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Patterson Wants to See Wildcats Compete in Semis

By Mark Janssen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Will the little Brittany with an "any" win, or will the big Brittney with a "ney" prevail?

Tune in to today's game at noon in the semi-final round of the Big 12 Championship in Municipal Auditorium where Kansas State (21-9), starring Brittany Chambers, takes on No. 3-ranked Baylor (29-2), with Brittney Griner as the headliner.

From the first meeting of the season when Baylor smacked K-State 75-48 on Feb. 23, in Waco Texas, Kansas State hopes that the lesson has been learned heading into this afternoon's tall, tall challenge.

It was in that game that the 6-foot-8 Griner scored 21 of her 26 points in the first half when the Lady Bears raced to an 18-point half time lead, and then zapped the Wildcats with a 15-3 surge to begin the second half.

Game over.

"They're a tough team. Everyone knows that," said K-State junior Jalana Childs, who scored 22 against BU. "We want to come out strong and hard and not relent."

Chambers, who scored 15 points on five treys, added, "The first time we didn't come out with any fight. Against a team like Baylor you have to give it your all. We can't back down to them."

Griner earned Big 12 Conference Player of the Year honors in her sophomore season by averaging 22.5 points on 54 percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots per game.

"You have to show maximum attention to her because she's such a potential offensive force," said K-State coach Deb Patterson. "We'll have to vary looks and try to limit her touches offensively and hope for good things."

But Baylor's team is more than Griner.

Kim Mulkey was the league's Coach of the Year, Destiny Williams the Newcomer of the Year, Odyssey Sims the Freshman of the Year, and Griner the Defensive Player of the Year, and Griner, Melissa Jones and Sims were all first-team All-Big 12.

Going into the game, Patterson said, "We'll look at this relative to how we measure ourselves the last time we competed against Baylor, or played Baylor. I didn't feel we competed at all the first time. We were there, but I don't think we competed.

"We know they're a great team, a great program and with great players, but that's what Big 12 basketball is all about," said Patterson. "It's about the fight and the competitiveness that we work to bring to the floor, then the game will take care of itself."

TAKING ON THE BEST: The Wildcats are 2-5 this year against Top 25 teams. The wins have been over No. 14 St. John's and No. 5 Texas A&M. The losses were to No. 18 Iowa, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 22 Iowa State, No. 3 Baylor and No. 25 Iowa State.

CHAMBERS REPORT: Brittany Chambers enters the game with 876 career points, which ranks fourth in K-State players through their freshman and sophomore season. Next in line is Laurie Koehn at 917 points.

Chambers has 488 points for her sophomore season, which ranks fifth in K-State history only behind Tammie Romstad (686), Kendra Wecker (646) and Nicole Ohlde (610) in their respective sophomore seasons.

Chambers has 148 3-pointers through her two seasons, which ranks ninth in school history. Next in line are Kari Kincaid, who netted 152 treys during a four-year career, and Wecker with 153 in a four-year career.

On shooting the 3-ball, Chambers said, "Coach has given me the green light, so I take open shots, but my teammates do an unbelievable job of screening."

On her teammate, Jalana Childs said, "Brittany's definitely our most productive player. It's been awesome to see her development. She's scoring well, but also distributing the ball well. Her 83 3's are awesome. I want to be like her one day."

SEMI-FINAL HISTORY: It's the first time since 2005, and only the sixth time in the 15-year history of the Big 12 Conference that the Wildcats have made it to the semi-final round of the Big 12 Championship.

Of the previous five appearances, K-State is 2-3 making it to the championship game in 2005 when it lost to Baylor, 68-55, and 1997 when it lost to Colorado, 54-44.

SATURDAY: The Big 12 Championship championship game will take place Saturday morning at 11 at Municipal Auditorium. The K-State vs. Baylor winner will face the Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma winner.


We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com. For those who would like to share Sports Extra with a friend or family member, or change your current email address, click here.