K-State to Take Part in Big 12/SEC Challenge

April 30, 2015

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The Big 12 and Southeastern conferences have announced an extension of their women's basketball challenge that will expand to 10 games in 2016 and 2017. K-State will host Auburn in the 2016 non-conference schedule and will travel to Missouri to face the Tigers in the 2017 non-conference season.

Every team from the Big 12 will participate while 10 teams from the SEC will take part each season. The format features five home games on campus sites for each conference per year. Teams will not face the same opponent twice.  

In 2016, games will be scheduled over the dates of Thursday-Sunday, December 1-4. Exact dates of matchups and television designation will be released when available.  

"We are excited to see the Big 12/SEC Challenge expand to include all 10 of our institutions," said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "This gives each of our teams an opportunity for a quality non-conference opponent and provides marquee matchups between two of the nation's top conferences."

The inaugural challenge was held in 2014 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and featured a top-5 matchup with No. 3 Texas squaring off against No. 4 Texas A&M. Oklahoma and Arkansas, who were both receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll, played in the second game. The conferences split the Challenge with the two games decided by a total of nine points.

The 2015 version will be contested in Oklahoma City on Sunday, December 20, 2015, with the opponents reversed. Texas will play Arkansas while Oklahoma entertains Texas A&M.

Kansas State owns an all-time record of 68-62 against members of the Southeastern Conference. K-State will face Auburn for the second time in the series between the schools, as the Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 67-54, in the 2007 Postseason WNIT in Manhattan.

K-State will visit Columbia, Missouri, for the first time since Feb. 25, 2012, and will be the 84th meeting in the series between the schools, which K-State leads, 45-38. The Tigers defeated the Wildcats in the 2015 Postseason WNIT in Manhattan, 67-48.

Earlier this spring, K-State announced a home and home series with three-time defending national champion Connecticut. The Wildcats will face the Huskies in Storrs, Connecticut, on Monday, Nov. 23 in the 2015-16 season and will host Connecticut at a date to be determined in the 2016-17 season.

Under Mittie in his first year with the Wildcats in 2014-15, Kansas State finished with a 19-14 overall record, the fifth Postseason WNIT appearance in program history and the 18th overall postseason bid. The eight-win improvement from the 2013-14 season is the third largest win improvement from one season to the next in program history. The Wildcats registered a 7-11 mark in Big 12 play and tied for seventh in the league standings, which marked the most wins in league play since the 2011-12 season.

The Wildcats will be led into the 2015-16 season by 2015 All-Big 12 Second Team selection and Big 12 All-Defensive Team honoree Breanna Lewis, junior-to-be guard Kindred Wesemann and senior-to-be guard Bri Craig.

During her breakout season, Lewis became the first player in program history to register the combination of 300 or more points, 150 or more rebounds, 90 or more blocks and 50 or more steals in a single season.

The junior-to-be forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, led the Wildcats in a number of statistical categories including: 11.5 points (15th in the Big 12), 6.4 rebounds (11th in the Big 12), 2.9 blocks (2nd in the Big 12) and 1.6 steals (12th in the Big 12). She set career-highs in every statistical category in 2014-15. Lewis anchored one of the Big 12's top defenses, as she blocked a single season school record 97 shots.

Wesemann will enter her third season in Manhattan following a sophomore campaign that saw her record career highs in every statistical category. For the second straight season, Wesemann will enter a season as the team's top returning 3-point shooter after she tallied a career-best effort of 52 made from beyond the arc.

Craig enters her final season with the Wildcats ranked 11th in program history with 136 career 3-point field goals made. In the 2014-15 season, the product of Lincoln, Nebraska, averaged 6.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 33 games.

The remainder of the 2015-16 non-conference schedule, the Big 12 schedule and the promotional schedule will be announced later this summer.

K-State women's basketball season tickets for the 2015-16 season will be available for purchase beginning in June. For more information, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.

2016 SEC/Big 12 Women's Basketball Challenge Matchups
Baylor at Tennessee
Mississippi State at Iowa State
Kansas at Alabama
Auburn at K-State
Oklahoma at Kentucky
Georgia at Oklahoma State
TCU at Florida
South Carolina at Texas
Texas Tech at Arkansas
Mississippi at West Virginia

2017 Big 12/SEC Women's Basketball Challenge Matchups
Kentucky at Baylor
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Arkansas at Kansas
K-State at Missouri
Florida at Oklahoma
Oklahoma State at Mississippi State
Alabama at TCU
Texas at Georgia
LSU at Texas Tech
West Virginia at Texas A&M