K-State women look for season sweep over KU


    It was a night the K-State women’s basketball team will cherish for a long time.   
    More than 10 months ago, team members celebrated in Lawrence as the Wildcats clinched the Big 12 Conference regular season championship with a 61-50 victory over in-state rival KU in Allen Fieldhouse.
    The Wildcats will play for a similar result this weekend, albeit earlier in the season, as No. 18 K-State (16-1, 3-1 Big 12 Conference) travels to KU (12-5, 1-3 Big 12) Saturday for the 98th edition of the Sunflower Showdown. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m.
    It hasn’t been much of a “showdown” lately, as the Wildcats have won 15 of the last 16 meetings between the two teams, with the one loss coming at KU two years ago in an 82-74 double-overtime defeat.
    K-State dominated the Jayhawks from start to finish just two weeks ago in a 72-39 victory in the conference opener for both teams.
    K-State head coach Deb Patterson said she knows the Jayhawks will be eager to come out and play well after their last performance in Manhattan earlier this season.
    “We know they’ll be ready for us after that last game,” Patterson said. “I know they left the floor feeling like they hadn’t shown any measure of who they are. So playing them on the road in the Big 12 and understanding the nature of the rivalry and just the hurting that they are coming off of from the first time we played them – I’m sure they are going to be more than inspired.”
    Senior point guard Shalee Lehning said she is not worried about the quick turnaround, in which K-State will be playing the Jayhawks twice in the first five conference games.
     “It’s just another game for us,” said Lehning, who leads the nation with 8.8 assists per game. “It’s one of those things – it doesn’t really matter about the turnaround for us. We’re not too worried about that but we also understand that they are at home.
     “They are obviously probably out to get us this time so we have to come and bring 40 minutes of intensity and 40 minutes of focus.”
    K-State will look to win its 17th road game in its last 19 tries, but Lehning said this one will not be as easy as the Wildcats’ first encounter with the Jayhawks this season.
    “I don’t think they played well at all and I think they would be the first to admit that,” she said. “We were on top of our game that night. Things were just going really smoothly for us.
    “Obviously playing on our home court with our crowd, we had our emotions going and our adrenaline was pumping, so we won’t have that going into this game – they’ll have that. So we have to make sure that the tables don’t turn.”