K-State Faces Cyclones in Big 12 Championships

GAME - 30
#12 Kansas State (16-13, 4-12)  vs. #5 Iowa State (22-7, 10-6)
Tuesday, March 6, 2007  2:30 p.m.
COX Convention Center, Oklahoma City, Manhattan, Kan.

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Talent: Brian Smoller - Play-by-Play; Missy Heidrick - Analyst)
Television: Cox Cable
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: After posting a 4-12 record against Big 12 opponents, the Wildcats finished 12th in the conference standings.  K-State will face fifth-seeded Iowa State in the first round of the 2007 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships.  The Wildcats and the Cyclones are slated to tip at 2:30 p.m. in game-two on Tuesday, March 6 at COX Convention Center in Oklahoma City.  The winner will face the number four-seed, Nebraska in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m.

THE SERIES: Kansas State and Iowa State have faced 64 times with K-State leading the series, 41-23.  The Cyclones have won three straight against the Wildcats including two this season.  ISU defeated K-State, 73-68, on Jan. 27 in Ames and won 64-61 on Feb. 24 at Bramlage Coliseum.  Both teams have faced five times on a neutral site and the Wildcats have a 5-0 advantage in those games.  The Cyclones and K-State have never faced in the Big 12 tournament but met five times in the Big Eight Tournament and the Wildcats won all five games.

THE CYCLONES:   Iowa State Cyclones enter the Big 12 Tournament on a five-game win streak as they knocked off Texas A&M (61-54), Colorado (74-55), Nebraska (64-53), Kansas State (64-61) and Texas Tech (72-68).  After starting the conference schedule 1-3, the Cyclones went 4-3 in their next seven games before the five-game win streak.  Senior Lyndsey Medders leads the team in scoring (12.4 ppg) and assists (178).  Sophomore Nicky Wieben (12.0 ppg) and junior Toccara Ross (11.2 ppg) are also averaging in double figures for Iowa State.  Ross leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game while Wiebin is top shot blocker (53) for the Cyclones.

K-STATE’S BIG 12 tournament HISTORY: The Wildcats, who own an 11-10 record in Big 12 Tournament contests, are seeded 12th for the first time in the 11-year history.
The Wildcats have faced fifth-seeded team once in the tournament when they played Texas in the 2002 quarterfinals.  The No. 4 K-State defeated the Longhorns, 79-63, in Kansas City, Mo.
K-State has played in six first round games while receiving a bye three times.  The Wildcats are 4-2 in the opening round, advanced to semifinals five times and played in the championship game twice.

A LOOK AT THE SEASON: The Wildcats opened the 2006-07 season with a home win against UW-Green Bay and cruised through the non-conference schedule posting a 12-1 record.  The one loss came against Wisconsin at UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout in Las Vegas.  K-State fell at Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener but bounced back to knock off Texas A&M and Missouri at home and were ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll on Jan. 15.  Then came the knee injury to Marlies Gipson, who is averaging 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.  The Wildcats struggled with out their star forward in the line up as they dropped 11 of the final 13 games.  K-State enters the Big 12 tournament with a 16-13 overall record and 4-12 in the Big 12.

SEEDING: Kansas State and Kansas are tied for 11th in the Big 12 standings with a 4-12 conference record.  The Jayhawks own the tiebreaker over the Wildcats and received the 11th seed.  Both teams split their regular season series each winning at home.  KU went 3-7 against the North division opponents while K-State posted a 2-8 record against them.

CLOSE CALLS: Twenty (9-11, .450) of K-State’s 29 games this season were decided by 11 points or less.  Nine of those twenty contests (5-4, .556) were decided by five or fewer points.

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 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in the 13 games since Gipson’s injury.  In the last six games, Sweat is averaging 17.2 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 48.2 percent from the floor, 64.3 percent from the three-point range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

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 16 conference games, she averaged a team-best 13.7 points per game.

SWEAT AMONG THE TOP ROOKIES IN BIG 12: Ashley Sweat has been a key contributor to the Wildcats this season and is ranked among the top rookies in the Big 12 Conference.  She is in the top-5 in six of the eight categories among the Big 12 freshmen.

LEHNING THE LEADER: Shalee Lehning leads the Wildcats in five statistical categories.  At just 5-9, she has cleared a team-best 188 rebounds including 65 offensive boards and is averaging 6.7 rebounds per game.  She also leads the team in assists (144) and field goal percentage (.532).  Lehning is only player in the conference to be ranked in the top-15 in rebounding, assists, steals (42), assists/turnover ratio (1.7), defensive rebounds (123) and minutes played (33.3).

CATS LIKE THE PAINT IN BRAMLAGE: The Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 526-384, in the paint in 15 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 six of the final 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 4.53 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.

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.

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 1,208 points.
Coggins has appeared in 119 games in her career while making 91 starts and averaged 10.2 points per game.  This season she is second on the team in scoring with 13.0 ppg.

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 three-pointers made and attempts and have topped 50 triples in 2006-07.  Coggins is currently fourth all-time in three-point field goals made (183) and attempts (522) while Dietz is in seventh place in three’s made (143) and sixth in attempts (446).

STEALING THE SHOW: Claire Coggins has recorded 176 career steals and is ranked eighth all time in K-State record book.  She needs just one more steal to tie Megan Mahoney 05 for seventh.  Coggins leads the team with 56 this season.

DISHING OUT THE ROCK: With 337 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 148 assists this season.

CLIMBING THE BLOCKS: Shana Wheeler is currently third in all time career blocks list with 102 while Marlies Gipson is fourth with 101.  Wheeler leads the team this season with 51 blocks while Gipson recorded 39 in the first 16 games before missing last 13 games with an injury.

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 29 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.

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. 

SWAT TEAM: The Wildcats have blocked 144 shots this season led by Shana Wheeler with 51.  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).

CAPITALIZING OPPONENTS MISTAKES: The Wildcats have forced 508 turnovers this season and turned them into 506 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 131 points (506-375) of turnovers.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to 37.2 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 60.0 points per game while posting 740 defensive rebounds, 144 blocks and 226 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.

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.

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.

38 AND COUNTING: Kansas State’s women’s basketball program is in its 38th season.  The Wildcats have an overall career record of 718-429 (.626).  In 37 seasons, K-State has advanced to nine NCAA Tournaments and two WNIT Tournaments.