Wildcats Close Out Regular Season Against OSU

GAME - 29
Kansas State (16-12, 4-11)  vs. Oklahoma State (19-9, -8)
Wednesday, February 28, 2007  6 p.m.
Bramlage Coliseum (13,340), Manhattan, Kan.

Radio: KVSV-AM 1190 (Beloit); KINZ-FM 95.3 (Chanute); KCLY-FM 100.9 (Clay Center); KFIX-FM 96.9 (Hays); KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson); KALN-AM 1370 (Iola); KJCK-AM 1420 (Junction City); KMAN-AM 1350 (Manhattan); KBLS-FM 102.5 (North Fort Riley); KWIC-FM 99.3 (Topeka); KFTI-AM 1070 (Wichita)
Television: FSN Midwest
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: Kansas State women’s basketball team will close out its regular season against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.  The game will be televised live on FSN Midwest with Ben Boyle and Patti Phillips calling the action.  It is also the final game for seniors Claire Coggins and Naytanda Smith at Bramlage Coliseum.

THE SERIES: K-State and Oklahoma State have faced 50 times with the series tied at 25. The Wildcats have won four straight against OSU and have a 12-7 advantage at Bramlage Coliseum.  K-State defeated the Cowgirls, 67-57, last season in Stillwater, Okla. on Jan. 18th.  Last time OSU defeated the Wildcats (68-60) was on Jan. 19, 2002.

THE COWGIRLS:   After winning just six games in his first year as the OSU head coach last season, Kurt Budke turned the program around this season.  The Cowgirls are 19-9 overall and 7-8 in the Big 12.  OSU is coming off two straight wins against Texas (64-52) in Austin and Nebraska (63-60) at home.  The Cowgirls have defeated all five north opponents they faced this season.  Senior Rashidat Sadiqu lead the team in scoring with 13.0 points per game.  Freshman Andrea Riley (12.3 ppg) and juniors Danielle Green (11.1 ppg) and Maria Cordero (10.6 ppg) are all averaging in double figures for the Cowgirls.  Sadiq and Green both a team best 6.1 rebounds per game while Riley leads OSU with 135 assists and 57 steals.

NO TIME TO BE A FRESHMAN: With the injury to Marlies Gipson, head coach Deb Patterson needed her freshman Ashley Sweat to step up.  The rookie forward has done just that, averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in the 12 games since Gipson’s injury.  In the last five games, Sweat is averaging 19.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor, 75.0 percent from the three-point range and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line.

CATS LIKE THE PAINT IN BRAMLAGE: The Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 5076-362, in the paint in 14 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, 272-250.

RAINING 3’S ON THE ROAD: In the last six out eight road games, K-State totaled at least eight three-pointer in a game.  The Wildcats have hit four or more three’s in all 11 road games this season.  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 8.23 three’s per game on the road and neutral site and 4.21 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 15 conference games, she averaged a team-best 14.3 points per game.

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 50 triples in 2006-07.  Coggins is currently fourth all-time in three-point field goals made (181) and attempts (514) while Dietz is in seventh place in three’s made (138) and sixth in attempts (435).

STEALING THE SHOW: Claire Coggins has recorded 175 career steals and is ranked eighth all time in K-State record book.  She needs just two more steals to tie Megan Mahoney 05 for seventh.  Coggins leads the team with 55 this season.

DISHING OUT THE ROCK: With 333 career assists in less than two seasons, Shalee Lehning has already moved into K-State’s top 10 career assists list.  She is currently seventh all time and holds the single season assists record with 189 during her freshman year.  Lehning leads the team with 144 assists this season.

CLIMBING THE BLOCKS: Marlies Gipson and Shana Wheeler are currently tied for third in all time career blocks list with 101.  Wheeler leads the team this season with 50 blocks while Gipson recorded 39 in the first 16 games before missing last nine 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 1,202 points.
Coggins has appeared in 118 games in her career while making 90 starts and averaged 10.2 points per game.  This season she leads 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.

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 24 out of 28 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 138 shots this season led by Shana Wheeler with 49.  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.  Marlies 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 491 turnovers this season and turned them into 491 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 138 points (491-353) of turnovers.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to 37.0 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 59.8 points per game while posting 718 defensive rebounds, 140 blocks and 222 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.

HALFTIME LEAD = “W”: K-State is 15-2 this season when ahead at the half.  The two losses came at Colorado on Jan. 31  and Iowa State on Feb. 24 at home.  The  Wildcats fell 66-55 after leading 39-24 against Colorado and dropped a 64-61 decision against Iowa State after posting a five point lead (40-35) at the half.

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.

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 16 games after recovering from a foot injury, while Ashley Sweat has played in all 28 games with 14 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.