Wildcats Set to take on undefeated Iowa State

MANHATTAN, Kan—The Kansas State women's basketball team is coming off its biggest win of the season, a 55-53 upset on Texas Tech's home floor, only to face Iowa State, who handed the Wildcats their worst and only conference loss of the season.

The 16th ranked Wildcats host the Big 12-leading Iowa State Cyclones (15-1, 5-0) tonight at 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State is on a five-game winning streak since its 19-point thrashing at Ames Jan. 5, and has won 21-consecutive games against Big 12 opponents in Bramlage Coliseum.

The last team to defeat the Cats at home was Iowa State in 2002.

The No. 18 Cyclones' 15-1 record matches their best start ever (2000-01), while their 12-game win streak is the longest among the nation's top 25 teams.

Not only does Iowa State lead the league in wins, but it ranks first in scoring offense (80.9); field goal percentage (.47); 3-point field goal percentage defense (.25); rebounding margin (+11.2); 3-pointers made (9) and defensive rebounds (31).

K-State senior Laurie Koehn said the Wildcats will have to improve defensively in order to handle an offensively-dangerous Iowa State.

"We don't feel like we came out that last game with a lot of defensive intensity," said Koehn. "They killed us on transition and I think this game we have to come out with more focus defensively. If we can take away the easy baskets they got, that's going to help us a lot."

The Cyclones simply dominated K-State in all aspects of the game at Hilton Coliseum. ISU shot 64 percent from the field and an impressive 71 percent from 3-point range, as well as out-rebounding the Cats 36-28.

"Rebounding is going to be huge for us," said senior guard Megan Mahoney. "We want to keep them off the glass and away from second and third shot attempts. And on the offensive boards we have to crash. We can't be a one-shot-and-out team."

Since the loss Kansas State has stepped up defensively holding its opponents to a 35 percent field goal average and has brought an intensity that manifested at United Spirit Arena in the upset of the No. 10 Red Raiders last Saturday.

All-American Kendra Wecker said the Wildcats' defensive intensity kept them in the game against Texas Tech when they were struggling on the offensive end of the court.

"Defensively we'll step up better than we did last time, Wecker said. "If we bring defensively what brought against Tech we'll be fine. We just have to have that intensity, focus, know where the shooters are and I think we should be ok."

There's no question both teams are bringing a lot of momentum into tonight's second meeting of the season. But there's always room for improvement on past performances and K-State has a good deal to make up for.

"When you've taken a whooping the first time around, it really brings a level of acuity and attention to the challenge before you," said Coach Deb Patterson. "I think our players will bring that and are very motivated by competing better."

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