block. "Nobody was open so I had no one to throw it to. I just said, `Dear Lord, help me with this shot.' I just threw up the shot, and it went in."

Brittany Chambers scored 21 points, Tasha Dickey had 17 and Jalana Childs added 16 for the Wildcats (10-3, 1-0 Big 12).

"I'm extremely proud of our basketball team," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. "I think we lined up against one of America's finest programs tonight and fought extremely hard from the tip to the finish."

Tyra White scored 17 points and Sydney Carter added 16 for the Aggies (9-3, 0-1). Kelsey Bone chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds.

"You have to give Mariah White a lot of credit and not just for the last shot," Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair said. "She is a driver. When everything was taken away, she puts the ball on the floor and we allowed her to get side-by-side and the kid just made a play."

Kansas State, which trailed 34-25 at the half, shot a season-best 54 percent (27 of 50) from the field, while Texas A&M hit 42 percent (28 for 67).

The Wildcats surged after the break and shot 60 percent in the second half, which included a 14-4 run that brought KSU out of 39-29 hole 3 minutes into the half.

Free throws proved costly for the Aggies, who went 10 for 19 from the stripe -- including 4 for 11 in the second half.

The Wildcats weren't much better at 13 for 21 from the free throw line, but most of their makes came down the stretch and in overtime.

Patterson credited White's growth in her junior season.

"She makes that huge shot, but leads the night with 11 assists," Patterson said. "It's amazing. Last year she was a sophomore who hadn't played much at all and was still learning. This year she is just light years ahead."

The Wildcats held a 47-46 lead with 10:33 to go after White hit a layup, but both defenses stepped up the pressure and there were only six combined points scored until 4:10 remained.

Both teams traded baskets in overtime and the game was tied 63-all with 2:03 left after Bone scored in the paint.

K-State turned the ball over after a timeout but received a break when the Aggies turned it over on the other end. Still, KSU couldn't find the basket and with 49 seconds left, Texas A&M's Adaora Elonu got a steal.

The Wildcats responded, though, and a loose ball ended up a steal for KSU's Ashia Woods. With Woods on the ground trying to secure the ball, K-State took a timeout with 24 seconds to go.

After the pause, White found an open lane in the paint and touched it off the glass for the winning score.

"The balance is what propelled us to the victory tonight," Patterson said. "I thought we were terrific in sharing the ball. We had people who stepped up and who wanted the responsibility to make and finish plays."