MANHATTAN, Kan. K-State will look to bounce back from its first setback of the season with a trip outside of the United States for the fourth time in the Deb Patterson era, when the Wildcats head to Cancun, Mexico for the Caribbean Challenge on Nov. 21-22. Kansas State will take on Tulane and Michigan State for the first time in school history.
Action from the Caribbean Challenge can be heard live from the Moon Palace Resort on the K-State Sports Network and at www.kstatesports.com, with the award-winning Brian Smoller providing the play-by-play and former Wildcat Kristin Waller adding the color analysis.
K-State Outside the U.S.
The Wildcats and head coach Deb Patterson have a 3-3 (.500) record in regular season games played outside of the United States. In K-State?s last trip outside of the U.S. to the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, The Bahamas, Kendra Wecker set the school?s single-game scoring record with 41 points in a 105-61 victory over Illinois State.
Interestingly, the Caribbean Challenge matches the format the Wildcats have faced in the three previous trips outside of the U.S. by playing an unranked opponent to open action in the foreign land, followed by a ranked foe. K-State has not defeated a ranked opponent on foreign soil.
Patterson In Midst of 12th Season
Deb Patterson, the all-time winningest women?s basketball coach and the longest tenured women?s basketball coach in Kansas State history , has a career record of 220-129 (.630) and a record of 91-85 (.517) in the Big 12, including a Big 12 title in 2003. Patterson has steered the Wildcats to six consecutive postseason appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Mideast Regional Semifinals in 2002, the 2006 WNIT Postseason crown and a return visit to the WNIT semifinals in 2007. She is the only current head coach at K-State to guide his/her team to six straight postseason appearances. While guiding the Wildcats to six straight postseason appearances, Patterson has defended the floor in Bramlage Coliseum successfully during this time, posting an 85-15 (.850) record at home.
Wildcats Sign Three to NLIs During Early Signing Period
Kansas State women?s basketball announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letter of Intent (NLI) on the first day of the early signing period on Wednesday. The student-athletes that signed to play for head coach Deb Patterson are guard/forward Alina Voronenko (vor-eh-NEH-co), forward Jalana Childs and forward Jennifer Gilbertson.
Voronenko is a highly decorated player from Smithton High School in Smithton, Mo. Voronenko is ranked 53rd in the nation for overall players for the class of 2008 and the 17th best guard in the nation by hoopgurlz.com. At the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, she was named to the Associated Press Class 2 All-State team, the 2007 MBCA Class 2 All-State team and was a 2007 Class 2 All-State selection by the Missouri Sportscasters? Association. During her time with the Tigers, Voronenko has tallied 1,213 career points including a career single-game high of 32.
Childs, a product of Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Fla., is a 6-2 forward that finished with an average of 17 points per game with a field goal percentage of .600 and 14 rebounds per contest in 2006-07. Childs, coached by Matt Aliberti at Timber Creek, garnered All-Metro County honors last season and was a second team All-Orange County selection in 2005-06. She has registered single game career-highs of 35 points and 19 rebounds, both during her junior season. Patterson is excited about the possibilities in the post for Childs.
Gilbertson joins the Wildcats out of Winona Cotter High School in Winona, Minn. The 6-2 forward is a two-time Street and Smith high school All-American honorable mention selection and a two-time Player of the Year selection by the Winona Daily News. Gilbertson also garnered first team All-State honors in 2007 and is a three-time All-Hiawatha Valley League selection. Gilbertson has accumulated 1,451 points, 632 rebounds and 197 blocked shots through three high school seasons under the direction of Pat Bowlin. Patterson compared Gilbertson to one current Wildcat.
Wildcats 24th in Nation for Most Wins Since 2000
In research conducted by Lindy Brown of the Duke Sports Information Office, Kansas State ranks 24th in the nation for most wins since the start of the 2000 season with 161. The Wildcats are just one of three schools from the Big 12 to appear among the top-25, with Baylor at eighth with 183 wins and Oklahoma tied for ninth with 179. Leading the nation is Connecticut with 228 victories with Duke second at 220 and Tennessee third with 219.
Remember, Remember the Month of November
In the 39 year history of women?s basketball at K-State, the Wildcats have accumulated a record of 88-34 (.721) in the opening month of the season. In the Patterson era, the Wildcats are 39-14 (.736) in the 11th-month.
Efficiently Filling the Hoop During Homestand
After the first two games of the season, K-State leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at .547. The Wildcats finished the opener against Washington with a field goal percentage of .557, which is the highest shooting percentage for a season-opener in school history. The previous high was .519 during the Nov. 16, 2001, season-opener at Georgia Tech (74-70 win). In its second contest against Southern Utah the Wildcats were almost as good as in the opener, finishing with a field goal percentage of .537.
The last time K-State posted consecutive games with field goal percentages of .500 or better was March 2 and March 7, 2006, at Kansas in the Big 12 regular season finale (.510) and against the Jayhawks in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament (.520).
Working Over the Painted Area
K-State was able to control the paint for the third straight game this season, holding a 30-14 advantage in the lane at Wyoming. Through three games this season, the Wildcats are outscoring its foes 122-48 in the paint for an average edge of 40.7 to 16.0. This continues a trend from the 2006-07 season when the Wildcats averaged 30.5 points per game (1,038 points) in the paint, while holding its opponents to a 24.8 average in the paint (844).
At a Glance: Tulane
Tulane, led by 14th-year head coach Lisa Stockton, makes its way to Cancun with a 2-1 record and receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Green Wave are 1-1 this week, losing to Georgia Tech 66-61 on Tuesday night in New Orleans and defeating Stephen F. Austin 56-44 on Friday night.
For the season, Tulane is paced statistically by junior guard Ashley Langford and redshirt freshman Brittany Lindsey. Langford leads the team with 12.7 points per game, 5.3 assists per game and has hauled in the third-highest total of rebounds per contest at 3.7 despite being 5-5. Lindsey is second on the team in scoring at 11.7 per game and led the Green Wave on Friday at Stephen F. Austin with 16 points.
Stockton was the 2006-07 Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading the Green Wave to its fifth league title. The 1986 Wake Forest graduate has compiled a 268-128 record during her 14 seasons in New Orleans and has guided the program to nine NCAA?Tournament appearances. Stockton?s 2007-08 team was selected by the league?s coaches to defend its Conference USA crown in the preseason poll.
Wildcats vs. Conference USA
Although this is the first meeting between K-State and Tulane, the Wildcats hold an overall record of 8-3 (.727) against current members of Conference USA. Head coach Deb Patterson is 2-1 against the league and started her coaching career at K-State against a current Conference USA member, as the Wildcats defeated Memphis 68-60 on Nov. 22, 1996.
The Wildcats could face another Conference USA?member a week and a half later during the Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic on Nov. 30-Dec.1. UTEP will make their first appearance in Manhattan during that weekend and will face Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the 3:30 p.m. game on Friday.
At a Glance: Michigan State
Michigan State travels to the Caribbean Challenge ranked 17th/18th in the nation with a record of 2-1 on the young season. The Spartans reached the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT but were defeated by No. 4 LSU on Thursday night, 64-41.
Through three games, Michigan State has been led by 6-9 sophomore center Allyssa DeHaan with an average of 14.0 points per game on .500 shooting from the field, 9.3 rebounds per game and an incredible 6.3 blocks per contest. During her freshman campaign, DeHaan set the Big 10 and NCAA single-season record for blocks by a freshman with 145 (4.4 bpg). At the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, DeHaan became the fourth Spartan to win Big 10 Freshman of the Year honors.
On the bench, Michigan State is guided by first-year head coach Suzy Merchant. Merchant came to East Lansing after spending the previous nine seasons at Eastern Michigan. Merchant has a 203-121 (.627)?career record in 13 seasons as a head coach.
Wildcats vs. Big 10
The matchup between Kansas State and Michigan State during the Caribbean Challenge will be the first between the schools, but K-State has faced every other member of the Big 10 Conference during its history. Overall, the Wildcats have a 21-18 (.538) mark against the Big 10, while head coach Deb Patterson has a 5-5 record against the league. K-State has played at least one member of the conference during the last five seasons, including the Wildcats? splitting a pair of matchups during the 2006-07 season: vs. Wisconsin (L, 53-56) in the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout and against Illinois (W, 66-51) in the WNIT.