Jan 19, 2003
By ERIC OLSON
Associated Press Writer
LINCOLN, Neb. - Before Sunday, Kansas State hadn't won a women's basketball game at the Devaney Sports Center in eight years.
This time, the fourth-ranked Wildcats acted as if they owned the place, with more than half of the crowd of 6,077 dressed in purple.
Nicole Ohlde made 9-of-10 shots and scored a game-high 23 points, and Kendra Wecker added 22 points and six steals as Kansas State beat Nebraska 88-54.
The biggest contribution may have come from sophomore guard Chelsea Domenico, who inherited most of the minutes that became available last week when All-America candidate Laurie Koehn sprained her ankle.
Domenico made three of her first four shots from 3-point range and finished 4-for-5 behind the arc for 12 points.
"We've always said at practice that Chelsea was a dead-eye shooter," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. "It's taken her a while to do it in games. Now she's doing that. Chelsea will punish teams if they don't guard her."
The Wildcats (17-1, 4-0 Big 12) won their 12th straight game and equaled their best start in program history. They also opened last season with wins in 17 of their first 18 games.
Kansas State shot 62.3 percent from the field and went 6-of-11 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats, who won in Lincoln for the first time since Jan. 6, 1995, posted their largest margin of victory ever against the Huskers. Their previous high margin against Nebraska was 15 points in 1984.
Alexa Johnson led the Cornhuskers (7-7, 0-3) with 18 points. Margaret Richards added 11 points for the Huskers, who shot just 31.7 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers.
K-State held Nebraska scoreless over 13 straight possessions of an 8:30 span of the first and second halves while extending the lead to 45-19.
"I was really pleased with the development of our defense in this game," Patterson said. "We did a nice job of answering Nebraska play-for-play. We had a great awareness of where the ball was."
Nebraska seemed to have trouble locating the ball when it was in the hands of Domenico, who made three of her four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game. By then, the Wildcats led by 10 and would never be pushed.
"Just coming out and hitting open shots gets the team going," Domenico said. "When teams sag off, it's a priority of mine to hit those shots."
Given that Domenico was a 24.5-percent 3-point shooter coming into the game, the Huskers may have forgotten about her.
"We weren't expecting her to hit those three 3s in the first half," Nebraska guard Jina Johansen said. "Then Ohlde took over the game."
Ohlde credited Domenico for opening up the game.
"The fact Chelsea was knocking down 3s really opened up the paint," Ohlde said. "If they want to double-team me, we can kick it out to the guards and know they'll make shots all day."