Purple Reigns In The Paint

MANHATTAN, Kan.-- Following Kansas State's mediocre performance against Division II Emporia State, coach Deb Patterson didn't anticipate her team would dominate as well as they did in the Wildcat's home opener on Sunday.

Apparently 12 days made all the difference in the world to the young squad as they defeated Detroit 91-55 in Bramlage Coliseum.

And Patterson probably didn't anticipate freshman center JoAnn Hamlin would score K-State's first 12 points of the game.

Hamlin got on the board after grabbing an offensive rebound and making the lay-up plus the free throw.

The way she was scoring in three's you'd swear she was about eight inches shorter with the name "Koehn" on her back.

"Getting that first touch and making the lay-up and getting fouled just gives you a lot more confidence," Hamlin said. "And things just start flowing from there."

In the first 20 minutes of her collegiate debut Hamlin shot 5-for-6 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

"As a post player you want to finish the shot and get the extra one for free," said Hamlin, who finished with a game-high 24 points and six rebounds.

It made sense that K-State would establish an inside game against a Titan team that lacked experienced big players in the paint. However, Detroit was able to keep pace during the first half thanks to the shooting of senior guard Lindsey Pasquinzo who scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers.

Tied at 17 with their only scorer getting some well-deserved rest on the bench, the Wildcat guards utilized their spacing and speed to get penetration to the basket.

The backcourt duo of Twiggy McIntyre and Shalee Lehning led K-State on an 11-0 run.

Lehning got it started by spinning through the lane and finishing an off-balanced shot and was fouled. She made the free throw.

And McIntyre capped the run with a steal and acrobatic drive to the basket. She was fouled and made both free throws. Kansas State had no issues in the second half outscoring their opponent 34-8 in the opening 12 minutes. They held Pasquinzo to just five points.

"We realized that we can use our speed," McIntyre said. "I think our defense picked up a lot and that created our offense in the second half."

Both McIntyre and Lehning came off the bench to score 19 and 13 points respectively. Sophomore forward Shana Wheeler added six points and a career-high 12 boards. Junior guard Claire Coggins started the game, but continued her scoring struggles finishing with just three points.

"I thought we did a nice job of plugging away," Patterson said. "It was close early, but we brought the resiliency, the versatility off the bench that I think helped make that happen."

"We're less stubborn about how things have to go to be successful and if our team can grab a hold of that concept and we can keep improving in it, I think good things are possible."

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