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 Jame 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 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).
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.
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.
Lehning the Passer
Shalee Lehning has continued her climb to the summit of the K-State career assists list this season. The junior from Sublette, Kan., now has carded 388 for her career and is alone in third place in school history, passing Kendra Wecker (2001-05) and Cassandra Jones (1982-86) who have 379. Lehning has played in 70 games in her career and has tallied 5.5 assists per contest. Lehning holds the school records for assists by a freshman (189) and by a sophomore (179) and is just 202 assists from tying Megan Mahoney for the career record (589).
Lehning has been efficient this season with her distribution of the basketball, registering a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio (20 assists - 10 turnovers). She has also recorded two games of five or more assists and one contest with 10 or more. For her career, she has nine games with 10 or more assists including a career-high of 12 against Texas-Pan American on Dec. 2, 2005.
The junior from Sublette, Kan., has finished among the top-five in the Big 12 in assists in her two seasons guiding the Wildcat offense, including second last season with 5.26 per game. Lehning was also among the national leaders, ranking 26th in the category.
Lehning the Scorer
When most people think of junior guard Shalee Lehning, they immediately think of a tremendous distributor of the basketball but she has started this season off as K-State’s leading scorer as well as its leading passer. Lehning opened the season with consecutive 16-point efforts against Washington and Southern Utah and tallied 14 at Wyoming. Lehning has been efficient when scoring the ball as her field goal percentage of .750 is second in the Big 12 Conference. With the 46 points, Lehning is now just 78 points from tying Greta Siegel (1974-76) for 39th in career points at K-State.
Lehning the Rebounder
Shalee Lehning continues to mix it up with the big girls inside despite being just 5-9 and playing the point guard position. She leads the team in rebounds with 16 (5.3 rpg). The guard from Sublette, Kan., ranks 25th in career rebounds at K-State with 476, passing Rita Matteucci (1987-90) during the contest at Wyoming and is nine from tying Jenny Coalson (1995-00) for 24th.
A season ago, Lehning led the Wildcats in rebounding with 6.9 per contest. She accomplished this despite being just 5-9 and playing the point guard position. Lehning finished the season ranked 13th in the Big 12 in rebounds per game and was the shortest player among the top-15. She was also the only player in the conference to appear among the top-15 in rebounds and the top-10 in assists (5.26 apg; 2nd). At the conclusion of her freshman campaign in 2005-06, she was the only player in the conference to be ranked among the top-20 in rebounds and top-15 in assists.
Gipson Solid in Return
After losing the final 18 games of the 2006-07 season to a knee injury, junior Marlies Gipson has returned to the K-State starting lineup for the first three games this season. Against Washington, she tallied 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, three rebounds, two blocks and one steal. In her second start of the season against Southern Utah, she carded 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting, five rebounds, two assists and a block. In her third start, Gipson registered a season-high 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks. With the six blocked shots in the first three games, Gipson passed Brie Madden (104; 2001-05) for third in career blocks in school history with107. With her 33 points, Gipson became the third active K-State player to surpass 500 points for her career with 519. She is now 113 points from tying Greta Siegel (1974-76) for 39th in school history.
Before her injury last season, the forward from McPherson, Kan., was among the Big 12 leaders in points (12.8 ppg), rebounds (8.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.473).
At the conclusion of her freshman campaign in 2005-06, Gipson had set the school record for blocked shots by a freshman (62). Last season against Weber State on Dec. 17, Gipson tied Shelley Hughes (1/8/81 vs. Illinois) and Olga Firsova (2/16/00 at Colorado) for the most blocks in a single game with seven.
Dietz a Dead-Eye Behind the Arc
A season ago, guard Kimberly Dietz was one of the top three-point shooters in the nation and has started this season in a similar manner. The product of Boulder, Colo., is 6-of-14 (.429) from beyond the arc this season after connecting on three in both wins over Washington and Southern Utah. In 2006-07, she ranked 50th in the nation and first in the Big 12 in three-point field goals made per game at 2.3 and was ranked 84th in the nation in 3-point percentage at 32.5.
Entering this season, she is poised to become the 33rd player in school history to tally 1,000 points as she currently has 908. In order for Dietz to accomplish this feat during the regular season, she needed to average 4.4 points per game. Dietz has averaged 9.9 points per game for her career and is currently second on the team with an average of 11.7 points per game.
She is also on the verge of moving into the top-five in school history in career 3-point field goals made (163) and into the top-three in career 3-point attempts (499). During her career when she connects on at least five 3-point field goals in a game (which has occurred six times) the Wildcats have a 4-2 record.
Sweat Continues Heat Wave
Ashley Sweat has picked up where she left off in the 2006-07 season, as she has registered an average of 9.3 points per game through three games this season including a high of 11 against Washington on 5-of-7 shooting.
Scoring success for Sweat came at a fever pitch during the final 11 games of her rookie campaign. During these contests, Sweat averaged 16.9 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. She strung together eight games of double-digit scoring, including four games of 20 or more points and a career-high 31 at Wyoming in the WNIT semifinals.
Wheeler Patrols the Paint
Senior Shana Wheeler started the 2006-07 campaign fresh off a full summer of rehab for a torn ACL, an injury she suffered in the ninth game of the 2005-06 season at Creighton. She entered last season needing just one block to tie for 10th place for career blocked shots. The Lee’s Summit, Mo., product exceeded expectations in her ability to protect the paint, as she concluded the season with 63 blocked shots for the year and now has posted a total of 118 after four blocks in three games to open the 2007-08 campaign, trailing Nicole Ohlde’s school record of 204. Her effort of 63 rejections in 2006-07 was the third highest for a single season in school history and her 1.9 blocks per game ranked 50th in the nation.
Stanley Stands Out
Freshman Jackie Stanley got her “jitters” out the way during her Wildcat debut against Washington with seven points and six rebounds in 15 minutes of action off the bench. In her second game at K-State, the forward from Wylie, Texas was sensational as she registered a game-high 21 points on an impressive 9-of-11 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line. She also added six rebounds, one block and one steal to her ledger in 19 minutes of play.
To date, Stanley has contributed to two important team statistical categories, points in the paint and bench points. The Wildcats have outscored its foes 122-48 in the painted area and K-State’s reserves have outscored the opponents’ reserves, 69-26.
K-State Leads Big 12 in the Pro Ranks
The Wildcats have not only been successful at the collegiate level, but have also placed five players on WNBA rosters during the the last five seasons. Former K-Staters on WNBA rosters are: Nicole Ohlde (Minnesota Lynx), Laurie Koehn (Washington Mystics), Kendra Wecker (San Antonio Silver Stars), Megan Mahoney (Connecticut Sun) and Claire Coggins (Chicago Sky). K-State has had seven players total reach the WNBA, as current K-State director of basketball operations Olga Firsova played for the New York Liberty and Shanele Stires was a member of the Minnesota Lynx.
K-State currently leads all Big 12 schools with the five WNBA players and is tied for fifth in the nation for the most players on WNBA rosters.
K-State to Make 8 TV Appearances in 2007-08
K-State fans within the Big 12 region and throughout the nation will have eight opportunities to see Deb Patterson and the Wildcats in action this season. The Wildcats will make three national television appearances on FSN as part of the Big 12 Conference package with the network. K-State’s first appearance on FSN will be against first year Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors and the Longhorns on Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. The next appearance is two weeks later, as the Wildcats travel to Oklahoma State on Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. The final national appearance will be on Feb. 2 at 12 p.m. against Baylor.
Kansas State will make four appearances on FSN Midwest, as the Wildcats take on Texas Tech on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. and Colorado on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. K-State will make its next regional appearances on Feb. 17 at Missouri at 2:30 p.m., followed by a match-up with Nebraska on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.
K-State will make its first television appearance of 2007-08 against a familiar foe, as the Wildcats travel to defending WNIT champion Wyoming on Nov. 15. The contest will be broadcast on The Mtn., which is a network dedicated to broadcasting Mountain West Conference sports.
In the previous 38 years of women’s basketball, the Wildcats have registered a 56-38 mark on television and a 33-28 record on FSN.
Loge Boxes Added to Bramlage Coliseum for 2007-08 Season
There will be a noticeable difference this season inside Bramlage Coliseum on the east side, as Kansas State is offering premium luxury seating for the first time. Each loge box offers a 4, 6 and 8-seat configuration which includes the following:
• Granite Countertops
• Cherry wood cabinetry for food and drink storage
• One television monitor for every two seats in the box
• Ice bin
• Comfortable chairs
• Catering for food and beverages offered through official caterer
To secure a loge box, a $3,000/seat contribution to the Ahearn Scholarship Fund plus price of season ticket (men’s and women’s basketball and other events controlled by K-State Athletics) is required. A limited number of loge boxes are still available. If interested or have questions, contact Chad Weiberg in the K-State Development Office at 785-532-6901.