Wildcats Crush Southern Illinois, 72-46

MANHATTAN, Kan. There must be something special about Kansas State and the WNIT.

After winning last year’s title, the Wildcats picked up right where they left off, crushing visiting Southern Illinois, 72-46, Saturday night in Round 2 action at Bramlage Coliseum.

Ashley Sweat score 15 points and Kimberly Dietz added 13 for Kansas State (17-14), which won its sixth straight postseason WNIT game dating to last season.

And this one was over shortly after it began. Kansas State raced to a 20-4 lead midway through the first half and never looked back.

Kansas State hit from inside, outside and pretty much wherever it wanted as the Wildcats shot 55 percent and sizzled from the field all night long.

Claire Coggins, who came off the bench for the first time in 40 games, pitched in with 11 points and Kari Kincaid scored a career high 10 as four Wildcats finished in double figures. In fact, all nine Wildcats who dress for the game scored, including Shalee Lehning who pitched in just four points but dished out six assists and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

By halftime K-State had build a 31-12 lead. Southern Illinois (21-11), which got 14 points and 11 rebounds from Jayme Sweere, never got closer than 13 after the break and suffered its biggest loss of the season.

The Wildcats used an 11-2 run and quickly pushed their cushion back over 20 points. SIU, which was held to season lows in both points and field-goal percentage, never got within 22 again as K-State stretched its lead to as many as 29 with 5:21 to go before settling for the 26-point win.

Kansas State will try to extend its WNIT winning streak to seven when it hosts the winner Monday’s Utah at Illinois game on Thursday, March 22nd, at 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets for the third-round game will go on sale Monday morning beginning at 9 a.m.

The easiest method to order tickets is online at www.k-statesports.com.  Tickets may also be purchased in person at the K-State Athletic Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by calling 800-221-CATS.