Welcome Back Coggins

MANHATTAN, Kan.-- "Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about. Well the names have all changed since you hung around, but those dreams have remained and they're turned around..."

Classic TV show theme songs from the 70's are timeless and yes very relevant to Kansas State's 75-42 win over UMKC Sunday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum.

Junior guard Claire Coggins has been struggling on the homecourt, to say the least. In four games at Bramlage she averaged 5.5 points, 3 assists and 3 fouls. And she sat out the entire game against LA Tech on Tuesday.

"I knew that in the St. Joe's game I didn't play anywhere near my capability of playing," Coggins said. "I was out of it mentally which can never happen. The way I played against St. Joe's, I didn't deserve to play."

Against the Kangaroos a confident Coggins hit 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and finished one point shy of her career-best with 24 points. She also grabbed 3 rebounds, dished out 5 assists, had 3 steals, and zero fouls.

"This whole week of practice I've been working really hard. And I needed to redeem myself. I hit my first three and that felt good, so I just kept shooting," Coggins said.

"Whenever I have confidence, I feel like I can do anything. I'm going to produce more good than bad. And my teammates have confidence in me."

In the first 20 minutes the Wildcats (7-1) needed that spark off the bench from their top-returner, because complacency was running rampant.

For the half, K-State shot a mere 35-percent from the field and were out-rebounded 25-20.

Coggins entered the game for the second time at the 9:35 mark and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range which helped put the Cats up 30-28 at halftime.

"I thought Claire had a great floor game tonight on both ends of the floor," K-State coach Deb Patterson said.

"And again whether that's Claire Coggins, or no matter whom it is on our roster, that's the kind of intensity and expectation and accountability that we need to bring to the floor. And certainly she brought it tonight."

The second half was a different game for K-State, who opened on a 16-0 run over four and a half minutes. The Wildcats hit 58-percent of their shots, and the defense held UMKC (2-7) to just 4 field goals.

Freshman forward Marlies Gipson added 11 points, 9 rebounds and tied a career-high with 4 blocks. And sophomore guard Kim Dietz scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 7 rebounds.

K-State begins a 3-game road trip on Monday Dec. 19 against Creighton. And for the sake of the Wildcats, hopefully a confident Claire Coggins will remember to pack her game.

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

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