K-State women’s basketball home opener on Sunday


    The women’s basketball team opens its home schedule Sunday when the Wildcats take on the University of Texas at San Antonio with tipoff set for 1 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.
    The Wildcats (2-0) are coming off a two-game road trip in which they defeated both the University of Texas at El Paso and Northwestern. Head coach Deb Patterson said while the road trip to begin the season presented a challenge, it was also beneficial for her squad.
    “It’s very challenging, but I think that it’s something that will serve our team very well in terms of maturing our younger players,” Patterson said.
    UTSA (1-1) is coming off of a historic 2008 season as the Roadrunners were crowned champions of the Southland Conference postseason tournament and made their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
    Patterson said she wants to use Sunday’s game against UTSA to build momentum heading into another two-game road trip.
    “Being here at home, I want us to generate some momentum early in this basketball game and hopefully find a way to build around what we do well,” she said.
    In terms of her team matching up against UTSA, Patterson said the Roadrunners remind her much of what K-State saw while playing against UTEP to begin the season.
    “This is a game at home where it will feel a lot like the UTEP game where you have got some athleticism and quickness that you will play against,” Patterson said.
    While on the two-game road trip, senior guard Shalee Lehning said the close 57-52 victory against Northwestern was a good experience for the Wildcats.
    “It was a great test for us,” Lehning said. “It really taught us about our composure. We had to stay calm; we made a lot of mistakes, but really we did good things down the stretch.”
    Senior guard Kelsey Nelson agreed, saying the Northwestern game was a good experience for the team to have early in the season.
    “It was a great experience for us,” Nelson said. “Northwestern is a good team, but it allowed us to have to come down to the end of the game and make shots and finish when we needed to. It was great to see us as a team come together and finish as a team.” 
    K-State will experience five full days of rest before entering the match up with UTSA. During the road trip, the Wildcats played two games in four days while traveling to El Paso, Texas, and Evanston, Ill.
    Lehning said they have used the break to dissect the mistakes shown against Northwestern and build upon what they accomplished.
    “It is always good to have breaks,” Lehning said. “You can mentally get yourself back on track, and also we have worked on a lot of our systems. A lot of the weaknesses we showed in the Northwestern game is the thing that we have been focusing on all week … we have worked on that and we are ready to go.” 
    Prior to tipoff on Sunday, the 2007-08 Big 12 Championship team will be recognized with a ring ceremony commemorating the team.