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Wildcats Cruise Past KU In First Round Action



DALLAS - Shalee Lehning scored 13 of her career-high 20 points in the first half and Kansas State roughed up Kansas for the second time in five days, moving on to the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Championship with a 72-52 victory Tuesday night at Reunion Arena.

The victory was the fifth-straight in an opening round game of the Big 12 Championship for Kansas State (19-9), which also picked up its 11th consecutive win over in-state rival Kansas, including a sweep of all three meetings this year. The Wildcats will face second-seeded Baylor (22-5) in the quarterfinals tomorrow at 6 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.

K-State also got 13 points from Claire Coggins, 12 from JoAnn Hamlin and 11 from Kimberly Dietz. Hamlin, who has not finished in double figures since the Wildcats' win against Baylor, connected on all six of her field goal attempts as K-State shot a scalding 52 percent from the field, its second-best shooting performance of the season.

Kansas State looked as though it would run away with things in the early going. The Wildcats hit six of their first seven shots during the opening four minutes of the game and sprinted out to a quick 12-0 lead behind five points from Coggins and four from Hamlin.

But just a quickly as things heated up for the 'Cats, they cooled off. K-State went the next five minutes without a point, allowing the Jayhawks to reel off 10-staight to get back into the game.

Coggins and Lehning stopped the bleeding with back-to-back bombs from beyond the arc, to put K-State back up by eight. But, KU would not wilt and forged a 24-22 lead thanks to a pair of free throws by Mairja Zinic with 5:05 to go in the half.

The Jayhawks' (16-12) advantage was short-lived, however, as the Wildcats scored 15 of the final 18 points of the half to take a 37-27 lead into the lockerroom at the break.

K-State continued to pour it on in the second half and took control of the game at the 13-minute mark, using an 18-2 run to forge a 66-42 lead with just over five minutes to play.

KU could get now closer than 18 the rest of the way as K-State notched its fifth 20-point win over the Jayhawks in the last 11 meetings.