Wildcats Regain Tourney Title

MANHATTAN, Kan.-- Kansas State has reclaimed the Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic title after two consecutive years of seeing another team celebrate on their home court in their home tournament.

Four Wildcats scored in double figures for the second straight night as Kansas State (6-1) defeated Alcorn State 81-41 Saturday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

Tournament MVP sophomore forward Marlies Gipson led Kansas State with 16 points and four rebounds in just 23 minutes of play.

"You know what you're going to get out of Marlies (Gipson)," K-State coach Deb Patterson said.

"You're going to get good basketball decisions. Whether she's looking to score the ball, be a passer or rebounder, the contribution just about every touch is very positive for the basketball team."

Gipson's nine first half points were a bright spot for the Wildcats, who struggled from the floor shooting just 32.4-percent.

Kansas State went on a 12-2 run over six minutes extending their lead to eight, but Alcorn State (2-2) answered with an 8-1 run of its own to cut the lead to three at the half.

Lady Braves' senior forward Rasaan Powell, who earned tournament honors, led all scorers with 18 points and five rebounds.

Shot selection was a definite point of emphasis for the Cats in the locker room. They opened the half on a 15-3 run shooting 6-of-8 in the first five minutes.

"I think this team, in the second half, established that they were going to be more intelligent on the offensive end of the floor and we began to play a little higher percentage basketball in the second half," Patterson said.

K-State junior Kim Dietz picked up her game in the half scoring 10 of her 13 points in addition to dishing out three assists and posting two steals.

The Wildcats pulled away in the final 20 minutes hitting 60-percent of their shots.

All-Tournament member K-State sophomore point guard Shalee Lehning recorded her fourth career double-double with 10 points and 11 assists. The Sublette, Kan., native also grabbed six rebounds and carded three steals.

Junior forward Shana Wheeler had another big night off the Wildcat bench scoring 15 points.

Patterson is now one victory shy of tying Judy Akers (1968-79; 206 wins) for the most wins in Kansas State women's basketball history.

She'll get her next opportunity on Tuesday as the Wildcats travel to Ruston, La., to face Louisiana Tech, the winningest program of all-time. K-State defeated the Lady Techsters 77-66 last season in Bramlage Coliseum.

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