K-State Battles Texas Tech on ESPN2

GAME - 24
Kansas State (15-8, 3-7)  vs. Texas Tech (14-10, 5-5)
Sunday, February 11, 2007 2:15 p.m.
United Spirit Arena (15,050), Lubbock, Texas

Radio: KVSV-AM 1190 (Beloit); KINZ-FM 95.3 (Chanute); KCLY-FM 100.9 (Clay Center); KSKZ-FM 98.1 (Dodge City);  KZLS-FM 107.9 (Great Bend); KNZA-FM 103.9 (Hiawatha); KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson);  KJCK-AM 1420 (Junction City); KMAN-AM 1350 (Manhattan); KBLS-FM 102.5 (North Fort Riley); KWLS-AM 1290 (Pratt); KSKL-FM 94.5 (Scott City); KMZA-FM 92.1 (Seneca); KWIC-FM 99.3 (Topeka); KFTI-AM 1070 (Wichita)
Television: ESPN2
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: Kansas State women’s basketball team will head south to take on Texas Tech on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2:15 p.m. in United Spirit Arena.  The game will be televised live on ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi and Van Chancellor calling the action.  Both teams are in search of a win as the Wildcats have dropped four straight while the Lady Raiders are in a mini slump with a two-game losing steak.

THE SERIES: K-State and Texas Tech have faced 14 times with the Lady Raiders leading the series 8-6.  The Wildcats won three straight against the Texas Tech including 53-51 last season on Jan. 4 in Manhattan.  K-State is 2-4 in games played at United Spirit Arena.  The last K-State win in Lubbock came two years ago when the Wildcats won 55-53 on Jan. 22, 2005.

THE LADY RAIDERS:   After closing out the non-conference schedule 9-5, Texas Tech opened the Big 12 season dropping two out of the first three games to Baylor (61-54) on the road and Texas A&M (49-47) at home.  The Lady Raiders bounced back and won four out of the next five games with the only loss coming at Oklahoma, 86-81, in double-overtime.  Texas Tech is currently on a two-game losing steak including 70-67 loss at Colorado (2/3) and 80-67 loss versus Baylor (2/7).  The Lady Raiders five Big 12 wins came against Oklahoma State (75-49), Missouri (63-55), at Oklahoma State (63-61), Texas (49-48) and at Kansas (66-65).  Senior Alesha Robertson is the team leader in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) for Texas Tech.  Freshman Jordan Murphree has handed out a team-best 76 assists this season and is second in scoring with 9.8 points per game.  Junior Erin Myrick is third in scoring (9.0 ppg) and second in rebounding (7.6 rpg) while leading the team in blocks with 45.

CATS LIKE THE PAINT IN BRAMLAGE: The Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 452-304, in the paint in 12 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: In the last five 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 3.8 at home.

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.

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 10 conference games, she averaged a team-best 14.9 points per game.  Coggins has shot 41.5 percent from long range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

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  in threepointers made and attempts and have topped 40 triples in 2006-07.  Coggins is currently fifth all-time in three-point field goals made (172) and fourth in attempts (485) while Dietz is in eight place in three’s made (130) and sixth in attempts (399).

STEALING THE SHOW: Claire Coggins has recorded 165 career steals and is 10th all time in K-State record book.  She needs just three more steals to tie Diana Miller 91 for ninth.  Coggins leads the team with 45 this season.

DISHING OUT THE ROCK: With 303 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.  Lehning leads the team with 114 assists this season.

CLIMBING THE BLOCKS: Marlies Gipson is currently third in all time career blocks list with 101 while Shana Wheeler is fifth with 92.  Wheeler leads the team this season with 43 blocks while Gipson recorded 39 in the first 16 games before missing last seven games with an injury.

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 1,138 points.
Coggins has appeared in 113 games in her career while making 85 starts and averaged 10.1 points per game.  This season she is tied for first on the team in scoring with 13.3 ppg.

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 in Lincoln on Jan. 17, 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 seven out of 10 Big 12 games this season K-State has played better defense in the second half.

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 19 out of 23 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 7.1 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 127 shots this season led by Shana Wheeler and Marlies Gipson with 43 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 409 turnovers this season and turned them into 399 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 116 points (399-283) of turnovers.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to just 36.1 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 58.3 points per game while posting 600 defensive rebounds, 127 blocks and 183 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 Feb. 3.  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.

NEWCOMERS:  K-State welcomed two McDonald’s High School All-America nominees this season.  Kari Kincaid appeared in just 11 games after recovering from a foot injury, while Ashley Sweat has played in all 23 games with nine 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.