Wildcats hit the road to Nebraska

GAME - 17
#25 Kansas State (14-2, 2-1)  vs. Nebraska (14-3, 2-1)
Wednesday, January 17, 2007  7:05 p.m.
Devaney Center (13,595), Lincoln, Neb.

Radio: KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson);  KALN-AM 1370 (Iola); KJCK-AM 1420 (Junsction City); KMAN-AM 1350 (Manhattan); KBLS-FM 102.5 (North Fort Riley); KWIC-FM 99.3 (Topeka)
Television: None
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: After back-to-back wins at home, Kansas State women’s basketball team will hit the road to Lincoln, Neb. to take on Nebraska on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 7:05 p.m. in Devaney Center.  The Wildcats and Cornhuskers are both 2-1 in conference play and are tied for second in the league standings.  Both teams will face again on Feb. 7 in Bramlage Coliseum. 

THE SERIES: Kansas State and Nebraska  have met 68 times with K-State leading the series, 41-27.  The Wildcats have won eight of the last ten games against the Huskers including two out of three last season.  Both teams split their two regular season games  last season each winning at home before they met in the WNIT quarterfinals.  The Wildcats won 77-63 on way to their first ever postseason championship.

THE CORNHUSKERS: Nebraska Cornhuskers will face both teams from Sunflower State in four days as they handed Kansas its fourth straight loss in Big 12 play with a 63-54 win in Lawrence on Jan. 13.  Nebraska is 14-3 on the season with losses coming against Arizona State (87-60) on the road and Minnesota (74-65) and Oklahoma (77-69) at home.  The Huskers are led by Kelsey Griffin who is averaging a team-best 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.  Kiera Hardy is also averaging in double figures with 15.8 points per game.  She is also the team leader in assists (50) and three-point field goals (37).

1,000 POINT CLUB: Senior Claire Coggins became the 32nd player in Kansas State women’s basketball history to top 1,000 career points as she scored 20 points in the Wildcats’ 48-45 victory over No. 17 Texas A&M on Jan. 6.  She now has 1,031 points.
Coggins has appeared in 106 games in her career while making 78 starts and averaged 9.7 points per game.  This season she is third on the team in scoring with 12.5 ppg.

TOP-25: after back-to-back wins against No. 17 Texas A&M and Missouri, K-State has achieved its first national ranking in nearly two years.  The Wildcats are No. 25 in this week’s AP Poll with 74 points.  The last time Kansas State ranked in the top-25 was in 2004-05, when the Wildcats were No. 16 in the final AP Poll and No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.  K-State received votes in both polls throughtout the season last year but never reached the top-25.

14-0 WHEN THREE CATS REACH DOUBLE FIGURES: K-State is 14-0 when three or more Wildcats score in double figures in a game.  In both losses this season K-State had only two players reach double figures.

SHUT EM DOWN: K-State has held 15-of-16 foes under their scoring average and field goal percentage entering their respective contest with the Wildcats this season.

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.

SWAT TEAM: The Wildcats have blocked 112 shots this season led by Marlies Gipson and Shana Wheeler with 39 and 35 blocks respectively.  At least one player has blocked three or more shots in 12 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 17-0 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 13-0 this season when ahead at the half.

BALANCE SCORING: In 14 out of 16 games this season, three or more players have scored in double figures.  In eight 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 7.6 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 508-332 in the paint.  K-State also has  plus 4.3 rebounding margin and blocked 112 shots.

CAPITALIZING OPPONENTS MISTAKES: The Wildcats have forced 289 turnovers this season and turned them into 270 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 101 points (270-169) of turnovers.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to just 32 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 54.7 points per game while posting 453 defensive rebounds, 112 blocks and 136 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.  Oklahoma has the highest percentage (41.4) and the only team to shoot over 40 percent against K-State this year.

PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: During K-State’s 16 games, the Wildcats have trailed for a grand total of 125:24 of a possible 605 minutes.  K-State led from start to finish in three games against Creighton, Mississippi Valley State and Santa Clara.

3-POINT STREAK: K-State has connected on at least two three-point field goal in 103 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 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game, while leading the team in free-throws made (37).  Sweat was the team leader in points  in one game (15 vs. MVSU) and rebounds in two games (9 vs. Wisconsin and Alcorn State).

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 three times (UW-Green Bay, Santa Clara and Missouri).  Junior Carolyn McCullough twice erased her career-highs 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.