The third-ranked Oklahoma women's basketball team can take a major step toward the Big 12 conference regular season title Wednesday night against No. 12 Kansas State in Manhattan.
The Sooners (20-2, 10-1) already hold a two-game lead over the second-place Wildcats (21-4, 9-3) in Big 12 play, who dropped a stunner at Nebraska last Sunday.
"They'll be ready for us," said Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale. "They'll be focused and I'm sure Deb (Patterson) has their attention after the upset at Nebraska."
"Kansas State didn't shoot the ball very well and they depend heavily on their perimeter shooting. You can bet that in Manhattan on Wednesday night every one of those three's are going to go down."
Kansas State is one of the nation's youngest teams, often starting three freshmen and playing four at times during the course of a game.
They average 75.6 points per game and are led by last years Big 12 Freshmen of the Year in Sophomore Nicole Ohlde. Ohlde is a 6-4 center who leads the Wildcats in both scoring (24 ppg) and rebounding (8 rpg). She also blocks 2.1 shots per game.
The Wildcats second-leading scorer is fabulous freshmen Laurie Koehn. Koehn averages 17.7 points per game, 3.6 three-pointers per game while shooting 44 percent from behind the arc this season.
"They're a very, very talented basketball team. Their offense is so potent they can score and attack from so many different places. They're very skilled," said Coale.
"They're inexperienced. That's the only difference between our two teams. They have played extremely well with a bunch of freshmen, a couple sophomore's and a senior or two mixed in. But their keys guys are freshmen."
"This is a real opportunity game for us. It's an opportunity for us to distance ourselves from the rest of the pack in the Big 12," said Coale whose Sooners are riding a six-game winning streak.
"I think that our guys have been shooting for this game for a long time now. It's sort of been built as the showdown of league play. In terms of bragging rights and in terms of what we want to do within this league and in the tournament at the end of the season we think this one is important."
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised by the Sooner Sports Network (KSBI Channel 52 OKC (Cox Channel 9), KWBT Channel 19 Tulsa, KSWO Channel 7 Lawton, KOMI Channel 24 Woodward).
Kansas State leads the overall series with Oklahoma 21-18. The Sooners have won the last four meetings and are 6-10 in Manhattan.
Oklahoma comes into the showdown ranked third while Kansas State is ranked 12th.
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