K-State's Wesley Iwundu lays up a shot against Oklahoma's Ryan Spangler at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas on January 14, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
January 18, 2013
By Kelly McHugh
Bramlage Coliseum will see its share of action today as both the men's and women's basketball teams are set to continue Big 12 play at their home court.
The men's basketball team will tip off against West Virginia at 12:30 p.m., while the women's team is slated for a 7 p.m. tipoff against Iowa State.
MEN'S TEAM LOOKS TO STAY CONSISTENT
Coming off of an exciting 72-66 win over then No. 25 Oklahoma on Tuesday evening, the Wildcats will be back in action hosting the West Virginia Mountaineers this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (10-7, 2-2 Big 12) travel to Manhattan, Kan., off of back-to-back home losses - a 73-72 loss to Oklahoma State followed by an 80-69 loss to Texas.
"I think we are catching them after a bad game," K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. "They played their hearts out against Oklahoma State and they have had several games like that where they just were not able to grab victories, so we have got to expect a high-level game."
The Mountaineers are led in scoring by both Eron Harris and Juwan Staten who are both averaging 17.4 points per game, tied for third best in the Big 12, and Staten is averaging a Big 12 leading 6.06 assists per game.
"(His big numbers) mean that he has the ball in his hands and he is making good decisions, whether he is getting to the hoop or creating and kicking," Weber said about Staten's impact on West Virginia's game. "The other day, they did not shoot the ball well, but that has been their thing; their 3-point shooting. For the most part, we have been pretty positive defending the three, getting to the shooters and getting hands up and contesting, so that is going to be important."
While the team's solid defensive game has been the story of the season for the Wildcats, it was K-State's offensive effort that helped push it past Oklahoma last Tuesday evening. With five players scoring in the double-digits (freshman Marcus Foster, 18 points, senior Shane Southwell, 16 points, freshman Wesley Iwundu, 11 points, senior Will Spradling, 10 points and junior Nino Williams, 10 points) K-State's players were making shots and playing with confidence.
So far in Big 12 play, it's been Nino Williams who has stepped up as a game changer. After scoring 15 points in K-State's win over Oklahoma State, he put away a team-high 12 points against Kansas followed by a team-high 9 rebounds against Oklahoma to go along with his 10 points that game.
"I am just playing with a lot more confidence," Williams said. "I feel a lot better. Early on, I was kind of weak and down on myself. But Coach Weber had a talk with me in late November and told me to stay positive, that I would have my time and just help out the younger guys. If you help out people, good things will happen to you and I just think I have been staying positive and playing hard."
An exciting afternoon matchup, to be sure, the game will be aired on the Big 12 Network.
At today's game, K-State men's basketball will celebrate Legends Weekend.
At halftime, K-State Athletics will honor one of its greatest men's basketball teams in school history as 14 members of the 1964 Final Four team will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its accomplishment.
For more on the celebration, click here.
WOMEN'S TEAM HOPES TO PACK THE HOUSE
Coming off of its first conference win of the season after a 72-65 win in Lubbock, Texas, over Texas Tech on Tuesday evening, K-State women's basketball (7-9, 1-4 Big 12) will return home to face No. 13/11 Iowa State (14-2, 3-2 Big 12) at 7 p.m.
Always a fan favorite, tonight's women's basketball game is the annual "Pack the House" game where $1 tickets and $1 select concessions will be available to all.
"I think everyone understands that this team will show up and fight," Patterson said. "It is a team that will represent Kansas State extremely well with their fight, their energy and their passion. We really want to put the word out to our fans that if we can paint the house with purple that it will be at the very top of our heart. This is a great rivalry, Iowa State is one of the hottest teams in the country and it should be a tremendous challenge for us and a great environment for us."
There's never an easy game in the Big 12, and Iowa State, currently among the nation's toughest competitions, is coming in to Manhattan off its first two losses of the season. After back-to-back home losses against Oklahoma State and West Virginia, the team will be looking to get back on track tonight in Bramlage Coliseum.
Hallie Christofferson is leading the Cyclones in scoring with her 21.0 points per game. Christofferson is second in the Big 12 to only Baylor's Odyssey Sims (averaging 31.1 points per game), while teammate Seanna Johnson is the Big 12's leading rebounder averaging 8.3 rebounds per game.
On the Wildcats' side of the ball, freshman guard Leti Romero leads the team in both scoring, with 13.9 points per game, and rebounding, with 5.9 rebounds per game. Against Texas Tech, Romero put away 21 points - her third career game recording over 20 points.
Also pacing the Wildcats is junior guard Ashia Woods who had a career high five assists to go along with her 14 points on Tuesday evening.
While the duo has been playing tough on the road, there's no doubt coming home and playing in front of its home crowd will provide a boost of energy for K-State.
"It would mean a lot to us (to Pack the House). We definitely get a lot of energy and momentum when we know we have a lot of fans there cheering for us," Woods said. "It would be great to just see all the purple in the stands, and knowing that we have our sixth man being our fans."
Also at tonight's game, the K-State baseball team will be honored and recognized for winning the program's first conference title in 80 years. A team with 19 returning letter winners including preseason All-Americans Ross Kivett and Jake Matthys, the team will take center court during the first half of the women's basketball game.
The baseball team will also be signing autographs from 6-7 p.m., before the game along the concourse outside of the Legends Room.
Tonight's game will be aired on FOX Sports Kansas City and online on K-StateHD.TV.
K-State's Haley Texada shoots the ball against Oklahoma State at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas on January 8, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
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