Cats take Sunflower Showdown

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Claire Coggins scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half as Kansas State completed its fifth-straight season sweep of in-state rival Kansas with a 62-44 rout of the Jayhawks Thursday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

The victory was the 10th in a row in the Sunflower State Showdown for Kansas State (18-9, 8-8) and set up a rematch between the two teams in the first round of next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship in Dallas.

The Wildcats, who defeated Kansas, 69-63, earlier this season in Manhattan, will enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed and will meet the 10th-seeded Jayhawks Tuesday night at Reunion Arena at 6 p.m. The winner will then move on to second round action against second-seeded Baylor (22-5, 12-4).

It will be just the second meeting between the Wildcats and Jayhawks in the Big 12 Championship and the first since KU knocked of K-State, 50-46, in the 1998 Tournament in Kansas City.

But, as close as that 1998 quarterfinal matchup was, tonight's 91st installment of the Sunflower Showdown was nearly the polar opposite.

K-State used a balanced attack that included 11 points by Marlies Gipson, nine by Shalee Lehning and eight by Kimberly Dietz to lead the game wire-to-wire.

The Wildcats also had their best shooting night since the start of conference play, connecting on 51 percent from the field, and led by double-digits before the midpoint of the first half. By intermission, the ‘Cats were on cruise control and took a 34-19 lead into the lockerroom.

Kansas (16-11, 5-11), which got a game-high 19 points from leading scorer Crystal Kemp, pulled as close as 48-38 with 7:48 to play, but could never get within striking distance as the Wildcats responded with a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to put the game on ice.

The 18-point victory was the largest by Kansas State since the Wildcats defeated Colorado 85-66 on Jan. 14. The win was also K-State's eighth on the road this year and ninth away from Bramlage Coliseum.


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