K-State Hosts No. 21 Nebraska Wednesday

GAME-23
Kansas State (15-7, 3-6)  vs. #21/22 Nebraska (19-4, 7-2)
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 7 p.m.
Bramlage Coliseum (13,340), Manhattan, Kan.

Radio: KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson);  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: Kansas State women’s basketball team looks to end a three-game losing streak by hosting No. 21/22 Nebraska on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.  The Wildcats are currently tied for ninth with Oklahoma State in the Big 12 standings while the Cornhuskers are tied for second with Texas A&M.

THE SERIES: K-State and Nebraska have faced 69 times with the Wildcats leading the series 41-28. K-State has won six of the last eight against the Cornhuskers. The Wildcats will look to even the season series with Nebraska as they fell to the Huskers, 70-63, on Jan. 17 in Lincoln.  K-State has a 24-8 advantage at home and has won six straight against NU at Bramlage Coliseum.  Last time K-State fell to the Huskers (77-69) at home was on Feb. 17, 2001.
 
THE CORNHUSKERS:   Nebraska Cornhuskers are winners of their last three games including a nine-point victory over then-No. 13/11 Baylor (76-67) on Saturday, Feb. 3 and 13-point win over Iowa State (62-49) on Jan. 31.  Three of their four losses this season have come against current top-25 opponents in Arizona State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.  The Huskers are currently led by sophomore Kelsey Griffin in both scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.7 rpg).  Senior Kiera Hardy is also averaging in double figures with 15.9 points per game and has dished out a team-best 64 assists.

CATS LIKE THE PAINT IN BRAMLAGE: The Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 422-276, in the paint in 11 home games at Bramlage Coliseum.  But on the road it’s a different story as K-State struggled to score inside and trail the opponents, 188-144.

RAINING 3’S ON THE ROAD: For the fifth straight road game (all Big 12 games), K-State totaled at least 10 three-pointer in a game.  The Wildcats have hit five or more three’s in all eight road games this season.  K-State had 12 against Oklahoma and Baylor, 11 against Nebraska and Iowa State, 10 against Colorado, six against Louisiana tech and UMKC and five against FIU.  The Wildcats’ season-high 13 also came away from Bramlage Coliseum at a neutral site against Rice at FIU Sun & Fun Classic.  K-State has averaged 8.64 three’s per game on the road and neutral site and 4.2 at home.

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 nine conference games, she averaged a team-best 15.1 points per game.  Coggins has shot 43.9 percent from long range and 68.4 percent from the free-throw line.

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.

TRIPLE THREAT: Claire Coggins and Kimberly Dietz both rank among K-State’s all-time top three-point shooters.  Both pushed their way into the top 10 and have topped 40 triples in 2006-07.  Coggins (170) is currently fifth all-time while Dietz (130) is in eight place.

STEALING THE SHOW: Claire Coggins has recorded 164 career steals and is 10th all time in K-State record book.  She needs just four more steals to tie Diana Miller 91 for ninth.  Coggins leads the team with 44 this season.

DISHING OUT THE ROCK: With 299 career assists in less than two seasons, Shalee Lehning has already moved into K-State’s top 10 career assists list.  She is currently eighth all time and holds the single season assists record with 189 during her freshman year.

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 six out of nine Big 12 games this season K-State has played better defense in the second half.

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 1,125 points.
Coggins has appeared in 112 games in her career while making 84 starts and averaged 10.0 points per game.  This season she leads the team in scoring with 13.4 ppg.

TOP-25: after a hot start including a win over No. 17 Texas A&M, 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.

BALANCE SCORING: In 18 out of 22 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 7.2 points per game, and eight different players have scored 10 or more points in a game at least once.

SWAT TEAM: The Wildcats have blocked 125 shots this season led by Shana Wheeler and Marlies Gipson with 42 and 39 respectively.  At least one player has blocked three or more shots in 13 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 (11/17).  Wheeler blocked a career-high six shots against Wyoming (11/17) and Rice (12/29).

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 out of 10 players on the roster 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 388 turnovers this season and turned them into 382 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 105 points (382-277) of turnovers.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to just 35.8 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 58.1 points per game while posting 577 defensive rebounds, 125 blocks and 175 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.

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 3.7 rebounds per game this season.

HALFTIME LEAD = “W”: K-State is 13-1 this season when ahead at the half.  The one loss came on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Colorado.  The Wildcats fell 66-55 after leading 39-24 at halftime.

3-POINT STREAK ENDS: K-State has connected on at least two three-point field goal in 108 consecutive games prior to Texas game on Saturday.  The Wildcats missed all 14 attempts against Longhorns.  Before that K-State was 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.

HALF-COURT HEAVE: In the overtime win against Wyoming on Friday, Nov. 17, Claire Coggins hit a half-court shot at buzzer to send the game into overtime.  After 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 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.  Sophomores Marlies Gipson (18 points against UW-Green Bay, Santa Clara and Missouri) and Shalee Lehning (20 at Baylor) both tied their career-highs.  All three juniors on the team set new career-highs this season.  Carolyn McCullough twice erased her career-highs and posted a new high (10 points) against Rice.  Shana Wheeler recorded hers against Wyoming with 16 points while Kimberly Dietz had 25 at Iowa State.  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.