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Wildcats Make Final Defensive Stop Against Cyclones

By Mark Janssen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With 10 minutes of basketball left to play and her team mounting a double-figure lead, Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said, "I knew it would somehow come down to the last possession."

And, she was right. It took a full 40 minutes of hoop play for Kansas State to defeat Iowa State 56-53 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship on Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

Thanks to a 9-0 spurt midway through the second half, K-State led by 13 at 49-36 with 7:34 to play.

That's when the Cyclones slashed the difference to five, 52-47, with 3:58 remaining, and finally down to three, 54-51, with 57 seconds remaining, and again at the 18-second-mark, 56-53.

After a K-State turnover, ISU's Chassidy Cole fired from three, but missed, and then all-Big 12 talent Kelsey Bolte's trey prayer attempt with four seconds left went unanswered.

While not guarding Bolte the entire game, it was 6-2 junior Jalana Childs who stepped out to supply the final shot defense.

"I heard their bench calling foul, but I didn't foul. My hands were straight up," said Childs, who was playing with a hip flexor suffered last week against Texas A&M. "I hobbled out there, but I got to her. Thank God she didn't make it."

On the final shot, Patterson said, "It was such a scramble play. From our angle, when I saw Bolte break open it seemed like she was open for 10 seconds. Somebody had to guard Kelsey, and Jalana just did a tremendous job of identifying out of the scramble, which is not easy to do. When I saw Jalana, honestly, I felt relieved because of her length."

K-State managed to hit just 3-of-17 from 3-point range, but did find a way to shoot 48 percent from the floor with Brittany Chambers netting 20 and Childs 14.

Patterson declined to call it a "pretty game," but did say, "I can't say enough positive things about the performance, and the toughness, and the number of step-up plays, in particular, that we got from Brittany and Jalana."

And, Patterson said, "I thought our defense was really difference making in this game."

The 53 points Iowa State scored was 13 below its season norm for the year.

The K-State victory came after a pair of regular season losses to the Cyclones by margins of eight and seven points.

"Those games didn't settle well with us," said Childs. "We definitely wanted to come out with a different mentality. That was to fight hard from start to finish."

And that's exactly what it took ... for 40 minutes.

NO. 300 FOR PATTERSON: The game was the 300th victory for 15-year K-State coach Deb Patterson.

To that, she said, "It's a great feeling that we won this game. The 300 to me is just a reflection of all the people that have been a part of Kansas State women's basketball ... the staff and teams during the course of those 300 wins. But to me, it's all about today and this victory."

Patterson's 15-year record is 300-173 with 2011 anticipated to be her eighth NCAA Tournament appearance.

STAR OF THE GAME: Brittany Chambers scored 11 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, which included nine of the first 13 K-State scored in the second half. Chambers made an identical 4-of-8 shots in each half, which included 1-of-4 from 3-point range in each period. The Wildcat guard also led the team in rebounds with seven, plus had three assists and a steal.

"We talked at halftime about coming out aggressive. We wanted to attack and not just settle in," said Patterson of Chambers igniting the second-period start. "I thought Brittany gave us a chance to continue that aggressive personality."

Chambers now has 488 points in her sophomore season, which ranks only behind Tammie Romstad (686), Kendra Wecker (646) and Nicole Ohlde (610). Wednesday, Chambers passed Megan Mahoney (473).

PLAYING HURT: K-State's Jalana Childs continues to play through a hip fexor suffered last week in the Texas A&M game. Childs played 33 minutes with 14 points and four boards.

"There was a time that I stretched it too far and I got really sore," said Childs. "I knew I couldn't move as much as I wanted, but I wasn't going to stop. I know you saw the tears ... it was painful, but I wasn't going to stop."

Childs was never better than after an 8-2 Iowa State run knotted the game at 22-all at the 3:39 mark. That's when the 6-2 junior took over the offense with a jump hook, followed by a 15-footer, and another baby hook to fuel a 6-3 Wildcat surge and help the Wildcats to a 30-25 halftime lead.

"Having Jalana every minute that we could on the floor was absolutely critical," said Patterson. "We're just a much more stable basketball team with her on the floor. Her willingness to be on the floor and play through some of that pain was huge."

STAT OF THE GAME: In the entire second half, each side had just two free throw attempts. For the game, ISU was 4-of-5 and K-State 3-of-4.

GAME NOTES:
The win was the first in three tries against ISU in the Big 12 Championships.
K-State dominated in the paint game by out-scoring ISU 36-18.
ISU's bench out-scored the K-State reserves, 24-2.
K-State committed just one turnover in the first half, but did have 10 in the second.

UP NEXT: K-State now faces Big 12 champion Baylor (29-2) in a noon start on Friday in the Big 12 Championship semi-finals. Baylor tore through Kansas in the quarterfinals 86-51 as Destiny Williams (21) and Brittney Griner (19) scored 40 points. During the regular season No. 3 Baylor defeated K-State, 75-48.

The title game will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m.


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.