Wildcats Return Home to Face Santa Clara Friday

GAME - 10
Kansas State (8-1)  vs. Santa Clara (6-4)
Friday, December 15, 2006  7 p.m.
Bramlage Coliseum (13,340), Manhattan, Kan.

Radio: KINZ-FM 95.3 (Chanute); KCLY-FM 95.3 (Clay Center);  KGGG-FM 94.7 (Hutchinson);  KMAN-AM 1350 (Manhattan); KBLS-FM 102.5 (North Fort Riley); KWIC-FM 99.3 (Topeka); KFTI-AM 1070 (Wichita)
Television: None
Internet: Live Stats on k-statesports.com

GAME PREVIEW: After a two-game road swing, Kansas State women’s basketball team returns to Bramlage Coliseum to host Santa Clara on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.  The Wildcats open a two-game home stand against the Broncos followed by Weber State on Sunday, Dec. 17. 

THE SERIES: Kansas State and Santa Clara have met two times with K-State leading the series, 2-0.  The Wildcats defeated the Broncos, 100-71, last season in Santa Clara, Calif. on Nov. 26.  The other K-State win (66-64) against Santa Clara was on Dec. 30, 1998 in San Jose, Calif.
THE BRONCOS: Under fifth-year head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson the Broncos are 6-4 on the season.  Santa Clara opened the 2006-07 season winning five of first seven games before dropping two straight to Stanford (88-56) and Cal State Northridge (79-67).  The Broncos bounced back and defeated Fresno State (80-73) on Dec. 9 and Pacific (74-67) on Dec. 12.  Junior guard, Chandice Cronk, leads Santa Clara with 18.5 points per game while senior guard Ashley Graham (14.1 ppg) and junior forward Jen Gottschalk (10.1 ppg) are also averaging in double figures.  Gottschalk is the top rebounder for the Broncos with 6.5 rebounds per game.  Santa Clara returns three starters and 12 letterwinners from the squad that finished 19-12 last season.  The Broncos are picked to finish fourth out of eight teams in the West Coast Conference pre-season poll.

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 has compiled a 207-114 (.645) record during her 11 seasons as Kansas State head women's basketball coach.  Saturday's victory over the Kangaroos puts her one win above Judy Akers who guided K-State to a 206-94 record during a 10-year period from 1968-1979.

HALFTIME LEAD = “W”: Since March 2nd last season the Wildcats are 12-0 when leading at halftime.  The last K-State loss after leading at halftime came against #9 Oklahoma on Feb. 21, 2006.  The Wildcats led 39-36 at the break but fell to the Sooners, 78-64.  K-State is 8-0 this season when ahead at the half.

BRAMLAGE TOUGH ON NON-CONFERENCE FOES: During Deb Patterson era (1996-present) the Wildcats have posted 63-6 (.913) record against non-conference opponents in Bramlage Coliseum.  K-State finished 10-1 record last season and has a perfect 5-0 record this season.

BALANCE SCORING: In eight out of nine games this season, three or more players have scored in double figures.  In six games four players reached double digits, while five players scored in double figures in one game (Creighton).  K-State has five players averaging at least 9.0 points per game, and six different players have scored 10 or more points in a game at least once.

CATS FIND SUCCESS IN THE PAINT: Even without a true center, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 294-1162 in the paint this season.  K-State also has  plus 9.4 rebounding margin and blocked 58 shots.

CAPITALIZING OPPONENTS MISTAKES: The Wildcats have forced 169 turnovers this season and turned them into 155 points.  K-State is outscoring foes by 66 points (155-89) of turnovers.

PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: During K-State’s nine games this season, the Wildcats have trailed for a grand total of 45:26 of a possible 365 minutes.  K-State led from start to finish in two games this season against Creighton and Mississippi Valley State.

COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Senior Claire Coggins came into the season with 831 career points and she is now just 66 points away from being the program’s 32nd 1,000 point scorer.
Coggins needs to average 3.3 points per game in the remaining 20 regular season games to reach the 1,000 point mark in the regular season.  In her first three years at K-State, Coggins has averaged 9.2 points per game, including team-best 13.5 points per game last season.  This season she has averaged 11.4 points per game.

DEE-FENSE: The Wildcats have held opponents to just 31 percent shooting this season.  K-State has allowed 52.7 points per game while posting 260 defensive rebounds, 58 blocks and 81 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 this season.  Creighton posted the highest percentage (.393) against K-State this season.

3-POINT STREAK: K-State has connected on at least two three-point field goal in 96 consecutive games.  The last time the Wildcats were held without a three-point field goal was Dec. 30, 2003, by Southeast Missouri State at the UTSA New Year’s Eve Classic in San Antonio, Texas.  K-State missed all 14 attempts against the Lady Indians in a 78-42 win.

WILDCATS VS. WEST COAST: K-State has played four of the eight schools in the West Coast Conference and owns a 5-1 (.833) record against them.  The Wildcats have played Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Saint Mary’s (Calif.) and Santa Clara.  The last time K-State faced a West Coast foe was last year when the Wildcats defeated Santa Clara, 100-71.

FRESHMAN MAKING A STATEMENT: After making her collegiate debut with a bang with 10 points and eight rebounds against UW-Green Bay, Ashley Sweat has continued to get better.  She is averaging 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game, while leading the team in free-throw attempts (35) and free-throws made (27).  Sweat was the team leader in points  in one game (15 vs. MVSU) and rebounds in two games (9 vs. Wisconsin and Alcorn St.) this season.

UP NEXT: The Wildcats will continue their two-game home stand against Weber State on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m.  Both teams have met once before on Dec. 7, 2002 with K-State winning, 60-36, in Bramlage Coliseum.
Fans can receive free admission to the game by bringing an unwrapped gift worth $5 or more for Riley’s Operation Santa Claus.