Another game, another 20+ points for Brittany Chambers as the Wildcats defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday to advance to the WNIT semifinals on Saturday. However, Chambers scored a postseason low of 21 this season as Kansas State exhibited a more balanced effort in overcoming Illinois by a wide margin, 68-48.
Facing some of its stiffest competition in the WNIT, Kansas State played possibly its best game of the postseason, including the Big 12 tournament. The Wildcats forced 18 turnovers and held Illinois to under 50 points – the first team to do so all season. Leading the way with steals was Mariah White, who recorded four.
On the offensive end, Chambers was once again the focal point with 21 points on eight of 15 shooting. Continuing a trend, she was also unstoppable from behind the arc where she acquired most of her points, knocking down five of 11 threes. Chambers also accumulated three rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Pacing Chambers for much of the postseason has been fellow guard Haley Texada, who knocked down seven shots for 16 points in the game. However, forward Chantay Caron had the career game that really propelled the Wildcat blow out. Since losing five players to season-ending injuries this year, K-State has been playing a small line up and relying on Caron as the only non-guard in the starting five.
The responsibility threatens to take a toll as she is responsible for guarding true centers like Baylor Brittney Griner and isn’t afforded the substitution options of teams playing with a full roster. However, Caron busted out for a career-high 19 points and six rebounds against Illinois. The Wildcats will need a similar continued effort as they continue their march toward a WNIT championship. They have already secured a winning record this year (currently 19-17), and will take on Utah Wednesday evening at Bramlage Coliseum.