K-State Begins Two-Game Road Swing at Iowa State

GAME - 20
Kansas State (15-4, 3-3)  vs. Iowa State (15-5, 3-4)
Saturday, January 27, 2007 2 p.m.
James H. Hilton Coliseum (14,092), Ames, Iowa

Radio: KZLS-FM 107.9 (Great Bend); KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson);  KMAN-AM 1350 (Manhattan); KBLS-FM 102.5 (North Fort Riley); KWIC-FM 99.3 (Topeka); KFTI-AM 1070 (Wichita)
Television: None
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: Kansas State women’s basketball team will hit the road to Ames, Iowa to face Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. in James H. Hilton Coliseum.  This is the first of the two-game road swing for the Wildcats. K-State will head to Boulder, Colo. on Wednesday, Jan. 31 to face Colorado.

THE SERIES: K-State and Iowa State have faced 62 times with K-State leading the series 41-21.  The Wildcats and the Cyclones split their two-game series in 2005-06 each winning on the road.  K-State won, 74-64, in Ames on Jan. 29 before Iowa State captured a 71-66 victory in Manhattan on Feb. 11 last season.  The Wildcats are 15-13 in the games played at Iowa State.

THE CYCLONES: Iowa State Cyclones have a 15-5 overall record including 3-4 in the Big 12.  After closing out non-conference schedule 12-1, ISU opened Big 12 season with a 61-50 win over Kansas before going on three-game losing skid.  The Cyclones fell to Missouri (66-56) and Colorado (81-67) on the road and Oklahoma State (45-44) at home.  Iowa State bounced back to win two straight including a 67-56 win over then-No. 22 Texas and 75-48 victory at Kansas.  In their last game in Norman, Okla. the Cyclones lost to No. 6 Oklahoma, 69-49.  Three players are averaging in double figures for ISU led by senior Lyndsey Medders with 13.2 points per game.  Sophomore Nicky Wieben (12.1 ppg) and junior Toccara Ross (11.6) are second and third in scoring respectively.  Medders also dished out 125 assists this season while Ross is the team leader in rebounds with 7.5 rpg. 

SHALEE STEPS UP: Shalee Lehning is coming off a pair of strong performances at Baylor (Jan. 20) and Wednesday against Kansas.  Lehning has averaged 18.5 points over the last two games and has shot 73.3 percent (11-for-15) from the field, 80.0 percent (4-for-5) from long range and 73.3 percent (11-for-15) from the free-throw line.  She tied her career-best with 20 points against Baylor and led the team with 17 points against Kansas.

COGGINS TAKES CHARGE: After averaging 12.2 points per game while shooting just 22.5 percent from three-point range and 21.1 percent from the free-throw line during the non-conference schedule, Claire Coggins has stepped up in Big 12 play.  In six conference games, she averaged a team-best 14.7 points per game.  Coggins has shot 50 percent from long range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES: After watching Nebraska shoot 62.1 percent from the floor and build a 24-point lead in the first half the Wildcats pieced together one of their best second halves this season.  K-State held the Cornhuskers to 33.3 percent shooting and outscored them 42-25.  The Wildcats started the second half with 19-2 run to get back into the game and cut the deficit to just three points with 6:10 to go in the game, but could not capitalize  on the momentum as they fell, 70-63.
In five out of six Big 12 games this season K-State has played better defense in the second half.

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 were ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll on Jan. 15 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.

STREAK ENDS: Marlies Gipson has played and started in 50 consecutive games before missing her first game of collegiate career on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at Nebraska with a knee injury.  She started all 34 games her freshman year and first 16 games this season before the injury.

LACK OF GIPSON MAKING A DIFFERENCE: In the first 16 games with Marlies Gipson in the lineup the Wildcats were clicking on all cylinders.  The two games without Gipson numbers have dropped for K-State.

SHUT EM DOWN: K-State has held 17-of-19 foes under their scoring average and field goal percentage entering their respective contest with the Wildcats.

1,000 POINT CLUB: 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 1,077 points.
Coggins has appeared in 109 games in her career while making 81 starts and averaged 9.9 points per game.  This season she is tied for first in scoring with 12.9 ppg.

BALANCE SCORING: In 17 out of 19 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 two games (Creighton and Nebraska).  K-State has six players averaging at least 7.3 points per game, and eight different players have scored 10 or more points in a game at least once.

15-2 WHEN THREE CATS REACH DOUBLE FIGURES: K-State is 15-2 when three or more Wildcats score in double figures in a game.  Both losses came last week at Nebraska and at Baylor.  In the other two losses this year K-State had only two players reach double figures.

SWAT TEAM: The Wildcats have blocked 118 shots this season led by Marlies Gipson and Shana Wheeler with 39 and 36 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. 

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.

CAPITALIZING OPPONENTS MISTAKES: The Wildcats have forced 343 turnovers this season and turned them into 326 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 109 points (326-217) of turnovers.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to just 34 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 56.8 points per game while posting 517 defensive rebounds, 118 blocks and 156 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.  Nebraska (49.1) and Oklahoma (41.8) are the only two team to shoot over 40 percent against K-State.

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 4.0 rebounds per game this season.

HALFTIME LEAD = “W”: Since March 2nd last season the Wildcats are 18-0 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.

3-POINT STREAK: K-State has connected on at least two three-point field goal in 106 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 21.4 minutes per game, while leading the team in free-throws made (45) and free-throw attempts (68).  Sweat was the team leader in points  in one game (15 vs. MVSU) and rebounds in four games (9 vs. Wisconsin and Alcorn State, 7 at Baylor and 6 vs. Kansas).

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: Six different Wildcats either tied or posted new career-high in points this season.  Junior Kimberly Dietz  (23 points against Rice) and sophomores Marlies Gipson (18 points against UW-Green Bay, Santa Clara and Missouri) and Shalee Lehning (20 at Baylor) all tied their career-highs.  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.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Junior Kimberly Dietz was named Sun & Fun Classic Most Valuable Player after averaging 22.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.  She was selected to the All-Tournament team at the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout after averaging 16.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.  She shot 60 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the three-point arc.  This is Dietz’s third and fourth all-tournament honors in her career at Kansas State.  She was selected to the Saint Peter’s Holiday Classic All-Tournament team and WNIT All-Tournament team last season after helping the Wildcats capture both titles.  Senior Claire Coggins was named to the Sun & Fun Classic All-Tournament team.  She averaged 14.0 points and 3.5 rebounds.
Sophomore Marlies Gipson was named Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic Most Valuable Player after averaging 14.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.  She also had .632 field goal percentage.  Sophomore Shalee Lehning was named to the All-Tournament team.  She recorded the double-double in the championship game with 10 points and 11 assists.  Lehning averaged 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists in two games.  This is her second consecutive Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic All-Tournament team honors.

NON-CONFERENCE: The Wildcats finished the non-conference schedule with a 12-1 record and tied for second best pre-Big 12 start in the Deb Patterson era.  K-State posted a 12-1 (.923) record in 2001-02 followed by 13-1 (.929) record in 2002-03.

WNIT CHAMPIONS: Kansas State closed out the 2005-06 season as 2006 Postseason WNIT Champions, to mark  its first postseason championship title in school history.  The Wildcats defeated Marquette, 77-65, in front of a sellout crowd of 13,340 at Bramlage Coliseum in the championship game.  Claire Coggins was named Tournament MVP while Kimberly Dietz was selected to the All-Tournament team.

20-WIN SEASONS:  Kansas State women’s basketball program has totaled 18 twenty-win seasons in its 37 years of existence.  With a 24-10 overall record last season the Wildcats turned in their fifth consecutive 20-win season.

NEWCOMERS:  K-State welcomed two McDonald’s High School All-America nominees this season.  Kari Kincaid appeared in just four games after recovering from a foot injury, while Ashley Sweat has played in all 16 games with five starts.
Kincaid was a three-time First Team All-State and four-time First Team All-League selection.  She averaged 18.1 points and 7.3 assists her senior year.  Sweat averaged 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds and was named the Gatorade Kansas Player of the Year as well as Kansas “Miss Basketball” as a senior.

K-STATE SIGNS THREE FOR 2007-08: Head coach Deb Patterson announced that Kelsey Hill (Overland Park, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), Shalin Spani (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Metro Academy) and Jackie Stanley (Wylie, Texas/Wylie High School) have signed national letters of intent to attend K-State and play for the Wildcats.
Hill, a 5-foot-7 point guard, averaged 10.0 points, 3.9 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game last season.  She was named KBCA all-state honorable mention and Topeka Capitol Journal second team all-state her junior year. Hill also earned second team All-Eastern Kansas League honors and helped the team to second place finish at Kansas 5A State Tournament.  She was named St. Thomas Aquinas newcomer of the year and Eastern Kansas League scholar athlete in 2004-05.
Spani, a 5-foot-11 guard, led Metro Academy to NCHBC National Championship her junior year.  A three time NCHBC All-American, earned 2005 Street & Smith's High School All-American honorable mention in 2006.  She was also selected first team all-state in 2006 and first team all-region in 2004 and 2005.  Spani averaged 24.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 4.5 steal per game as a junior.  She holds numerous school records including career points (2,467), points in a season (936) and points in a game (43).
Stanley, a 6-foot-2 forward, was a three-time first team all-district and two-time TABC all-region selection.  She was also named TABC and TGCA all-state and 11-4A District MVP in 2006.  Last season she averaged 20.5 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game and was named team MVP all three seasons.  Stanley earned Wylie High School athlete of the month five times and player of the week by Dallas Morning News six times in three years.  She is ranked sixth among the class of 2007 in the state of Texas by National All Star Girls Report.