Sooners boomed

Who else would you expect to show up on "Laurie Koehn Day"?

The junior guard hit 6-of-14 three-pointers and scored 24 points to lead the No. 12 Wildcats past No. 20 Oklahoma 74-65 before a near-sellout crowd Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

"What makes our offense good, when we run it right, is everyone knows where shots are coming from," Koehn said. "That makes it easy as a shooter."

But Koehn wasn't without her senior running mate Nicole Ohlde, who scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for her 39th career double-double. She also became the first woman in Wildcat history and second basketball player ever at Kansas State to score more than 2,000 career points (2,009).

"When you compete in a league like this and distinguish yourself as a 2,000 point scorer, you're one of the best to play the game," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. "It's a real compliment to her consistency and commitment to improving."

Oklahoma, which had been riding a three-game losing streak, made it tough on the Cats, though. Trailing by two at the half, Kansas State (15-3, 6-1 in Big 12) used a 9-2 run to pull ahead 45-39 at the 15:34 mark of the second. Koehn and Ohlde combined for the first seven points during that stretch.

"Give Kansas State credit," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "Two of their big three had huge nights."

But the Sooners refused to give in. Dionnah Jackson scored five quick points to keep Oklahoma (13-6, 3-5) close. The Sooners closed the lead to 49-47 on an Erin Higgins three-pointer midway through the half, but the Wildcats began to systematically take apart Oklahoma after that.

Jackson finished with 17 points on 6-of-20 shooting (3-of-10 from three-point range) with 14 rebounds, while Higgins dropped in four three-pointers and finished with 13 points.

But the day belonged to Koehn and Ohlde, who combined for 51 of the Wildcats' 74 points, including its first nine points. Koehn's first three, a turnaround no-look bomb from the top of the key, put the Cats up 9-5 early.

Battling foul-trouble, however, the Wildcats were unable to pull away. Two Higgins three-pointers pulled the Sooners within 16-14, but Kansas State responded by going on a 10-1 run with three-pointers from Twiggy McIntyre and Koehn and two strong post moves from Ohlde.

The Sooners refused to fold despite the Bramlage crowd rising to its feet throughout the half. Oklahoma used an 8-2 run of its own to take a 37-36 halftime lead, capped by Dionnah Jackson's coast-to-coast drive with just 2.8 seconds left in the half.

"We didn't order cake or anything," Coale said of the halftime lead. "It's a long-haul deal. You have to stick with the game plan. It's like starting all over in the second half."

Ohlde and Koehn helped offset poor shooting nights from Amy Dutmer (1-of-7, 0-of-6 from three-point range) and Kendra Wecker (1-of-6), who has been battling injuries for the past two weeks.

"I was just trying to make whatever I could happen," Wecker said. "The key is to keep the offensive flow going. I didn't shoot well but Laurie and Ohlde had awesome games. The biggest thing at this point in the season is to get the win. That's all that matters -- keeping alive in the Big 12."

BOX SCORE Kansas State

Scoring: Mahoney (4-11, 0-0) 8, Dutmer (1-7, 0-0) 2, Wecker (1-6, 0-0) 2, Ohlde (11-14, 5-7) 27, Koehn (7-17, 4-4) 24, McIntyre (1-2, 2-2) 5, Domenico (0-1, 0-0) 0, Murdock (0-2, 0-0) 0, Madden (2-3, 2-2) 6
Rebounding: Mahoney 10, Dutmer 5, Wecker 9, Ohlde 10, Koehn 1, McIntyre 1, Madden 1


Oklahoma

Hill (1-5, 0-0) 2, Rush (1-2, 2-3) 4, Brown (1-5, 0-0) 2, Higgins (4-10, 1-2) 13, Jackson (6-20, 3-10) 17, Villarreal (0-1, 0-0) 0, Shoush (0-4, 2-2) 2, Preston (6-8, 0-0) 12, Moore (1-1, 0-0) 2, Wadsworth (4-5, 3-5) 11
Rebounding: Hill 4, Rush 0, Brown 0, Higgins 3, Jackson 14, Villarroel 0, Shoush 1, Preston 5, Wadsworth 5

Team

Rebounds: KSU 38, OU 34 Assists: KSU 22, OU 16 Turnovers: KSU 12, Opp 15 Steals: KSU 10, OU 5 FG%: KSU 42.9, OU 39.3 3pt-FG% KSU 26.9, OU 30.4

GAME NOTES
---Kansas State freshman Shanda Murdoch and Oklahoma freshman Erin Higgins were teammates at Westmoore High School in Oklahoma City.
---The Wildcats have won 29-straight regular-season games, including an 9-0 record this season.
---Kansas State now leads the all-time series 22-21.
---Kansas State dominated Oklahoma the last time the two teams met, a 74-45 win in Norman last season, snapping a six-game OU winning streak.
---OU seniors Caton Hill and Maria Villarroel join Kansas State senior Nicole Ohlde among 32 finalists for the CLASS Award, presented annually to the nation's senior player of the year.
Senior Nicole Ohlde started her 101st consecutive game for the Wildcats dating to the fifth game of her freshman season. Juniors Megan Mahoney and Kendra Wecker have started all 85 games of their careers.


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