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Wildcats Look to Keep A Pair of Streaks Alive on Wednesday

GO WILDCATS All-American candidate Nicole Ohlde was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday.
All-American candidate Nicole Ohlde was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday.

Feb. 10, 2003

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Game #24
No. 5/5 Kansas State Wildcats (21-2, 8-1)
vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-12, 1-8)

Date: Wed., Feb. 12, 2003 - 7 p.m. CT
Site: Bramlage Coliseum (13,340) - Manhattan, Kan.
Television: None
Radio: Mid America Sports Network Steve Webster (play-by-play) and Missy Heidrick (color)
Internet: Audio broadcast on www.kstatesports.com
Gametracker: www.kstatesports.com
Records: Kansas State is 21-2, 8-1 overall. Nebraska is 8-12, 1-8 overall.
Coaches: Kansas State coach Deb Patterson (Rockford (Ill.) College '79) is 118-86 (.578) in her seventh season at K-State. Nebraska is coached by Connie Yori (Creighton '86), who is 8-12 (.400) in her first season at Nebraska.
Series: K-State leads the series, 34-25.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The No. 5/5 Kansas State Wildcats (21-2, 8-1) return to the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum this week when they meet Nebraska (8-12, 1-8) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

K-State plays the Cornhuskers for a second time this season and the 'Cats will be looking for their first series sweep of the Huskers since 1995 after winning the first meeting, 88-54, in Lincoln on Jan. 19.

Kansas State won its 21st game of the season and first-ever contest in Waco, Texas with a 65-53 decision over Baylor on Feb. 8. The win keeps the Wildcats in the race for the Big 12 regular-season title with Texas and Texas Tech which both won games this past week.

Nebraska is on a two-game losing streak after falling to Missouri, 74-53, on Feb. 8 in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers are currently in last place in the Big 12 along with Oklahoma State.

Wednesday's game can be heard on KMAN (1350 AM), KBLS (102.5), KNDY (1570 AM), KTPK (106.9 FM), KXKU (106.1 FM) and KINZ (95.3 FM). Steve Webster will call the play-by-play and Missy Heidrick the color. Pre-game starts at 6:40 p.m.

Kansas State leads the series, 34-25.

Setting The Scene
Kansas State has a few things riding on Wednesday's game with Nebraska.

First, a win keeps the Wildcats in the race for the Big 12 regular-season title. The 'Cats are tied with Texas Tech and Texas.

A victory on Wednesday would also continue the Wildcats' 17-game home winning streak and a modest three-game winning streak. The home winning streak is currently the sixth longest in the NCAA as of Feb. 4.

The Wildcats could also tie the school record for most wins at home. The 1981-82 team finished the season 15-1. This year's team is currently tied with the 1982-83 and 1983-84 squads with 14 home wins.

Kansas State looks to improve its Big 12 home record. The 'Cats are 31-21 (.596) at home in six-plus league seasons and sport a 12-8 mark in the last two seasons.

The Wildcats will be looking for their first sweep of the KSU-NU series since 1995. In their first meeting on Jan. 19, the Wildcats beat the Huskers, 88-54, in Lincoln. K-State was denied the series sweep last year when the 'Cats beat the Huskers, 85-71, on Jan. 12, but then lost in Lincoln, 67-52, on Feb. 10. The teams have split the last four of seven series.

Nebraska will be playing its fourth game against a ranked team and second contest vs. a Top 5 program of the season. The Cornhuskers are 0-3 after losing to then-No. 17 Penn State, 83-64, in the Surf & Slam Tournament on Dec. 30, to then-No. 25/22 Oklahoma, 57-43, in their conference opener on Jan. 11 and to the then-No. 4/4 Wildcats.

The Cornhuskers will also be trying to snap a two-game losing streak. Nebraska won its first Big 12 game of the season with a 73-59 win at Oklahoma State. The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak.

A Glance at Kansas State
Kansas State has been red-hot in its last 17 games, posting double-digit victories in 12 and winning by 23.2 points per outing.

One of the hottest shooting teams in the Big 12, K-State has connected on 50 percent or more of its attempts from the field in eight of its last 17 games. They rank first overall in field goal percentage at 49.1 percent and in three-point field goal percentage at 38.1 percent in the overall Big 12 stats.

Defensively, the Wildcats have held their last 17 foes to a combined 35.3 percent (345-977) from the floor and 33.7 percent (88-261) from beyond the three-point arc. Additionally, nine of the last 12 opponents have shot 36 percent or lower from the field. For the season, opponents are connecting on 35.4 percent of their shots from the field and 31.2 percent from three-point range.

Kansas State is shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range and 72.9 percent from the free-throw line. The Wildcats are averaging 77 points a game and allowing only 56.9 points an outing.

Seventh-year head coach Deb Patterson used the lineup of sophomore Chelsea Domenico at point, sophomore Megan Mahoney at wing, junior Amy Dutmer at small forward, sophomore Kendra Wecker at power forward and junior Nicole Ohlde at center for the eighth time this season in a 65-53 win at Baylor on Feb. 8.

All-American candidate Kendra Wecker is averages 20.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and is one of the premier players in college basketball. The 5-foot-11 forward ranks among the top 10 in the Big 12 Conference in five of 12 statistical league categories, including fourth in scoring. She is also 15th in scoring in the NCAA.

Ohlde, also an All-American candidate, provides consistent play in the paint despite seeing double and triple teams. The 6-foot-4 center is in the top 10 in six of 12 categories in the Big 12 Conference stats. She is averaging 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists a contest. Additionally, Ohlde changes an opponent's offense with her blocking ability. She is rejecting 1.8 shots per game, the fourth-most in the Big 12.

Mahoney is the Wildcats' top playmaker, dishing out 4.9 assists per game, and has had 12 five-assist games already this season. She is sixth in the Big 12 in assists and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio. The guard/forward is scoring 13.5 points and grabbing 6.1 caroms an outing and is 14th in the league in scoring (12.9).

Domenico is averaging 4.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists over 21 games (14 starts), and has a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is also second in the league in three-pointers (18/2.0).

Dutmer, who made her eighth collegiate start on Feb. 8, is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds. She has been effective from beyond the three-point arc, hitting 11 of 33 (33.3 percent) of her attempts after sinking her first career trey on Dec. 20.

The nation's leading three-point shooter last year, Laurie Koehn, remains sidelined with a sore right ankle. The guard missed her third consecutive game and sixth of the season on Feb. 8. She was averaging

13.5 points and grabbing 3.5 rebounds a game before sitting out the Oklahoma game on Feb. 1.

Off the bench, Brie Madden has been a consistent contributor.

Madden is tallying 5.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 23 games (10 starts). She is also the team's second-leading shot blocker (40) and ranks third in the league in that category.

A Glance At Nebraska
Nebraska is currently 8-12 overall and 1-8 in the Big 12. The Huskers are tied with Oklahoma State for last in the league rankings.

Nebraska's lone league victory has been at Oklahoma State, 73-59, on Feb. 1. The losses have been to Oklahoma (57-43), at Colorado (74-54), Kansas State (88-54), at Missouri (65-53), Iowa State (58-53), at Kansas (67-64), to Baylor (69-44) and to Missouri (74-53).

Head coach Connie Yori is in her 13th season overall (203-151) and first at Nebraska.

The Huskers have two players scoring in double figures - Alexa Johnson (15.5) and Margaret Richards (12.1).

Johnson is also averaging 6.9 rebounds, while Amanda Cleveland is grabbing a team-leading 7.9 a game and blocking 1.6 shots an outing.

Jina Johansen, a 5-foot-7 guard, is Nebraska's top playmaker, dishing out 5.7 a game. She is also averaging 5.6 points a contest.

Nebraska is shooting 37.8 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from three-point range and 69.5 percent from the free-throw line. Additionally, the Cornhuskers are averaging 59.5 points per game and giving up 62.8. They are also grabbing 39 rebounds per contest.

20-win Season
K-State secured the program's 16th 20-win season in 35 years with its win on Feb. 1.

It is the second-straight 20-win year. The last time that was accomplished was in 1982-83 and 1983-84.

The 2002-03 team also tied last year's squad for the fastest team to reach the 20-win plateau.

Currently, the Wildcats have the 11th-most wins in the program's history and would tie the 1986-87 team (22-9) for 10th with a win on Wednesday.

100,000 And Climbing
K-State became the fourth school to go over the 100,000 fan-barrier last week when they drew 8,767 fans to the Missouri game to give them 105,979 this year. The Wildcats need a total of 16,397 fans over their final four games to surpass last year's record home attendance of 122,376.

Kansas State has averaged 7,570 fans in their 14 home contests this season, but more importantly, 10,236 fans in its last four Big 12 games.

Kansas State has won its last 17 home games but still has a long way to go to break the school record of 31, set between Dec. 12, 1981, and Dec. 30, 1983.

Series History
* Kansas State leads the all-time series, 34-25.
* The Wildcats are 4-9 vs. the Cornhuskers since the inaugural season of the Big 12 in 1996-97.
* Last year, the teams split the series with Kansas State winning in Manhattan, 85-71, and Nebraska was victorious in Lincoln, 67-52.
* Kansas State is 19-8 at home, 10-16 on the road and 5-1 at neutral sites against Nebraska.
* The Huskers have won the last seven of nine meetings.
* Against Nebraska, K-State is 12-0 in the 70s, 12-7 in the 80s, 9-12 in the 90s and 2-5 in 2000-01.
* The Wildcats lost to the Cornhuskers once between 1975 and 1984 (1/20/79, 68-65).
* The Kansas State-Nebraska series is the second-longest series in terms of years (27) and the third-longest in number of games (59) in K-State history.
* The Wildcats and the Cornhuskers first met in 1975.
* Deb Patterson is 5-9 all-time against Nebraska, including a 4-3 mark in Manhattan.
* Three of K-State's 20 100-point outings have come against Nebraska, including a thrilling 104-103 overtime victory in Lincoln on Jan. 18, 1983. K-State set its school record for field goal shooting in that game, hitting 71.4 percent of its attempts (40 for 56).
* Kansas State has one player from the Cornhusker State - sophomore Amy Dutmer (York). u In the K-State game with Nebraska on Jan. 18, 1983, the Wildcats set the school record for field goal percentage, hitting 71.4 percent of their attempts (40-for-56).

A Kansas State Victory Wednesday Would...
...be the Wildcats 22nd win of the season and fourth consecutive.
...be the most home victories since the 1981-82 team went 15-1 in Ahearn Field House.
...be the 48th victory of the 'Cats in the last 58 games (.827).
...sweep the series for K-State for the first time since 1995.
...be K-State's 35th win over Nebraska and the second straight.
...improve Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson's record to 6-9 against Nebraska and 5-3 in Manhattan.
...improve K-State's Big 12 home record to 32-21 (.603).
...put head coach Deb Patterson's overall win-loss record at 119-86.
...improve Kansas State's all-time record to 622-389.
...mark the second time since joining the Big 12 that K-State has won its first four games in February (1996-97).
...be the third-most Big 12 league victories (11 in 2001-02; 9 in 1996-97) for Kansas State.

Peak At The Polls Reveal...
Kansas State remained No. 5 this week in the latest Associated Press poll. In this week's AP poll, Kansas State has five opponents currently ranked. Stanford is No. 6; No. 7 Texas Tech (March 6); No. 12 Penn State; No. 11 Texas; and No. 21 Wisconsin-Green Bay. The other Wildcat opponent receiving votes are Oklahoma (43), Colorado (15) and Baylor (1).

Millennium Mark
Sophomore Kendra Wecker became the 29th Wildcat to score 1,000 career points when she sank a three-pointer from the baseline with 11:49 remaining in the first half at Baylor on Feb. 8.

Wecker tallied her 1,000 points in 57 games, tying her with teammate Nicole Ohlde as the second fastest Wildcats to the millennium mark. Priscilla Gary is the fastest, reaching the mark in 54 games.

Another Milestone
With her next point, junior Nicole Ohlde will become just the sixth Wildcat in the program's 35-year history to score 1,500 points.

She will join Diana Miller (1,705), Eileen Feeney (1,670), Nadira Hazim (1,670), Tammie Romstad (1,548) and Brit Jacobson (1,519).

Ohlde Named Big 12 Player of the Week
For the second time this season and for the third time in her career, Kansas State junior Nicole Ohlde was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week, announced today by the league office.

Ohlde, a 6-foot-4 forward/center, helped Kansas State to a pair of victories last week over Missouri in Manhattan and Baylor in Waco, Texas. She averaged 23 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, 0.5 steals and 36.5 minutes in the two victories. Ohlde shot 68 percent (17-for-25) from the field and 80 percent (12-for-15) from the free-throw line.

Against the Tigers, she tallied a season-high and game-high 28 points, marking the 31st time she has scored 20 or more points in a game in her career. It was also her eighth 20-plus point game of the season. Ohlde also had eight rebounds, six assists, tied her season-high with four blocks and had a steal. She shot 70.6 percent (12-for-17) from the field and 80 percent (4-for-5) from the charity stripe.

At Baylor, the Clay Center, Kan., native registered 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists to help the Wildcats win in Waco for the first time ever. She shot 62.5 percent (5-8) from the field and 80 percent (8-10) from the foul line.

With her performances last week, Ohlde is now sixth in scoring (1,499), eighth in rebounding (676), fifth in field goals (603), sixth in free throws (292) and tied for fifth in free-throw attempts (437) on the K-State career charts. She is currently first on the Wildcat team in field-goal percentage (57.6) and blocks (43), and is second in scoring (18.5), rebounding (8.4) and assists (81).

This was Kansas State's fourth Big 12 Player of the Week honor, as both Ohlde and sophomore Kendra Wecker have been honored twice this season.

It is the eighth time a Kansas State player has been named Big 12 Player of the Week since the conference's inception in 1996-97, and the second time a player has received the honor twice in a season (Wecker). Wecker (2002), Ohlde (2002, 2001), Nicky Ramage (1999), Angie Finkes (1998) and Andria Jones (1997) were K-State's other honorees.