On Senior Night at Bramlage Coliseum, junior Kendra Wecker scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and had 11 rebounds, as the Wildcats maintained their lead in the Big 12 with a 68-33 win Wednesday night.
But the seniors didn't take much of a back seat. Nicole Ohlde became Kansas State's all-time leading scorer with 2,123 points, surpassing Mike Evans' 2,114. She finished the night with 12 points, while fellow senior Amy Dutmer hit three 3-pointers and had nine. Even Kimmery Newsom brought the crowd to its feet with a 15-foot jumpshot with 1:07 to play in the game.
"What a great send-off for Ohlde, Dutmer and Newsom," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. "With Kimmery scoring on a tough shot, you couldn't have scripted it any better."
The entire game couldn't have been scripted much better for the Wildcats (22-3, 13-1 in Big 12), who out-scored the Cyclones 37-11 in the second half and held the Cyclones to their lowest point total of the season. Iowa State shot just 5-of-33 in the half and 25.4 percent for the game. They made just 1-of-1y 3-pointers.
"Coach P emphasized defense at halftime," Wecker said. "We knew things would fall for us. We were just communicating, switching when we need to. When you have five athletic, aggressive players, you'll have good D."
Katie Robinette did her best to keep Iowa State (13-12, 6-8) in the game, scoring 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting, but only three other players scored -- two of whom scored just two points a piece.
"We had no answers for anything they did," Cyclone coach Bill Fennelly said. "They smothered our perimeter and really affected that part of the game. We picked a terrible night not to play."
Kansas State erupted over the first 7:12, using runs of 11-0 and 7-0 in building a 25-6 lead. Koehn opened the scoring spree with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and all five Wildcat starters scored during the stretch.
At one point, Kansas State had hit 8-of-16 field goals while Iowa State made just 3-of-16. The Cyclones didn't score until nearly five minutes into the game, when Robinette finally hit a short jumper. But Kansas State responded with two minutes later with another 7-0 run.
"We got punched in the mouth tonight and we're going to limp out of here," Fennelly said. "But that's basketball."
But sketchy free throw shooting -- Kansas State made just 3-of-8 in the first half -- allowed the Cyclones to dig back into the game. Robinette led the charge, making 6-of-7 shots en route to 14 first-half points, and Iowa State went on a 14-2 run of its own to close to within 27-20 with three minutes remaining in the first half.
But the second half was all Kansas State, as the Wildcats won their 31st regular-season home game, eighth in a row and 19th of the last 20. The Cats shot 50 percent for the game and dished out 22 assists.
But with Texas and Texas Tech, two of the top teams in the Big 12, still on the schedule, plenty of meat remains on the bone.
"We still have a lot of basketball to play," Newsom said. "We still have to play for the same things -- play to win, play for each other. It's emotional, but it's just another opponent to play."
Texas, who remained a game back in the Big 12 and hosts Kansas State Sunday, escaped with a double-overtime win over Baylor. Patterson was informed the game was in overtime after the Wildcats won, and said a quick prayer that was evidently unanswered.
Kansas State will have to take care of it on its own Sunday, with the Big 12 title up for grabs.
"We're a basketball team that is ready to take that next challenge on the road," Patterson said. "We've got to be prepared for one of the best teams in the country, if not the best."
Mahoney 2-6 0-0 5, Dutmer 3-6 0-0 9, Wecker 8-12 1-2 20, Ohlde 5-11 2-5 12, Koehn 4-6 0-1 10, Newsom 1-2 0-0 2, McIntyre 0-5 0-0 0, Domenico 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Madden 5-6 0-0 10, McFarland 0-0 0-0 0
Ronhovde 0-9 0-0 0, Wilkins 0-4 0-0 0, Junod 1-5 0-0 0, Junod 1-5 0-0 2, O'Neil 0-6 0-0 0, Medders 0-5 0-0 0, Fox 0-3 0-0 0, Robinette 9-18 2-3 20, Paustian 1-1 0-0 2, Kriener 4-8 0-0 9
Rebounds: KSU 37, ISU 37 Assists: KSU 22, ISU 10 Turnovers: KSU 12, ISU 18 Steals: KSU 9, ISU 8 FG%: KSU 50.0, ISU 25.4 3FG%: KSU 39.1, ISU 5.9
* Claire Coggins did not play for the second consecutive game, sporting a heavy bandage on her left (non-shooting) hand. She had been averaging 10 minutes per game in Big 12 play.
* Home sweet home: Six Iowa State players are Iowa natives, while Kansas State boasts four Kansas natives. Iowa State freshman forward Megan Ebel is also from Kansas -- she played for Bishop Miege High School.
* Senior night honored the careers of three Wildcats -- All-American Nicole Ohlde, Amy Dutmer and Kimmery Newsom. It's the first time in two years Kansas State had to say goodbye to a senior class.
* But wait! Kansas State still has one home game remaining, a Wednesday game next week against Texas Tech that may decide the Big 12 title. That night has been designated "Nicole Ohlde Night."
* One player who wasn't recognized on Senior Night was guard Laurie Koehn, a member of Ohlde's recruiting class who was forced to red shirt her freshman season due to injuries. She still has another year remaining.
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