(No. 23/22) Kansas State (11-3, 2-1) vs. Nebraska (11-4, 3-0)
January 15, 2005 2:00 p.m. (CT)
Bramlage Coliseum (13,340)
Radio: Mid America Sports Network
Series History: K-State leads 36-26
Internet: Webcast and Audio Broadcast on www.k-statesports.com
With half of the 2004-05 regular season already completed, the No. 23-ranked Kansas State women’s basketball team (11-3, 2-1) looks to build on its current two-game Big 12 Conference win streak hosting Northern rival Nebraska (11-4, 3-0) on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. (CT) in Bramlage Coliseum. Last season, the Wildcats and Huskers split the series, 1-1, with victories favoring each home team.
HUSKERS UNDO NO. 2!
One of nine Big 12 teams to advance to postseason play last season, Nebraska most recently upset second-ranked Baylor in a 103-99 triple-overtime thriller in Lincoln on Jan. 12. Sophomore guard Kiera Hardy scored a career-high 37 points to lead four Huskers in double figures. It was the program’s first-ever win against a top 5 opponent. NU is opening conference play with an undefeated 3-0 record for the first time since the 1991-92 season. One win short of an NCAA Tournament bid a year ago, Nebraska (18-12) advanced to the postseason WNIT with a 75-67 second round loss to Oregon State.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
No. Name 2004-05 Stats
15 Elena Diaz, F, 6-1, Jr. 4.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
33 Jessica Gerhart, F, 6-2, So. 12.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg
04 Jelena Spiric, G, 6-0, Jr. 7.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
20 Jina Johansen, G, 5-7, Sr. 6.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg
21 Kiera Hardy, G, 5-6, So. 19.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Kansas State leads 36-26 in the all-time series dating back to the 1974-75 season, while Nebraska leads 11-7 in Big 12 meetings between both schools. Prior to last season’s 81-63 upset in Lincoln on Jan. 24, 2004, K-State (ranked No. 9 at the time) had won two-straight vs. the Huskers. The Wildcats later avenged their loss with a 20-point thumping of NU (89-69) on Feb. 14, 2004 in Manhattan. K-State holds a 21-8 all-time advantage when playing on its home court.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 23-ranked Kansas State rolled to an 87-44 victory over Missouri on Jan. 11 behind a 25 point and 12 rebound performance from Kendra Wecker. The 43-point victory was K-State’s second largest in the series as the Wildcats won their eighth in a row over the Tigers. K-State roared to a 39-15 halftime lead behind a stifling defensive effort that held the Tigers to just 23 percent shooting from the field. In the second half, the Wildcats led by as many 44 points with just under a minute to play before emptying its bench. For the game, K-State sizzled from the field, connecting on 49 percent of its attempts, including 50 percent from three-point land. Koehn led the way with five treys, equaling her season high and becoming just the eighth Wildcat to top 1,500 career points. She finished with 21 points.
DEFENSE, WILDCATS, DEFENSE
Over the last two-straight games in Big 12 play, the Wildcats have held rival Kansas and Missouri to one of the team’s top five lowest scoring productions by an opponent this season. Three of those five teams have been victims of the Wildcat defense at Bramlage Coliseum. Central Connecticut State’s 23 points on Jan. 2 was the lowest ever in the program’s history. Overall, K-State is holding opponents to only 35.6 percent shooting from the floor and causing opponents to turnover the ball an average of 20.5 times per game.
K-State Opponent (Date) Points
Central Connecticut State (1/2/05) 23
at UMKC (12/11/04) 31
Wyoming (11/19/04) 42
Missouri (1/11/05) 44
at Kansas (1/8/05) 45
HOME IS DEFINITELY WHERE THE HEART IS
Of the 12 teams in the Big 12 Conference, five schools are undefeated at home while three schools (including K-State) have only one loss at home this season. Iowa State, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Baylor and Oklahoma are all unbeaten and are currently 1-6 in the latest league standings. The Wildcats, currently fifth in the Big 12, draw each Southern school at home in the coming weeks at Texas Tech on Jan. 22, at Baylor on Feb. 2 and at Oklahoma on Feb. 13. The Wildcats have won the last 19-straight regular season Big 12 home games in Bramlage Coliseum.
NO. 2 CORRELATION
Last season, Big 12 teams went 4-6 against The Associated Press No. 2-ranked team in the country in regular season and postseason play. Against league schools that had beaten a No. 2 (Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas), K-State went 3-2. Iowa State beat then-second-ranked Texas Tech on Jan. 14, 2004 (64-63) at home, then fell to the Wildcats six games later (61-47) in Manhattan. OU defeated then-No.2 Texas (66-47) in the 2004 Big 12 Tournament Championship Game and Texas beat then-No. 2 Duke (85-77) on Nov. 16, 2004 and then-No. 2 Tennessee (70-60) on Dec. 28, 2004.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
The Wildcats (11-3, 2-1) are currently fifth in the latest Big 12 Conference standings as of Jan. 13. Kansas State leads the league in rebounding defense (30.3), while Kendra Wecker tops all Big 12 players in scoring (21.1 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (58.3). Laurie Koehn also leads the league in three-point field goals made (39).
School Overall Big 12
1. Iowa State 13-1 3-0
2. Texas Tech 12-2 3-0
3. Nebraska 11-4 3-0
4. Baylor 12-2 2-1
5. Kansas State 11-3 2-1
6. Oklahoma 9-4 1-1
7. Texas A&M 10-3 1-2
8. Texas 8-5 1-2
9. Missouri 7-7 1-2
10. Colorado 7-6 0-2
11. Kansas 7-7 0-3
12. Oklahoma State 5-8 0-3