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Women's Basketball Team Travels To Texas Tech In Search Of A Big 12 Title

GO WILDCATS Sophomore Megan Mahoney has stepped up for the Wildcats in the last four games, averaging 15.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Sophomore Megan Mahoney has stepped up for the Wildcats in the last four games, averaging 15.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

March 3, 2003

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Game #30
No. 4/5 Kansas State Wildcats (27-2, 14-1)
vs. No. 8/8 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (23-4, 12-3)

Date: Thur., March 6, 2003-7:30 p.m. CT
Site: United Spirit Arena (15,050) - Lubbock, Texas
Television: Fox Sports Net - Bill Land (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (color)
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 27-2, 14-1 overall. Texas Tech is 23-4, 12-3 overall.
Coaches: Kansas State coach Deb Patterson (Rockford (Ill.) College '79) is 124-86 (.590) in her seventh season at K-State. Texas Tech is coached by Marsha Sharp (Wayland Baptist '74), who is 502-157 (.761) in her 21st season at Texas Tech.
Series: Texas Tech leads the series, 6-3.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The No. 4/5 Kansas State Wildcats (27-2, 14-1) control their own destiny when it comes to the Big 12 Conference regular-season title and seeding in the league tournament. The 'Cats play No. 8/8 Texas Tech (23-4, 12-3) in Lubbock, Texas, at United Spirit Arena at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on Fox Sports Net to determine their fate.

Kansas State will be playing for its first Big 12 regular-season title and its first conference title since 1987. With a win, the Wildcats will be the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. A loss and a Texas win would give the 'Cats a No. 2 seed and the Longhorns the title. And finally, losses by both K-State and Texas would give Kansas State the No. 1 seed by virtue of its win over UT on Jan. 25, and the Longhorns and the Wildcats would share the conference title.

K-State, a winner in its last 23 of 24 games, extended its winning streak to nine games with a 67-59 win over Colorado in Boulder March 1.

Texas Tech enters Thursday's contest as the winner in nine of the last 11 games. The Lady Raiders lost to Texas, 70-67, on March 2.

The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net with Bill Land calling the play-by-play and Debbie Antonelli providing the color commentary.

Thursday'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 7:10 p.m.

Texas Tech leads the series, 6-3, but Kansas State has won the last meeting, 76-63, in Manhattan on Jan. 27, 2002.

Setting The Scene
The stakes can't get any higher for Kansas State Thursday. A conference crown, the number one seed in the league tournament and a few winning streaks are just a couple of items on the line.

Kansas State will be looking for its first Big 12 Conference regular-season title Thursday. The Wildcats won six Big 8 crowns with their last being 1987. Since then, the Wildcats' highest regular-season finish was second in 1989-90 and their highest Big 12 finish was fourth last year.

To win the crown, K-State will be playing in front of one of the most intimidating environments in women's collegiate basketball at United Spirit Arena. A sellout crowd is expected for the game.

It will be in this environment that the Wildcats will be looking for their first win in Lubbock in 25 years and their first victory at Texas Tech since joining the Big 12 Conference. The 'Cats last won at Tech on Dec. 1, 1978, 83-66. Since then, K-State has lost its last three games in Lubbock, including two as a member of the Big 12.

Texas Tech has won 19 of 20 games at home and had its 19-game home winning streak snapped by Texas on March 2.

Kansas State is also sporting a winning streak. The 'Cats have won their last nine games, including their last four road contests.

K-State will also be working toward winning its 15th conference game this season, the most in the program's 35-year history.

The Wildcats look to improve their Big 12 road record. The 'Cats are 18-37 (.327) on the road in six-plus league seasons, but have won 11 of their last 15 contests, dating to last year. A win on Thursday would set the school record for most conference road wins.

Kansas State will be facing its sixth ranked opponent of the season in Texas Tech. The Lady Raiders are also the second Top 10 foe for the the Wildcats this season (then-No. 7 Stanford). K-State is 5-1 vs. ranked foes and 0-1 vs. teams in the Top 10.

Against ranked opponents this season, Texas Tech is 1-2, beating then-No. 23 Oklahoma (80-71) and losing to then-No. 15/16 Louisiana Tech (85-76) and then-No. 16/17 Texas (69-58).

A Glance at Kansas State
Kansas State has been red-hot in its last 23 games, posting double-digit victories in 17 and winning by 22.1 points per outing.

During their nine-game winning streak, the Wildcats have won by 10 or more points in eight of nine contests and are limiting opponents to 51.6 points per game.

One of the hottest shooting teams in the Big 12, K-State ranks first in field goal percentage at 48.97 percent and second in three-point field goal percentage at 38.8 percent in the overall Big 12 stats.

Defensively, the Wildcats have held their last 23 foes to a combined 35 percent (464-1,327) from the floor and 30.2 percent (110-364) from beyond the three-point arc. Additionally, 12 of the last 18 opponents have shot 36 percent or lower from the field. For the season, opponents are connecting on 35.1 percent of their shots from the field and 29.1 percent from three-point range.

Kansas State is shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from three-point range and 72.9 percent from the free-throw line. The Wildcats are averaging 75.9 points a game and allowing only 56 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 13th time this season in a67-59 win over Colorado on March 1. The fivesome sports a 13-1 record.

All-American candidate Kendra Wecker averages 19.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 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 seven of 12 statistical league categories, including fourth 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 and first in rebounding. She is averaging 18.6 points, 9.2 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 fourth-most in the Big 12.

Mahoney is the Wildcats' top playmaker, dishing out 4.8 assists per game, and has had 15 five-assist games this season. She is sixth in the Big 12 in assists and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio. The guard/forward is scoring 14.2 points and grabbing 6.2 caroms an outing and is 11th in the league in scoring (14.5).

Domenico is averaging 3.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists over 27 games (20 starts), and has a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is 15th in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.333), 11th three-pointers (22/1.47), 11th in assists (3.27) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75).

Dutmer, who made her 14th collegiate start on March 1, is averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds. She has been effective from beyond the three-point arc, hitting 21 of 58 (36.2 percent) of her attempts after sinking her first career trey on Dec. 20. Dutmer is 13th in the league in three-point percentage (.349).

The nation's leading three-point shooter last year, Laurie Koehn, returned to the floor on Feb. 28 sitting out seven straight games and 10 this season with a sore right foot. She averages 13.1 points and 3.3 rebounds and has hit 6 of 11 three-pointers in the last two outings.

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

Madden is tallying 4.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 29 games (10 starts). She is also the team's second-leading shot blocker (42) and ranks 14th in the league in that category.

A Glance At Texas Tech
Texas Tech, 23-4 overall and 12-3 in the Big 12, has won eight of its last 10 games. The Lady Raiders have won 12 of 13 games in United Spirit Arena.

A pair of Lady Raiders average double digits in scoring - Plenette Pierson (17.5) and Jia Perkins (16.0).

Pierson is also the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 7.6 per game. The 6-foot-2 forward/center frequently gets to the free-throw line for Tech. She is shooting 64.6 percent (113-175) from the charity stripe.

Perkins is one of the most versatile guards in the conference. She averages 5.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Perkins, at 5-foot-8, is a slashing and jump-shooting guard, sinking a team-high 190 field goals.

Texas Tech's other three starters are specialists. Natalie Richie, a 5-foot-9 guard, is the Lady Raiders' main three-point threat. She has made 46 of 136 treys (33.8 percent) this season and is averaging 8.8 points a game.

At 6-foot-5, Cisti Greenwalt is Tech's leading shot blocker. The sophomore has blocked 74 shots (2.7) this season, while averaging 8.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

One of the leading candidates for Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Erin Grant, leads Texas Tech in assists. The 5-foot-8 guard is dishing out 6.8 assists per game, while averaging 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds a contest.

Texas Tech's bench has five players averaging over three points per game and playing an average of 13.8 minutes per outing.

The Lady Raiders are shooting 46.7 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 66.1 percent from the free-throw line. Additionally, Tech is averaging 76.6 points per game and giving up 57.7. They are also grabbing 44 rebounds per contest and outrebounding opponents by 8.2 caroms a game.

Series History
- Texas Tech leads the all-time series, 6-3
- The Wildcats are 2-6 vs. the Lady Raiders since the inaugural season of the Big 12 in 1996-97.
- Kansas State is 1-2 at home, 1-3 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites against Texas Tech.
- Last season, the Wildcats beat the then-No. 12/13 Lady Raiders, 76-63, in Manhattan on Jan. 27, 2002.
All-American candidate Nicole Ohlde almost became the third Wildcat in school history to record a triple-double when she had 24 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists in last year's win. She was 8 of 8 from the floor in the second half and 11 of 16 for the game.
- K-State last beat Texas Tech in Lubbock on Dec. 1, 1978, 83-66.
- The Wildcats' other victory was an upset of the then-No. 15 Lady Raiders in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament on March 3, 1999.
- Kansas State has won one of the last five games and have never beaten Texas Tech in Lubbock since joining the Big 12.
- Against Texas Tech, K-State is 1-0 in the 70s, 1-4 in the 90s and 1-2 in 2000s.
- The Wildcats and the Lady Raiders first met in 1978.
- Deb Patterson is 2-6 all-time against Tech, including a 0-2 mark in Lubbock.
- Lubbock is the hometown of Kansas State associate head coach Kamie Ethridge.
- This past summer, K-State's Nicole Ohlde and Laurie Koehn and Texas Tech's Jia Perkins and head coach Marsha Sharp won the gold medal for Team USA at the inaugural Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations (COPABA) World Championship For Young Women Qualifying Tournament in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.

A Kansas State Victory Thursday Would...
...be the Wildcats' 28th win of the season and 10th consecutive.
...tie the school record for most wins in a season (28, 1975-76).
...be the most conference wins in school history (15).
...be K-State's first victory in Lubbock since 1978.
...be the first win at Texas Tech in the seven years as a member of the Big 12 Conference.
...be the second-straight win over the Lady Raiders.
...be the 54th victory for the 'Cats in the last 64 games (.843).
...improve Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson's record to 3-6 against Texas Tech and 1-2 in Lubbock.
...improve K-State's Big 12 road record to 18-37 (.486).
...put head coach Deb Patterson's overall win-loss record at 125-86 and tie her for second on the all-time wins list.
...improve Kansas State's all-time record to 628-389.

Big 12 Titles
If Kansas State wins the Big 12 Conference women's basketball title Thursday, it would be the fourth conference crown for K-State.

The Wildcat women's outdoor track and field team won the league title in 2001 and 2002 and the women's cross country team was crown conference champion in 1998.

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