Wildcats Ready to Face KU... Again

"Everybody always says that, but to me, every game is new," said Mittie earlier this week. "Everybody always says (it's tough to beat a team three consecutive times) because the law of averages is that, eventually, you're going to lose. But to me, every game is new and we're going to take it that way."
Tonight's contest between the No. 8-seed Wildcats (17-12, 7-11 Big 12) and the No. 9-seed Jayhawks (15-16, 6-12 Big 12) will be the opening game of the 2015 Phillips 66 Women's Basketball Championship. The teams are set to tip off at 6 p.m., in American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. 
Going 2-0 against the Jayhawks in the regular season, Kansas was the only team K-State swept this year in conference play, and the Wildcats are hoping to continue that success on the court tonight.
"They say it's hard to beat a team three times in a row, but if we have the right focus, we should be alright," said Wildcat senior guard Haley Texada. "It's going to be a challenge - no game in this tournament is going to be easy - so we have to approach the situation and play hard." 
The last time the two teams met was on February 25, at Allen Fieldhouse where K-State defeated Kansas, 55-48, in an intense battle. It was a game that featured six ties and nine lead-changes, but K-State battled until the final minutes and secured the road victory. Texada paced the Wildcats with 20 points in that contest with senior guard Ashia Woods (12) and sophomore guard Kindred Wesemann (10) also scoring in double figures.  
When K-State took on Kansas on January 11, in Bramlage Coliseum, it was also a tightly-contested matchup. K-State won the battle, 58-52, as Woods led the way with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds.
"We just played them a week and a half ago," said Mittie, "but both games this season have been really tight. Both have been close throughout, and there really hasn't been much separation. I expect that in a rivalry game, and I think that's what we're going to get in the Big 12 tournament."
Kansas enters tonight's game on a two-game winning streak with wins over both Oklahoma (65-58) and Iowa State (68-64) in the past week.
However, while the Jayhawks are coming off of a win, so is K-State as it enters tonight's game with hopes of riding the momentum of its exciting 59-55 comeback victory over West Virginia on Tuesday evening. 
"It's huge. That gives us a lot of momentum," said Texada the afternoon after the win, a game in which she scored a season-high 22 points. "A lot of us are still on a high from that game last night, and I feel like with our practices and walk-throughs, we'll need (that momentum) playing KU. It's a big game. It's going to be huge for the first game of this Big 12 tournament."
Of course, building some additional intensity going into tonight's game is the fact that, much like this year, the Wildcats met the Jayhawks in the 2014 Big 12 Championship's opening round. Though K-State kept the game close, the Wildcats ended up losing, 87-84, in overtime. 
KU moved on. K-State went home.
"We lost to them in overtime last year," said Woods, the sting of the loss still evident in her voice. "We were in the same position, and we lost. Yeah, we beat them two times this year, but that's done with. We're done with the season. We lost to them last year in the tournament, so we want to come back from that." 
Tonight's game will be aired on FOX College Sports Central and can be heard on the K-State Sports Network. For game notes and more information on tonight's matchup, please click here
"I'm hoping we roll over and bring some intensity," concluded Woods. "We know that we can fight hard and play against really good opponents. We beat KU twice, and everyone knows it's hard to beat a team three times, but I think it's going to be a good game. Momentum, energy, intensity, sense of urgency, I hope we have all of those things."

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.