Wildcats Return Home to Face Texas A&M

GAME - 15
Kansas State (12-2, 0-1)  vs. #17 Texas A&M (10-2, 0-0)
Saturday, January 6, 2007 2 p.m.
Bramlage Coliseum (13,340), Manhattan, Kan.

Radio: KINZ-FM 95.3 (Chanute); KCLY-FM 100.9 (Clay Center); KSKZ-FM 98.1 (Dodge City); KKCI-FM 102.5 (Goodland); KXLS-FM 107.9 (Great Bend); KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson);  KJCK-AM 1420 (Junsction City); KMAN-AM 1350 (Manhattan); KBLS-FM 102.5 (North Fort Riley); KSKL-FM 94.5 (Scott City); KWIC-FM 99.3 (Topeka); KFTI-AM 1070 (Wichita)
Television: None
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: After a disappointing start to the Big 12 season, a 78-58 loss at No. 8/7 Oklahoma, K-State will return to Bramlage Coliseum in search of a win against Texas A&M on Saturday, January 6 at 2 p.m.  The Aggies have dropped their last road games while K-State has won 12 straight home games dating back to March 17 of last season.

THE SERIES: Kansas State and Texas A&M have met 13 times with K-State leading the series, 9-4.  The Wildcats have won six straight before falling to the Aggies, 66-39, last season in College Station on Jan. 11.  K-State is 4-1 at Bramlage Coliseum against Texas A&M and the only loss (73-59) came on Jan. 27, 1999.

THE AGGIES: After winning six straight to open the 2006-07 season the Aggies dropped back-to-back games at Rice (70-66) and at Washington (65-59).  Texas A&M bounced back and closed out its non-conference schedule with four consecutive home wins by an average margin of 32.3 points.  Junior Morenike Atunrase was the team leader in scoring with 17.1 points per game before she fractured her left foot on Dec. 1 at Rice.  Sophomores Takia Starks (15.7 ppg) and Danielle Gant (10.2) have picked up the slack for the Aggies in the absence of Atunrase.  Gant is also the team leader in rebounds (6.5 rpg) and steals (30).

BIG 12 HOME OPENERS: K-State owns a 7-3 record in Big 12 Conference home openers.  The Wildcats have won five straight including last season against Texas Tech (53-51).  K-State is 2-1 in games played at Bramlage following a loss in the Big 12 opener on the road.

COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Senior Claire Coggins came into the season with 831 career points and she is now just five points away from being the program’s 32nd 1,000 point scorer.
In her first three years at K-State, Coggins has averaged 9.2 points per game, including team-best 13.5 points per game last season.  This season she has averaged 11.7 points per game.

WINNINGEST COACH: Deb Patterson became the all-time winningest women's basketball coach in K-State's history when the Wildcats defeated UMKC, 64-56, on Dec. 9 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
Patterson passed Judy Akers who guided K-State to a 206-94 record during a 10-year period from 1968-1979.

STEP RIGHT IN: After recovering from a foot injury freshman Kari Kincaid made her collegiate debut against Rice on Dec. 29 at FIU Sun & Classic in Miami, Fla.  She appeared in all three games since her return and played 9.0 minutes per game.

SWAT TEAM: The Wildcats have blocked 105 shots this season led by Marlies Gipson and Shana Wheeler with 36 and 32 blocks respectively.  At least only player has blocked three or more shots in 11 games, four or more in eight games and five or more in five games this season.  Gipson tied the school record and set the Bramlage Coliseum record by rejecting seven shots against Weber State on Dec. 15.  She also blocked five shots against Wyoming (Nov. 17).  Wheeler blocked a career-high six shots against Wyoming (Nov. 17) and Rice (Dec. 29).

SHARPSHOOTERS: K-State is filled with three-point shooters on the team and at any given point, any player can step behind the arc and make a basket.  So far this season, eight different players have connected on three-pointer. 

CRASH THE BOARDS: Claire Coggins cleared a team-high and career-high nine rebounds against Weber State on Dec. 15.  She is averaging career-best 4.1 rebounds per game this season.

HALFTIME LEAD = “W”: Since March 2nd last season the Wildcats are 16-0 when leading at halftime.  The last K-State loss after leading at halftime came against No. 9 Oklahoma on Feb. 21, 2006.  The Wildcats led 39-36 at the break but fell to the Sooners, 78-64.  K-State is 12-0 this season when ahead at the half.

BALANCE SCORING: In 12 out of 14 games this season, three or more players have scored in double figures.  In seven games four players reached double digits, while five players scored in double figures in one game (Creighton).  K-State has five players averaging at least 8.1 points per game, and eight different players have scored 10 or more points in a game at least once.

CATS FIND SUCCESS IN THE PAINT: Even without a true center, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 428-276 in the paint this season.  K-State also has  plus 5.1 rebounding margin and blocked 105 shots.

CAPITALIZING OPPONENTS MISTAKES: The Wildcats have forced 258 turnovers this season and turned them into 239 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 95 points (239-144) of turnovers.

PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: During K-State’s 14 games this season, the Wildcats have trailed for a grand total of 104:56 of a possible 565 minutes.  K-State led from start to finish in three games this season against Creighton, Mississippi Valley State and Santa Clara.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to just 32 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 54.6 points per game while posting 401 defensive rebounds, 105 blocks and 122 steals.  On Dec. 1st the Wildcats held Mississippi Valley State to a school record five field goals made and 8.6 percent (5-for-58) shooting.  K-State has held four opponents under 30 percent this season.  Oklahoma has the highest percentage (41.4) and the only team to shoot over 40 percent against K-State this season.

3-POINT STREAK: K-State has connected on at least two three-point field goal in 101 consecutive games.  The last time the Wildcats were held without a three-point field goal was Dec. 30, 2003, by Southeast Missouri State at the UTSA New Year’s Eve Classic in San Antonio, Texas.  K-State missed all 14 attempts against the Lady Indians in a 78-42 win.

FRESHMAN MAKING A STATEMENT: After making her collegiate debut with a bang with 10 points and eight rebounds against UW-Green Bay, Ashley Sweat has continued to get better.  She is averaging 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 20.1 minutes per game, while second on the team in free-throws made (31) and free-throw attempts (42).  Sweat was the team leader in points  in one game (15 vs. MVSU) and rebounds in two games (9 vs. Wisconsin and Alcorn St.) this season.

HALF-COURT HEAVE: In the overtime win against Wyoming on Friday, Nov. 17, senior Claire Coggins hit a half-court shot at buzzer to send the game into overtime.  After junior Shana Wheeler tied the game at 52 with 13 seconds remaining in regulation,  the Cowgirls converted a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds on the clock to take a 55-52 lead.  Coggins took the inbound pass from sophomore Marlies Gipson at midcourt and swished the shot at the buzzer from 50 feet to tie the game at 55.

BLOCK PARTY: The Wildcats rejected 13 shots against Wyoming on Friday, Nov. 17, breaking the school record of 10 set on four different occasions, the last on March 19, 2005 against Bowling Green.  Shana Wheeler blocked a career-high six shots while Marlies Gipson tied her career-high with five rejections.  Ashley Sweat and Kimberly Dietz each had a block against the Cowgirls.  K-State also rejected 12 shots against Santa Clara on Dec. 15 and 10 shots against Weber State on Dec. 17.

CAREER-HIGHS: Five different Wildcats either tied or posted new career-high in points this season.  Junior Kimberly Dietz tied her career-high with 23 points against Rice, while sophomore Marlies Gipson tied her career-high with 18 points in the season opener against UW-Green Bay and against Santa Clara.  Junior Carolyn McCullough twice erased her career-highs this season and posted a new high (10 points) against Rice.  Junior Shana Wheeler recorded her career-high against Wyoming with 16 points and sophomore Danielle Zanotti carded her career-high (11 points) against Santa Clara.