K-State, Louisville Tangle in Second Round

Game 32
2008 NCAA Tournament - Second Round (6 p.m. CT)
(5) Kansas State (22-9, 13-3 Big 12) vs. (4) Louisville (25-9, 10-6 Big East)
March 25, 2008 Arena at Harbor Yard (9,500) Bridgeport, Conn.

Broadcast Information
ESPN2 or ESPN360.com
Bob Picozzi (play-by-play)
Mary Murphy (analyst)
Rebecca Lobo (reporter) 

K-State Sports Network
Brian Smoller (play-by-play), Missy Heidrick (analyst)
Please check page 8 for a list of affiliates in your   area.

Live stats at www.kstatesports.com

Game Notes (PDF) 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - No. 5 seed Kansas State will look to advance to its first Sweet 16 since the 2002 season, as the Wildcats face-off against No. 4 Louisville on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Arena at Harbor Yard in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships. This is the fifth straight time that the Wildcats have reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and on ESPN360.com with Bob Picozzi providing the play-by-play, Mary Murphy on the color analysis and Rebecca Lobo providing reports. The Wildcats are 7-3 in televised contests this season and 8-6 all-time in games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

The contest will also be broadcast on the K-State Sports Network with the award-winning Brian Smoller providing the play-by-play and Missy Heidrick on the color analysis.

The Wildcats (22-9, 13-3 Big 12) recorded a 69-59 win in the first round of the tournament over No. 12 seed Chattanooga, ending the nation’s longest current winning streak at 24 games. K-State was led by junior guard Kelsey Nelson with a career-high 20 points and six rebounds. Also in double figures for the Wildcats were juniors Shalee Lehning and Marlies Gipson with 12 apiece and sophomore Kari Kincaid with 10. Lehning filled her stat sheet with team highs in rebounds (8), assists (7) and steals (6). She is now ranked second in school history for career assists with 565, passing Mary Jo Miller (1988-92; 562).

K-State in the NCAA Tournament
Kansas State was awarded its 10th bid into the NCAA Tournament and the seventh straight postseason appearance for the program. The Wildcats are now 9-9 (.500) following a 69-59 win over No. 12 seed Chattanooga in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tourrnament.

During K-State’s last appearance in the tournament in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats were a No. 4 seed and defeated Bowling Green, 70-60, and fell to No. 5 Vanderbilt in the second round, 63-60. This is the first time K-State enters the NCAA Tournament as the No. 5 seed.

K-State head coach Deb Patterson has now guided the Wildcats to six NCAA Tournament appearances and has registered a 6-5 (.545) mark. The Wildcats have reached the second round in its last five appearances in the tournament, including a visit to the Sweet 16 in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

This is the sixth straight postseason appearance for the Wildcats, which is the longest current streak of any athletic program at K-State. Over the last six seasons, K-State has appeared in four NCAA Tournaments and two postseason WNITs. K-State captured the 2006 WNIT title for the first postseason title in school history and reached the semifinals of the 2007 WNIT. The Wildcats have advanced to the second round in the last four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 effort during the 2002 NCAA Tournament.   

K-State Short on NCAA Tournament Experience; Long on Postseason Experience
Despite making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2005 season, Kansas State has valuable postseason experience throughout its roster. Including K-State’s first round win over Chattanooga on Sunday, the Wildcats captured the 2006 Postseason WNIT title and recorded a run to the 2007 Postseason WNIT semifinals for a record of 9-1 (.900) during the last three postseason appearances. Nine of the 11 players on the K-State roster have played in the 10 postseason games over the last three seasons.

The only active player on the K-State roster with NCAA Tournament experience entering this season was senior forward Shana Wheeler. The product of Lee’s Summit, Mo., played in and started both games in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. She tallied eight points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots in the two contests. 

Wildcat Women and Men Appear in NCAA Tourneys
For the first time since the 1986-87 season and the third time in school history, the Kansas State women’s and men’s basketball teams have reached the NCAA Tournament at the same time. The programs appeared in the postseason together last season, as the women reached the WNIT semifinals and the men advanced to the second round of the NIT.

The Wildcat men will be making their first tournament appearance since the 1995-96 season and the 23rd appearance in school history. The women appear for the 10th time in school history and the sixth time since Deb Patterson took over the program at the start of the 1996-97 season.

Across the nation, 24 schools are represented by both their men’s and women’s programs in the NCAA Tournament and five of those schools are members of the Big 12 Conference (Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M).

First Team in Big 12 History to Go Worst to First
Kansas State became the first team in Big 12 history, women’s or men’s, to go from the cellar to the penthouse in one season’s time. The Wildcats were 4-12 in the Big 12 last season and 19-15 overall and entered the 2007 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City as the number 12-seed. This season Kansas State clinched the league crown in the regular season finale and registered a 13-3 league record and the school’s first-ever number one seed in the 2008 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City.

K-State became the third team in NCAA women’s basketball history, the first school from a BCS-conference school and the first team this century to achieve the feat. The two other teams were Siena in 1993 and 1994 (MAAC) and North Texas in 1985 and 1986 (former Southland member).

Patterson Named Big 12 Coach of the Year, WBCA Region V Coach of the Year
Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in an announcement by the conference office on March 7. This is the second Big 12 Coach of the Year honor for Patterson, as she garnered the honor at the conclusion of the 2002 season. During her time at Kansas State, Patterson has averaged 20 wins a season and has guided the Wildcats to six straight postseason appearances, the longest current postseason streak at K-State.

Patterson, K-State’s all-time wins leader with 239 during her 12-year career, led Kansas State to the 2008 Big 12 regular season title, the team’s second championship since 2004. The Wildcats became the first team in Big 12 women’s or men’s basketball history to go from last in the conference standings to first the next year. KSU finished 13-3 in Big 12 contests, one game ahead of second place Baylor. Kansas State is 21-8 on the year with four wins over Top 25-ranked opponents.

Patterson has also garnered Big 12 Coach of the Year from a number of the league’s media members including: the Kansas City Star, Dallas Morning News and Waco Tribune.

She was also the recipient of the Russell Athletic/Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association (WBCA) Region V Coach of the Year award. She is now among the eight finalists for the WBCA National Coach of the Year award, which will be announced on April 7 at the WBCA National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four.

Dietz, Lehning, Gipson Earn Big 12 Honors
K-State had three players named to the All-Big 12 first and second team in an announcement by the Big 12 Conference on March 7. The Wildcats had two players named to the All-Big 12 first team, as the backcourt of senior Kimberly Dietz and junior Shalee Lehning earned the distinction. The selections of Dietz and Lehning to the All-Big 12 first team are the first such selections for the Wildcats since the 2005 season. This is the third time in school history that the Wildcats have had two players on the All-Big 12 first team. In the program’s history, K-State has had six players earn All-Big 12 first team honors.

Kansas State was represented on the second team by junior Marlies Gipson. This is the first career Big 12 honor for Gipson and follows up her abbreviated 2006-07 campaign.

Head of the Class
K-State has been able to be successful both on the floor and in the classroom this season, as the Wildcats led the Big 12 Conference in Academic All-Big 12 citations with a school record eight. K-State placed a school record seven student-athletes on the first team, including one of the two student-athletes on the list to earn a perfect 4.0 GPA. Academic All-Big 12 first team members were: seniors Carolyn McCullough (communication sciences and disorders) and Shana Wheeler (special education), juniors Marlies Gipson (elementary education), Shalee Lehning (electronic journalism) and Danielle Zanotti (psychology) and sophomores Kari Kincaid (secondary education) and Ashley Sweat (kinesiology). On the Academic All-Big 12 second team was senior Kimberly Dietz (marketing). McCullough was the lone Wildcat student-athlete with a 4.0 GPA.

This is the highest number of Academic All-Big 12 selections since the 2003-04 season, when K-State had eight overall selections. The previous high for first team selections was six during the 2002-03 and 1996-97 seasons.

Earlier this season, the Wildcats placed its entire roster on the Fall 2007 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll with four Wildcats recording a perfect 4.0 GPA. K-State is the only team in the Big 12 to place its entire roster on the honor roll. The student-athletes who earned a 4.0 in the fall semester were: Kincaid, Lehning, McCullough and Zanotti. Lehning was also named to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII third team and McCullough was honored during the first semester with the Outstanding Senior Award for Communication Sciences and Disorders for Fall 2007.

Streaks, Trends, Milestones, Etc.
The Wildcats captured its second Big 12 regular season crown and the first outright title... K-State tallied 13 conference wins for the first time since the 2003-04 season (14-2)... K-State secured its fifth 20-win season in the last six years and the 20th in school history... The Wildcats have forced seven opponents into 20 or more turnovers this season and have a record of 6-1 in those contests... Junior guard Shalee Lehning has started 93 consecutive games beginning on Dec. 6, 2005... Lehning leads the Big 12 in assists per game (6.33 apg)... Lehning ranks 36th in school history in career points with 859... Lehning ranks second in school history in career assists with 565... Lehning is ninth in the Big 12 career assist rankings... Lehning now owns the record for assists by a junior with her 197 this season, breaking the previous mark set by Mary Jo Miller (1990-91) of 175... She owns the freshman record (189) and sophomore record (179) as well... Lehning is 11th in career rebounds at K-State with 697... Lehning is just the sixth player among the Big 12 schools to register 600 rebounds and 500 assists for her career and the second at K-State... Lehning is seventh in school history in career steals with 186... Junior forward Marlies Gipson has scored 863 points for her career and ranks 34th in school history... Gipson has scored in double figures in 21 of the last 26 games... Gipson has seven double-doubles this season and ranks tied for seventh in school history in career double-doubles with 13... Sophomore forward Ashley Sweat ranks 39th in school history for career points with 730... Sweat has scored in double figures in 20 contests this season; when she registers 10 or more points in a game, K-State is 15-5 (.750)... Sweat has scored in 65 consecutive games (every game of her career) and started 50 straight.

Wildcats Set NCAA Tourney Record at Charity Stripe
Kansas State took advantage of its trips to the free throw line during Sunday’s NCAA first round contest against Chattanooga, as the squad connected on 21-of-21 from the charity stripe. The performance set a new NCAA record for consecutive free throws made and tied for the highest free throw percentage (1.000) in a tournament contest with seven other teams. The Wildcats made the highest number of free throws of those seven other teams, with previous high at 15-of-15 by Rhode Island against Oklahoma State on March 15, 1996.

The effort set a new school record for free throw percentage in a tournament contest. It was also a new season-high for free throws made, surpassing the previous mark of 20 against Texas State on Dec. 16, 2007.

Juniors Handling the Scoring Load
K-State’s junior class of Marlies Gipson, Shalee Lehning, Kelsey Nelson and Danielle Zanotti has paced the Wildcats this season in scoring at 26.5 points per game (820 points overall), 39.1 percent of the total points scored. The juniors have combined to lead K-State in scoring 20 times this season.

The senior class of Kimberly Dietz, Carolyn McCullough and Shana Wheeler is the second-highest scoring class at 20.0 per contest (619 points overall), 29.5 percent of total points. The sophomores of Kari Kincaid and Ashley Sweat have tallied 16.3 per game (505 points overall), 24.1 percent of total points, while the rookie class of Kelsey Hill and Shalin Spani have carded 4.7 per game (147 points overall), 7.0 percent of total points.

Double the Fun for Shalee
Over the last five contests, Shalee Lehning has filled the stat sheet by averaging 17.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.8 steals per contest. She has tallied eight double-doubles this season and the 13 for her career. She is now tied for seventh in school history for career double-doubles and is tied for third in school history for consecutive double-doubles after recording four from February 27 to March 12. She is just the third player in school history to tally four consecutive double-doubles. This season, Lehning ranks tied for second in the Big 12 with eight double-doubles. She is the only point guard in the conference to register multiple double-doubles this season.

Filling a stat sheet has never been a problem, as Lehning is the only current player in the Big 12 to register two triple-doubles in her career and is tied for the conference lead with Edwina Brown of Texas, who notched one in both the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Both triple-doubles for Lehning came in the final games of the 2006 and the 2007 seasons.

Lehning is Sixth Member of 600/500 Club
Shalee Lehning is just the sixth player among Big 12 schools to register 500 assists (565) and 600 rebounds (697) for her career and the fifth since the formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996-97.

Earlier this season, she became the 12th player among Big 12 schools to record 400 assists and 500 rebounds for her career. She joins former Wildcat Megan Mahoney (2001-05) as the only members of the 500-assist and 600-rebound club from K-State and is just the eighth player to achieve the feat since the formation of the Big 12.

Lehning also became the second player in school history to register 800 points (859), 600 rebounds (697) and 500 assists for her career (565).

Lehning the Passer; Moves into Second on Career Assist List
Shalee Lehning has continued her climb to the summit of the K-State career assists list this season, as she moved into second place on the all-time list with 565 passing Mary Jo Miller (1988-92; 562). She is just 24 assists from tying Megan Mahoney for the career school record of 589. She currently ranks ninth in Big 12 history. The junior from Sublette, Kan., is the third player in school history to reach the 500-assist plateau for her career. Lehning has played in 98 games in her career and has tallied 5.77 assists per contest.

On the season, she has tallied a K-State junior record 197 assists and could become the first player in school history to surpass the 200-assist barrier in a season. Lehning also holds the assists record by a freshman (189) and by a sophomore (179).

Lehning has been effective and efficient this season with her distribution of the basketball, registering 6.33 assists per game to lead the Big 12 and ranks 12th in the nation. She also has a 1.67 assist-to-turnover ratio (197 assists - 118 turnovers) to rank fourth in the Big 12 and 62nd in the nation. This season, she has carded 24 games of five or more assists and four contests with 10 or more. For her career, she holds the school record for games with 10 or more assists at 12 contests including a career-high of 12 on three occasions.

Lehning the Scorer
When most people think of junior guard Shalee Lehning, they immediately think of a tremendous distributor of the basketball but she has been one of K-State’s leading scorers this season as well. Lehning is averaging a career-high 11.3 points per game and has been efficient when scoring the ball with a career-high field goal percentage of .534 (124-of-232). She registered a career-high for points in a game with 29 at Kansas in the regular season finale. She also has two efforts of 21 points in the Wildcats’ wins over Texas and Missouri and tallied two efforts of 19 points, at Nebraska and at Colorado. When Lehning records 20 or more points, the Wildcats are 3-0.

With the career-high of 351 points she has scored this season, Lehning ranks 36th in career points at K-State with 859 and trails Missy Decker (1994-97; 861) for 35th by just two points.

Lehning the Rebounder; Top Rebounder Among National Assist Leaders
Shalee Lehning continues to mix it up with the big girls inside, despite being just 5-9 and playing the point guard position. She is second on the team in rebounds with 237 (7.6 rpg). She is currently ninth in the Big 12 in rebounds per game and is the shortest player among the top-15 in the category. She is second in the conference in defensive rebounds per game (5.83) and trails Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris (9.34) in the category.

This season she has 10 contests of 10 or more rebounds, including a season-high 17 rebounds at Kansas in the regular season finale. For her career, Lehning has 22 career games with 10 or more rebounds, including a career-high and school record-tying total of 20 rebounds against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 6, 2005. When she hauls in six or more rebounds in a game, the Wildcats are 43-21 (.672). The guard from Sublette, Kan., is 11th in career rebounds at K-State with 697 and needs one rebound to tie Kristie Bahner (1987-91; 698) for 10th.

A season ago, Lehning led the Wildcats in rebounding with 6.9 per contest. Lehning finished the season ranked 13th in the Big 12 in rebounds per game and was the shortest player among the top-15. She was also the only player in the conference to appear among the top-15 in rebounds and the top-10 in assists (5.26 apg; 2nd). At the conclusion of her freshman campaign in 2005-06, she was the only player in the conference to be ranked among the top-20 in rebounds and top-15 in assists.

Full Nelson
Junior Kelsey Nelson shattered a number of her career-highs in her breakout performance in K-State’s first round win over Chattanooga on Sunday. The Riley, Kan., native tallied career-highs in points (20), minutes played (27), field goals made (six), field goals attempted (11), free throws made (seven), free throws attempted (seven) and rebounds (six). Entering the contest, Nelson had tallied 23 points in 16 games for 1.8 points per game.

Nelson’s previous career-highs in points, minutes and free throws made and attempted came against another squad from the state of Tennessee, as she registered five points in 13 minutes of action against Lipscomb on Nov. 30, 2007 during the K-State Commerce Bank Classic.

Double Vision for Gipson
Junior Marlies Gipson has been double trouble for opponents during the last 24 games, as she has averaged 12.5 points on a .506 field goal percentage, 7.9 rebounds per game and 2.4 blocks per game. During this span, Gipson has registered seven double-doubles including a 21-point and 16-rebound effort at Oklahoma State on Jan. 27 and a 20-point and 15-rebound performance against Kansas on Feb. 9. She has also scored in double figures in 20 of those contests.

The product of McPherson, Kan., is tied for seventh in school history for career double-doubles with 13 and is tied for sixth in the Big 12 this season with seven. When Gipson registers a double-double this season K-State is 6-1 and for her career the Wildcats are 11-2.

Gipson Pacing Wildcats in Rebounding, Blocks
Junior Marlies Gipson has returned to the K-State starting lineup this season without showing any ill effects from a knee injury that sidelined her for the final 18 games a season ago. Gipson leads the Wildcats in rebounds (238; 7.7 rpg) and blocks (68; 2.19 bpg) and is second in scoring (367; 11.8 ppg). She ranks seventh in the conference in rebounds, is fifth in blocks and is 21st in scoring.

With the 68 blocked shots this season, Gipson is second for blocks in a season and needs one to tie Nicole Ohlde’s record of 69 during the 2001-02 season. Gipson is second in career blocks in school history with 169 and eighth in Big 12 history. She ranks 13th in school history for career rebounds with 586. With her 367 points this season, Gipson now has 863 and ranks 34th in school history.

Before her injury last season, the forward from McPherson, Kan., was among the Big 12 leaders in points (12.8 ppg), rebounds (8.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.473). The Wildcats also had a 14-2 record and were ranked 25th in the Associated Press poll on Jan. 15 with Gipson in the lineup, but were 5-13 without her.

Gipson, Wheeler Among Big 12’s Best in Blocks
Junior Marlies Gipson and senior Shana Wheeler have been quite the duo of defense during their time in K-State uniforms. Gipson is second in school history for career blocked shots with 169 and tied the school record for blocks in a game with seven on Dec. 17, 2006 against Weber State. Gipson’s career total ranks eighth in Big 12 history and her total of 68 is one away from passing Nicole Ohlde’s school record of 69 during the 2001-02 season.

Wheeler entered the season in second on the K-State career blocks list, but has fallen behind Gipson with her total of 144. Wheeler ranks 13th in Big 12 history. They are the first set of teammates to appear on the Big 12 career list at the same time and still be in action.