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Wildcats Host Texas A&M In Front Of Sellout Crowd

GO WILDCATS Megan Mahoney has averaged 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in her last five games.
Megan Mahoney has averaged 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in her last five games.

Feb. 21, 2003

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Game #27
No. 5/5 Kansas State Wildcats (24-2, 11-1)
vs. Texas A&M Aggies (10-13, 3-9)

Date: Sat., Feb. 22, 2003 - 2 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 24-2, 11-1 overall. Texas A&M is 10-13, 3-9 overall.
Coaches: Kansas State coach Deb Patterson (Rockford (Ill.) College '79) is 121-86 (.584) in her seventh season at K-State. Texas A&M is coached by Peggy Gillom (Mississippi '80), who is 53-81 (.395) in her sixth season at A&M.
Series: K-State leads the series, 6-3.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The No. 5/5 Kansas State Wildcats (24-2, 11-1) play their second-to-last home game when they host Texas A&M (10-13, 3-9) in front of an expected sellout crowd at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State, a winner in its last 19 of 20 games, stayed in the hunt for the Big 12 Conference regular-season title with a 66-56 victory over Missouri on Wednesday. The 'Cats enter the Texas A&M game with a six-game winning streak and a 19-game home winning streak.

On Saturday, Texas A&M will be looking for its first conference road victory since beating Oklahoma State on Jan. 11. The Aggies have lost three of their last four games. On Wednesday, A&M lost at Iowa State, 58-46. Texas A&M is currently in a tie with Kansas for ninth place in the Big 12.

Saturday'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 1:40 p.m.

Kansas State leads the series, 6-3.

Setting The Scene
Kansas State plays its last southern opponent at home Saturday and then has only three games, two on the road, remaining in the regular season.

At stake Saturday, for the 'Cats is the regular-season Big 12 title. K-State is tied with Texas for first place. The Longhorns host Nebraska on Saturday.

A victory Saturday would also extend the Wildcats' 19-game home winning streak and a six-game winning streak. The home winning streak is currently the sixth-longest in the NCAA, as of Feb. 18.

After grabbing the record for most Big 12 Conference wins in a season on Wednesday, the 2002-03 Wildcats are now tied with the 1982-83 and 1983-84 squads for the most Big 8 league wins.

Kansas State looks to improve its Big 12 home record. The 'Cats are 33-21 (.611) at home in six-plus league seasons and sport a 14-8 mark in the last two seasons.

Texas A&M is 2-8 overall and 1-5 in league play this season on the road. Its lone Big 12 win was a 69-54 decision at Oklahoma State on Jan. 11.

Against ranked opponents, Texas A&M is 1-5, losing to Texas Tech and Texas twice and splitting with Oklahoma.

A Glance at Kansas State
Kansas State has been red-hot in its last 20 games, posting double-digit victories in 15 and winning by 22 points per outing.

One of the hottest shooting teams in the Big 12, K-State ranks first in field goal percentage at 48.6 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 20 foes to a combined 35.1 percent (401-1141) from the floor and 31.5 percent (99-314) from beyond the three-point arc. Additionally, 10 of the last 15 opponents have shot 36 percent or lower from the field. For the season, opponents are connecting on 35.3 percent of their shots from the field and 29.9 percent from three-point range.

Kansas State is shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 38.2 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line. The Wildcats are averaging 75.6 points a game and allowing only 56.1 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 10th time this season in a 66-56 win at Missouri on Feb. 19.

All-American candidate Kendra Wecker is averages 19.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.6 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 six of 12 statistical league categories, including fifth in scoring. She is also 20th 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, including third in scoring. She is averaging 18.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists a contest. Additionally, Ohlde changes an opponent's offense with her blocking ability. She is rejecting 1.8 shots per game, the fifth-most in the Big 12.

Mahoney is the Wildcats' top playmaker, dishing out 5.0 assists per game, and has had 13 five-assist games already this season. She is sixth in the Big 12 in assists and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio. The guard/forward is scoring 13.6 points and grabbing 6.2 caroms an outing and is 14th in the league in scoring (13.3).

Domenico is averaging 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists over 24 games (17 starts), and has a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is sixth in the league in three-pointers (21/1.75), ninth in assists (3.25) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.05).

Dutmer, who made her 11th collegiate start on Feb. 19, is averaging 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. She has been effective from beyond the three-point arc, hitting 15 of 46 (32.6 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 foot. The guard missed her sixth consecutive game and ninth of the season on Feb. 19. 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 4.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 26 games (10 starts). She is also the team's second-leading shot blocker (40) and ranks ninth in the league in that category.

A Glance At Texas A&M
Texas A&M is currently 10-13 overall and 3-9 in the Big 12. The Aggies are tied for ninth in the league rankings.

The Aggies' league victories have been over Nebraska (69-54), Oklahoma (69-61) and Oklahoma State (69-54). Their losses have been to Texas Tech (77-56 & 83-38), Texas (74-47 & 76-50), Oklahoma (77-39), Baylor (66-49), Kansas (64-57), Colorado (55-49) and Iowa State (58-46).

Texas A&M head coach Peggy Gillom is in her sixth year at A&M and sports a 53-81 record.

The Aggies have one player scoring in double figures - Toccara Williams (12.6). Williams, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, is the NCAA and league leader in steals (106) and is third in assists (128). She also grabs 5.0 rebounds a game.

Lynn Classen in Texas A&M's second-leading scorer. The 6-foot-3 forward is averaging 9.2 points a game and grabbing 3.6 rebounds an outing.

Junior forward Janae Derrick is A&M's top rebounder, grabbing 6.3 caroms a game. She is also scoring 7.6 points a contest.

Sophomore guard Mindy Garrison is Texas A&M's top three-point threat, sinking 29 treys this season. She also averages 6.1 points a game.

Texas A&M is shooting 38.5 percent from the field, 24.2 percent from three-point range and 62.9 percent from the free-throw line. Additionally, the Aggies are averaging 61.8 points per game and giving up 65.6. They are also grabbing 37.5 rebounds per contest.

20-wins And Counting
K-State won its 24th game of the season on Feb. 19 and is currently tied with the 1974-75 (24-9) squad for the seventh-most wins in the program's history. A win Saturday would tie the 'Cats with the 1982-83 (25-7) and 1983-84 (25-6) teams for the fifth-most victories in a season.

The Wildcats secured the program's 16th 20-win season in 35 years with its win on Feb. 1. This year is the second-straight 20-win season.

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

Record Attendance
The Kansas State women's basketball team achieved its third sellout of the season and second straight when athletic officials announced that all tickets for Saturday's game against Texas A&M have been sold.

The Wildcats played before a capacity crowds of 13,340 in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 15 when they defeated Oklahoma State, 64-46, and when they beat Texas, 71-69, on Jan. 25.

Saturday's sellout ties the school record for sellouts in a season. The Wildcats had three last year.

100,000 And Counting
Kansas State surpassed last year's record home attendance figure on Feb. 15. The Wildcats, who have drawn 128,745 fans this year, passed last season's record home attendance of 122,376.

Kansas State has averaged 8,047 fans in its 16 home contests this season, but more importantly, 10,619 fans in the Wildcats' six Big 12 games.

Series History
* Kansas State leads the all-time series, 6-3.
* The Wildcats are 4-2 versus the Aggies since the inaugural season of the Big 12 in 1996-97.
* K-State has a modest three-game winning streak over Texas A&M.
* Kansas State is 2-1 at home, 3-1 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites against Texas A&M.
* Against Texas A&M, K-State is 1-0 in the 70s, 1-1 in the 80s, 1-2 in the 90s and 3-0 in 2000s.
* The Wildcats and the Aggies first met in 1976 in K-State's season opener.
* Deb Patterson is 4-2 all-time against Texas A&M, including a 2-1 mark in Manhattan.
* K-State junior Nicole Ohlde tallied 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds vs. Texas A&M in 2000-01. She made 14 of 17 shots from the floor, with her .823 shooting percentage in the game being the second-best effort in school history. Ohlde's 14 field goals were fifth on K-State's single-game list, and she became only the second Wildcat ever to have a pair of 30-point nights in a single season.
* Kansas State has one player and a coach from the Lone Star State - Brie Madden (Arlington) and associate head coach Kamie Ethridge (Lubbock).

A Kansas State Victory Saturday Would...
...be the Wildcats' 25th win of the season and seventh consecutive.
...be the second-most conference wins in school history (12).
...break the school record for the most Big 8 league victories.
...give K-State its fourth-straight win over Texas A&M, including its second consecutive in the Little Apple.
...be the 51st victory of the 'Cats in the last 61 games (.836).
...improve Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson's record to 5-2 against Texas A&M and 3-1 in Manhattan.
...improve K-State's Big 12 home record to 34-21 (.618).
...put head coach Deb Patterson's overall win-loss record at 122-86.
...improve Kansas State's all-time record to 625-389.
...mark the first time since joining the Big 12 that K-State has won its first seven games in February.

Kansas State's 2002-03 schedule is ranked in the Top 10 in three RPI ratings. The Wildcats' schedule is the fifth-toughest in the country in the Jeff Sagarin/CBN Women's College Basketball Ratings, seventh by Collegerpi.com and sixth by the WBCA ratings.

Chart Climbing
The dynamic scoring duo of junior Nicole Ohlde and sophomore Kendra Wecker are among the top 25 on the career scoring chart and are climbing.

Ohlde is fourth on the list with 1,554 points. With a run by the Wildcats in the postseason, the junior could become K-State's all-time leading scorer this year. She is 151 points behind the current leader Diana Miller.

Wecker is 23rd on the list and needs two points to move to 22nd and 22 points to surpass Mary Jo Miller, who currently is in 21st.

Working To Join The Leaders
Guard/forward Megan Mahoney scored a game-high 21 points on Feb. 19 and moved into 36th on the career scoring list.

The Sturgis, S.D., native has 639 career points and needs 19 points to move into 35th.

Homecourt Win Streak At 19
Kansas State has won 19 consecutive home games dating back to last season, the third-longest home court streak in school history.

The last time the Wildcats lost in Bramlage Coliseum was against then-No. 4/3 Oklahoma on Feb. 13, 2002.

K-State's current streak is the sixth-longest nationally. The 'Cats, 16-0 at home this season, closed last season with wins over Missouri, and Kent State and Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament.

Naismith Finalist
Junior Nicole Ohlde and sophomore Kendra Wecker were named as two of the 20 finalists for the prestigious Naismith Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year award, on Feb. 19 by Jackie Bradford, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Ohlde and Wecker join Alana Beard and Iciss Tillis of Duke and Gwen Jackson and Kara Lawson of Tennessee as the only three schools to have a pair of student-athletes among the final 20.

The other 14 finalists are Chantelle Anderson of Vanderbilt; Kara Braxton of Georgia; Coretta Brown of North Carolina; Shameka Christon of Arkansas; Kelly Mazzante of Penn State; Jocelyn Penn of South Carolina; Plenette Pierson of Texas Tech; Nicole Powell of Stanford; Aiysha Smith of LSU; Stacy Stephens of Texas; Diana Taurasi of Connecticut; LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State; Lindsey Whalen of Minnesota and Shereka Wright of Purdue.

The Naismith Board of Selectors, which includes some of the country's leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators, began the selection process earlier this year and have reduced the number of finalists by balloting to the 20 top female and male players they felt most deserving of the award. Final selection will be made after all votes have been tabulated in March. The winner of the Naismith Award will be honored in Atlanta on April 11, 2003.

Verizon All-District
Sophomore Laurie Koehn became just the third women's basketball player in Wildcat history to be named to a Verizon Academic All-District team on Feb. 20.

Koehn is joined on the first team by Colorado State's Ashley Augspurger and Shannon Strecker, Wyoming's Carrie Bacon and Northern Iowa's Katie Miller. The Moundridge, Kan., native was the only sophomore to make the first team.

The 5-foot-8 guard maintains a 3.95 cumulative GPA in secondary education while averaging 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and shooting 43 percent from three-point range in 17 games.

Koehn's name and information will be forwarded to the national ballot and the Verizon Academic All-America Teams will be announced on March 7.

Junior Nicole Ohlde, who was a first team all-district selection last year, and sophomore Kendra Wecker were part of a six-player second team that included Missouri's Kerensa Barr and Iowa State's Lindsey Wilson.

In addition to Ohlde, Gayla Williams was the first Wildcat women's basketball player to be recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) when she earned third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 1981.

Student-athletes who maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average for his/her career and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing are eligible for the award sponsored by Verizon and CoSIDA. To date, 52 Wildcats have earned the academic honor.

Peak At The Polls Reveal...
Kansas State remained No. 5 this week in the latest Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls.

In this week's AP poll, Kansas State has five opponents currently ranked. Texas Tech (March 6) is No. 8; No. 9 Stanford; No. 10 Texas; No. 12 Penn State; and No. 21 Wisconsin-Green Bay. The other Wildcat opponent receiving votes are Colorado (31), Oklahoma (14) and Baylor (6).

In the coaches poll, K-State will play or have played five teams in the coaches' poll during the 2002-03 season. The Wildcats have played No. 8 Stanford, No. 11 Texas, No. 13 Penn State and No. 21 UW-Green Bay, and will play No. 9 Texas Tech. The other Wildcat opponents receiving votes are Colorado (38) and Oklahoma (19).

Fantastic First Half Defense
Kansas State has held seven opponents, including five Big 12 foes, to under 20 points in the first half. Missouri was the Wildcats latest victim, only tallying 17 on Wednesday. In the second half, K-State has held five teams to below 20 points.

Just Plain Good Defense
In overall games, Kansas State is limiting its opponents to just 56.1 points per game and allowing the foes to shoot 35.3 percent from the field, 29.9 percent from three-point range and 69.1 from the foul line.

This season, K-State has allowed only seven foes to shoot over 40 percent from the field and six of them to score 65 or more points. Additionally, 15 of 26 foes have scored 60 or fewer points and eight 50 or fewer points.

In conference games, Kansas State is first in scoring defense (53.4), second in field goal percentage defense (34.1) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (29.1).

Doing It With Defense
K-State has limited opponents to less than 40 percent shooting and an average of 49.8 points per game in each of the last six games, helping the Wildcats to a 5-1 record. The last time a team shoot better than 40 percent against Kansas State was Iowa State (.531) on Jan. 29.

On The Glass
Kansas State has dominated the glass through its 26 games, averaging 40 rebounds per game. K-State has outrebounded 21 of its 26 opponents and has a +7.7 rebounding margin.

In conference games, the 'Cats are first in rebounding defense (33.6) and third in rebounding margin (+5.6) and defensive rebounds (27.5).

By The Halves
Kansas State has been strong in both halves of its 26 games this season. The Wildcats have led at halftime in 21 of the contests and trailed by a combined 17 points in the other five outings (-3 vs. Ball State; -2 at Stanford; -1 vs. Texas; -8 at Iowa State; -3 vs. Missouri).

K-State's largest halftime lead was 41 points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the 'Cats average a 13.8-point halftime lead in the games they have won and led at halftime.

In the second half, Kansas State has been outscored by three teams (34-30 at Stanford; 34-32 vs. Iowa State {Jan. 29}; 31-30 vs. Nebraska) and USC tied the Wildcats with 36 points.

From The Missouri Game
- Kansas State swept the Missouri series for the second consecutive year and the sweep was the K-State's second of the 2002-03 season (Nebraska).
- The Wildcats won their third straight game over the Tigers.
- Kansas State held its seventh opponent to 20 or fewer points in the first half.
- Three Wildcats - Megan Mahoney, Chelsea Domenico and Nicole Ohlde - all played 40 minutes.
- Kansas State held its third opponent in the last four games to below 30 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.

Junior Nicole Ohlde recorded her 11th double-double of the season and 30th of her career when she had 17 points and 11 rebounds at Missouri on Feb. 19. Ohlde is Kansas State's career double-doubles leader. She is also fifth on the single-season list.

The center is currently is sixth on the Big 12 career double-doubles list. She trails Texas' Stacy Stephens, who has 35 and counting. On the single-season chart, she is tied for first with Baylor's Sophia Young.

Sophomore Kendra Wecker recorded her 10th double-double of the season and the 22nd of her career when she had game-highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds at Baylor on Feb. 8. She is currently fifth on the career doubles-doubles list, tied for sixth on the single-season chart at K-State and second in the Big 12 this season and 10th on the career list.

In conference-only games, Wecker (5) leads the league and Ohlde is tied for fifth (4).

Getting Into the Action
Sophomore Megan Mahoney registered her seventh career double-double and the fourth of the season when she had game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds at Missouri on Feb. 19.

Mahoney is one of three players in the Big 12 to have four double-doubles overall this season.

Guard/forward Megan Mahoney recorded her fifth career 20-plus point game after registering 21 points at Missouri on Wednesday. She has four 20-plus point games this season.

Center Nicole Ohlde tallied a game-high 24 points vs. Oklahoma State, marking the 32nd game she has had 20 or more points in a game in her career. It was also her ninth 20-plus point game of the season.

Forward Kendra Wecker tallied a game-high 23 points on Feb. 8, marking the 22nd game she has had 20 or more points in a game in her career. It was also her 12th 20-plus point game of the season.

Guard Laurie Koehn has 15 20-plus point games.

Kicking It Up A Notch On Offense
Megan Mahoney has kicked it up a notch on offense in the last five games for the 'Cats.

The guard has averaged 13.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists. She is also shooting 53.3 percent (24-45) from the field and 45 percent (9-20) from three-point range.

Who Is Hot?
Sophomore Nicole Ohlde has been sizzling in her last five games.

Ohlde is averaging 20.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. The 6-foot-4 center is also shooting 61.5 percent (40-65) from the field and 70 percent (21-30) from the charity stripe.

Up Next
Kansas State plays its last home game of the 2002-03 season when it hosts Kansas on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas is currently 10-13 overall and 3-9 in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are tied for ninth in the league rankings with Texas A&M.

The Jayhawks' league victories have been over Texas A&M (64-57) and Nebraska twice (67-64 & 62-58). Their losses have been to Kansas State (88-49), Iowa State (72-70), Oklahoma State (60-56), Colorado (71-50 & 73-42), Oklahoma (61-49), Texas Tech (84-57), Texas (89-47) and Missouri (61-55).

Kansas head coach Marion Washington is in her 30th year at KU and sports a 550-342 record.

The Jayhawks have three players scoring in double figures - Aquanita Burras (10.9), Crystal Kemp (10.8) and Tamara Ransburg (10.3).

Burras, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, is also grabbing 5.0 rebounds and a team-best 2.6 steals per game.

Kemp, 6-foot-2 forward/center, is grabbing 5.8 rebounds, while Ransburg is snarring a team-leading 7.7 caroms and blocking a team-best 2.4 shots a game.

Four Jayhawks have 10 or more three-pointers, including freshman guard Erica Hallman, who has a team-best 19.

Kansas is shooting 41 percent from the field, 30.3 percent from three-point range and 69.3 percent from the free-throw line. Additionally, the Jayhawks are averaging 60.6 points per game and giving up 66.1. They are also grabbing 36 rebounds per contest.