K-State Gets Ready For 'Cat and 'Dog Fight
After opening up postseason play with an 88-68 rout of Idaho State on Friday night, Kansas State (20-10) looks to continue its first-round momentum by hosting Fresno State (24-7) in the second round of the 2006 Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday, March 22, at Bramlage Coliseum. Both the Wildcats and Bulldogs will meet for the first time on the hardwood beginning at 7 p.m. (CT). K-State hopes to advance past the second round of the postseason for the first time since the 2001-02 season, when the ‘Cats advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Fresno State has won a school-record 24 victories this season and is making its first back-to-back appearance in the postseason. The Bulldogs finished second in the Western Athletic Conference behind perennial NCAA power Louisiana Tech with a 14-2 record. In first-round action, the Bulldogs defeated UNLV (77-57) to improve to 15-1 at home at the three-year-old Save Mart Center. Senior guard Mirenda Swearengin was named WAC Player of the Year and is averaging 12.6 points and a team-leading 4.6 assists per game in 23 starts for the ‘Dogs. They are 0-2 this season against top 25 opponents having lost to No. 13 Stanford on Nov. 23 and No. 10 Arizona State on Dec. 15. Fresno State is rated No. 86 in the CollegeRPI.com index.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
No. Name 2005-06 Stats
22 Mirenda Swearengin, G, 5-6, Sr. 12.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg
11 Chantella Perera, G, 5-8, Jr. 11.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
32 Jasmine Plummer, G, 6-0, Jr. 3.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg
2 Brittani Green, F, 6-2, Jr. 5.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg
21 Amy Parrish, F, 6-0, Sr. 15.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg
AN ALL-STATE AFFAIR
For the second-straight game, Kansas State matches up with a first-time opponent in Fresno State. The Wildcats are 4-1 this season when playing a "State" school which includes Delaware State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Idaho State. They are also 1-0 against schools hailing from California having defeated Santa Clara (100-71) on Nov. 26 and 1-0 against opponents from the Western Athletic Conference this season.
2005-06 Category KSU FS
Overall Record 20-10 24-7
Points Per Game 70.4 70.4
Scoring Margin +8.4 +10.3
Rebounds Per Game 37.0 40.6
Rebounding Margin -0.1 +5.8
Field Goal Percentage 43.7 44.3
Field Goal% Defense 38.4 38.1
Three-Point FG% 35.4 31.3
Free Throw Percentage 70.5 68.3
Assists Per Game 16.1 15.7
Turnovers Per Game 15.1 18.3
Blocks Per Game 5.0 4.1
Steals Per Game 8.5 10.7
ON THE RADIO
The WNIT second round game against Fresno State can be heard via a radio broadcast on the K-State Sports Network with Brian Smoller and Missy Heidrick calling the action live from Bramlage Coliseum. Network affiliates in Chanute, Hutchinson, Iola, Junction City, Manhattan, North Fort Riley, Salina and Topeka will carry all of the Wildcats' Postseason WNIT games. An updated list of games aired by each network affiliate is located on the K-State women's basketball site at: www.k-statesports.com.
WILDCATS IN WNIT PLAY
The Wildcats improved to 2-1 in Postseason WNIT play after defeating Idaho State in the first round. It marked the fifth-consecutive year in which K-State has advanced past the first round in the postseason. There have only been three occasions in its 11 all-time postseason appearances (NCAA and WNIT) in which the ‘Cats have not advanced past the first round. In their first appearance during the 1999 Postseason WNIT, the ‘Cats posted a first-round home victory over Creighton (71-60), but lost in the second round at Arkansas State (70-83).
Kansas State dished out a season-high 28 assists against Idaho State in the first round of the Postseason WNIT. The ‘Cats have turned in 20 or more assists on five occasions this season. Freshman point guard Shalee Lehning led the way for the Wildcats by collecting her third career double-double with a game-high 11 assists and 12 rebounds. It was her first double-double involving double-digit rebounds and assists. Lehning broke the K-State freshman single-season record against the Bengals having dished the rock a team-best 164 times this year. She needs 12 more assists to surpass Mary Jo Miller as the school record holder for most assists in a single season (175). In all, K-State eclipsed team Postseason WNIT single-game records in eight categories including points (88), field goals (37), field goal attempts (78), three-point field goals (8), three-point field goal attempts (17), rebounds (43), assists and steals (12). It was also the most combined points (156) in a single WNIT game involving K-State.
COGGINS OFF THE CHARTS
Claire Coggins hit a high note as she scored a career-high 31 points against Idaho State in first-round action Friday night. In just the first half alone, Coggins notched a career-best 17 points on 6-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. She recorded double figures for the 21st time this season and for the sixth-straight contest. Her 31-point outing marks the most points scored in a postseason tournament (NCAA or WNIT) game ever in school history. Former Wildcat standout Kendra Wecker put up 29 points versus Vanderbilt in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament. Coggins now owns the school single-game scoring record in a WNIT game previously held by former Wildcats Olga Firsova and Angie Finkes (20). She is currently averaging a team-best 13.4 points per game and shooting a career-best 40.6 percent from three-point range.
THEY ALL SHOOT AND SCORE!
All 10 players on Kansas State's active roster contributed in the scoring column in the team's 20-point rout of Idaho State Friday night. The Wildcats shot 47 percent from not only the floor (37-78), but from beyond the arc (8-17). Freshman center JoAnn Hamlin was back in fine form posting 16 points against the Bengals. It was the most points for Hamlin, since posting 23 versus Missouri on Feb. 1. Overall, the Wildcats have had all of their active players on the roster score in a game three times this season including Detroit on Nov. 20 and Santa Clara on Nov. 26.
ON THE REBOUND
Freshman forward Marlies Gipson brought down a game-high 13 rebounds against Idaho State on March 17. She paired that with 10 points to earn her third career double-double. It marked the fourth time this season she has posted double-digit boards. Gipson is the team's leading rebounder averaging 6.6 per game. As a team, Kansas State has brought down 40 or more rebounds in 12-of-30 contests played this year.
Both the Wildcats and Bulldogs have three common opponents on their 2005-06 regular season slates including Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech and Santa Clara. K-State went 3-0 against those particular teams, while Fresno State went 2-2. The ‘Cats defeated La. Tech by 11 points (77-66) on Dec. 6, while the ‘Dogs split the yearly series with their WAC counterparts winning at home (67-58) in Fresno, but losing at Ruston (61-70). Fresno State also dropped a 77-67 decision at Big 12 South rival Texas Tech on Dec. 29.
CLOSE TO HOME
Fresno State head coach Adrian Wiggins took over the reins of the women's basketball program last February as interim coach. A native of Lawton, Okla., Wiggins previously served as head coach at Cameron University from 2000-02. With the Bulldogs, he has posted a 31-11 overall record to date. A 1995 graduate of Cameron, Wiggins was a four-year letterwinner on the baseball team. In fact, the entire Fresno State coaching staff either hails from Oklahoma or coached or went to school in the Sooner State. Sophomore guard Tierre Wilson is also a Lawton native and went to school at Eisenhower High School. Only four of the 16 players on the Bulldog roster call California home, while three are from Texas and four are from other countries.
FRESNO STATE CONNECTIONS
Even though 1,600 miles separate the two schools, Kansas State and Fresno State has had previous ties with each other over the last decade or so outside of women's basketball. During the 2004 season, the Wildcats hosted the Bulldogs in football with a return date still scheduled in the near future. This coming fall, the women's volleyball team will open its season at the Fresno State Invitational on Aug. 25-27. Both athletic programs have also met on the hardwood dating back to the third round of the 1994 NIT. Former Wildcat Askia Jones (1990-94) recorded a K-State single-game record of 62 points leading the ‘Cats past Fresno State, 115-77, on March 24, 1994 at Bramlage Coliseum. Jones scored 42 of his career-high 62 points on a school single-game record 14 three-pointers.
HOST WITH THE MOST
Thanks to the 3,775 fans who attended Friday night's game against Idaho State, Kansas State drew the largest crowd among the first 24 games played of the Postseason WNIT. As of Monday's second-round contests, the Wildcats have drawn the third-largest single-game attendance behind Indiana State (4,511) and Iowa State (3,872). K-State has gone 10-5 at home this season including notable victories over perennial NCAA power Louisiana Tech (77-66) on Dec. 6 and Texas Tech (53-51) on Jan. 4. Both the Wildcats and Big 12 North rival Nebraska are the only two remaining league teams in the postseason tournament after in-state rival KU lost to Ole Miss (78-76) and Iowa State lost in overtime to Marquette (69-63) in the second round.
Kansas State is the only NCAA Division I women's basketball team hailing from a BCS Conference to face a top 10 opponent in three of its last five contests. Less than 10 teams nationally, including No. 4 Duke, West Virginia and Syracuse, did so twice down the stretch, but never three times. The Wildcats finished the regular season with back-to-back games against No. 9 Oklahoma on Feb. 21 and No. 10 Baylor on Feb. 25. K-State would face the 10th-ranked Lady Bears again in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship on March 8. Both of their losses to the defending national champions were by less than nine points. The ‘Cats were one of only four teams this season to lead OU at halftime next to UConn, Michigan State and Baylor.
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