Wildcats' Forwards Set to Own the Paint

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State enters its 42nd season of women's basketball in the 2009-10 season fresh off the 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. K-State's forwards will look to replace the production of All-Big 12 second team selection Marlies Gipson.

K-State returns considerable experience in the frontcourt, as the Wildcats return four players that saw action in a combined total of 1,685 minutes from the 2008-09 season. The four players will be charged with replacing the workload of Gipson. The product of McPherson, Kan., concluded her senior campaign averaging 13.4 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per contest and set a school record for blocks in a season (86) and a career (257).

The Wildcats will look to senior forward Ashley Sweat to continue her stellar play from last season. The native of McPherson, Kan., garnered her first postseason Big 12 honor as she was named to the All-Big 12 first team by the league's coaches. Sweat displayed her versatile inside and outside game last season, as she led the Wildcats with a career-high season point total of 545 points and a career-high season average of 16.5 points per game. She was the seventh junior in school history to register 500 points in a season and the total of 545 points ranks as the third-highest by a junior in school history.

Sweat enters her senior campaign ranked 15th in career points with 1,291 and 28th on the career rebound list with 441 for her career. She will also look to continue her current streak of 99 consecutive games scored, which is every game of her career.

Joining Sweat in the frontcourt this season will be the duo of sophomores Jalana Childs and Branshea Brown. Both will be counted on to provide a solid post presence for the Wildcats in either a starting role or with significant contributions off the bench.

Childs, a product of Orlando, Fla., played in all 33 games in her debut season as a Wildcat by averaging 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds. Childs garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 16, 2009 with her first career double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds against Oklahoma State. During a four-game stretch from Feb. 15-25, Childs averaged 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds while recording the first three starts of her career.

Brown also provided a solid post presence for K-State in her rookie season by seeing action in 31 of the team's 33 contests. The product of Walterboro, S.C., averaged 1.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 205 total minutes played. Brown registered a career-high of eight points against Central Arkansas on Jan. 3 and pulled in a career-high 10 rebounds against UTSA on Nov. 23. Brown was the first freshman to pull in 10 rebounds in a game since Sweat achieved the feat on Jan. 31, 2007.

Sophomore guard/forward Alina Voronenko will look to build off a solid offseason. In her first season in Manhattan, Voronenko registered 0.8 points per game and 0.3 rebounds per game in 16 games played. The product of Otterville, Mo., registered a career-high five points against Alcorn State on Dec. 5.

The women's team will host an open practice on Saturday prior to the Texas A&M football game, with fans also having the chance to select their season ticket location.  The arena will open at 3 p.m., with an autograph session to follow the practice from 4-4:30 p.m., on the court.  There are a number of promotional activities planned for the practice, including a drawing for a free women's basketball season ticket.  Any fan who attends the practice will receive a "buy one, get one free" ticket voucher good for any women's non-conference game.

The 2009-10 Kansas State women's basketball season begins with an exhibition game against Fort Hays State on November 3 in Bramlage Coliseum. K-State's regular season begins Nov. 14 in Manhattan against Indiana State.

Women's basketball season tickets begin at $78 for general admission, while bench and chairback seating is available for $99 and $132, respectively.The most convenient way to order tickets is online at www.kstatesports.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the K-State Athletic Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum or by calling toll-free, (800) 221-CATS.