Cats roll to in-state win

Kansas State coach Deb Patterson had a feeling that Nicole Ohlde might have a big game in her last trip to Allen Fieldhouse.

She was right. The 6-foot-5 senior scored 23 points and Kendra Wecker added 21 Wednesday night, propelling No. 9 Kansas State to an 81-51 victory over Kansas.

"Nicole had a sparkle in her eye all week," Patterson said.

Of course, it helped that about 80 percent of the crowd at Kansas' home court _ announced as 4,564 _ was wearing Kansas State purple.

"What an incredible send-off for Nicole in her last time here in this kind of arena," Patterson said.

Brie Madden had 14 points and Megan Mahoney had six points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats (18-3, 9-1 Big 12) won for the 16th time in 17 games and tied No. 1 Texas for the Big 12 lead.

After beating Kansas just four times in 23 meetings from 1992-2001, the Wildcats have won six in a row while raising their program to national prominence.

"I thought we could do it tonight, but their post players were just too much for us to handle," Kansas interim coach Lynette Woodard said. "We didn't get anything from our post players. Not only Wecker and Ohlde, but also Brie Madden came in and did her thing, too. We're just going to keep fighting."

The 6-foot-5 Ohlde, the leading scorer in the Big 12 in conference games, had 13 points in the first half. Kansas State scored 23 of the game's first 33 points and never let its lead dip lower than 12.

Erica Hallman, who led Kansas (9-12, 2-8) with 14 points, had two buckets in a 9-3 run that trimmed Kansas State's halftime lead to 43-29.

But Ohlde got inside for two quick scores to start the second half. A moment later Laurie Koehn, the Big 12's leading 3-point shooter, made one from behind the arc and the Wildcats led 52-33.

"It was very difficult," Kansas freshman Lauren Ervin said. "You're at home and most of the fans are in purple. It was a hard adjustment. It felt like we were at their stadium."

Ohlde worked inside for two-footers most of the night and was 8-for-10 from the floor but only 7-for-13 from the foul line. Kansas' Tamara Ransburg, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds last Saturday against Nebraska, had only two points and five rebounds while going against Ohlde most of the game.

The Jayhawks did not score a field goal in the final 5:14.

"We worked this week on trying to give the post some focus," Patterson said. "I think it is a tough pill to swallow whoever you guard (Ohlde) with. It is dangerous to think about guarding Ohlde with just one player."

It was the first Kansas State-Kansas game since the 1972-73 season that Marian Washington did not coach the Jayhawks. Washington went on medical leave Jan. 29, leaving assistant and former star player Woodard as interim coach.

The Jayhawks dropped to 1-3 under Woodard.

Hallman had 14 for the Jayhawks and Larisha Graves added 10.

Purple Pride Top Stories