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Wildcats So Close to Being Ranked

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State's women's basketball team is trying to break a streak with coach Deb Patterson believing that her ladies are knocking on the door.

Not since the last week of the 2008-09 basketball year has K-State's women's basketball team been ranked among the Top 25 teams in the nation. That's not during any week of last season, and to date, not any week of this 2010-11 campaign.

"I think we're right there," said Patterson of her 7-1 basketball team heading into today's 2 p.m., tipoff against 6-1 UC Davis in Bramlage Coliseum. "If you take those teams ranked No. 23, 24 and 25, I think you could make a case for us being right in that mix."

Within the Cats' record is a 64-53 victory over No. 14 St. John's and a 68-62 loss to No. 18 Iowa. The other wins were expected over Grambling State, Indiana State, Western Illinois, College of Charleston, South Dakota State and North Dakota.

K-State came out of last week receiving enough votes to be ranked No. 27 in the nation. Among the Big 12 teams, that's behind No. 2 Baylor, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 16 Iowa State, No. 21 Texas and No. 26 Nebraska. Iowa State lost earlier this week at Iowa, 62-40.

To be a seventh team among the nation's elite, Patterson says, "We're scratching and clawing to get into that class of teams. We're not an offensive dynamo right now, so I'm not sure if we expected to be at that level now, but seeing how close we are is unbelievably exciting."

That's to the coach, and the players, as well, with only seniors Kelsey Hill and Shalin Spani, plus juniors Branshea Brown, Jalana Childs and Alina Voronenko having ever played on a ranked KSU team.

"Kansas State historically is a Top 25 team, so to get back to that point has always been our goal," said Hill. 

Spani added, "That (getting among the Top 25) is so important and what we worked our tails off for this summer after not making it to the postseason. I'm not the type of person who is always looking at what's the latest and greatest thing in the world, so I don't pay a lot of attention to the polls, but sure ... it's in the back of our minds."

For a sophomore like Taelor Karr, "I don't know if it's the most important thing in the world, but it would be awesome and it's where we want to be. For now, we just need to keep growing as a team."
 
LEADING THE 'CATS: Brittany Chambers is KSU's leading scorer at 16.1 points per game followed by Jalana Childs and Taelor Karr at 11.6 and 11.0, respectively. Branshea Brown leads in rebounding at 6.8 followed by Mariah White at 5.3 and Chambers at 5.0.

LEFT TO PLAY IN 2010: K-State's women's team will travel to Texas-San Antonio on Dec. 20-21 to play the host team and Middle Tennessee State in a Christmas Classic, and then play Dartmouth and Vermont on Dec. 29-30 in the Big Sky Classic in Hanover, N.H.