Women look to tame Tigers

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The K-State women’s basketball team will look to get back on track after against Missouri on tonight after suffering only their second loss of the season at the hands of Iowa State on Sunday. The 60-50 loss came within the hostile confines of the Hilton Coliseum where the Cyclones are now 11-0 on the season.

The Missouri Tigers (10-10, 1-6 Big 12 Conference) will come into Manhattan riding a four game losing streak, and in search of their first Big 12 road victory of the season. The Tiger’s road struggles have amounted to a 12 game Big 12 road-losing streak, which dates back to Feb. 17, 2008 when they picked up their last road win at Nebraska.

However despite Missouri’s 1-6 record in conference play, the Wildcats understand the toughness of the Big 12 conference and that everyone has the potential to beat any team.

“I think they (Missouri) are one of those teams in the Big 12 who are dangerous on any night.” Junior forward Ashley Sweat said. “They are not necessarily totally dependent on their inside game or their outside game, they have a nice combination of both. They bring a lot of nice things to the floor and we have to be ready for them.”

The balance that the Tigers bring to the floor is evident as senior guard Alyssa Hollins and junior forward Jessra Johnson compliment each other on offense. Hollins is averaging 13.3 points per game, while Johnson has averaged 12.2 points per game.

Following the Wildcats’ (18-2, 5-2 Big 12) loss to Iowa State on Saturday, senior guard Shalee Lehning said the teams practice on Monday was productive and the team was not affected by the performance against the Cyclones.

“That is something this team has done well with in the past,” Lehning said. “You cannot mope about a loss. We have to work on the things we didn’t do well and we came in today and we focused on those things and did a great job.”

The Wildcats game against Missouri will open the month of February that features three road games highlighted by Saturdays showdown at No. 8 Baylor. The month of February has historically been a challenge for the Wildcats as they have gone 183-128 (.588), which is the lowest percentage of any month for the Wildcats. Head Coach Deb Patterson owns a 43-47 (.478) record in the month of February, also her lowest percentage for any month.

“I’m not sure the way our schedule will play out in February that there is going to be a wave of momentum at any given point.” Patterson said. “So that is the mental challenge. ‘Its line it up deal with it, line it up deal with that.’

It’s going to be that kind of February for us.”

Patterson has stressed the importance of her team being physical on the court and felt that was a pivotal aspect of the Wildcats loss in Ames last weekend.

“We have to match physically,” Patterson said. “We did not play even remotely physical on the offensive end of the floor at Iowa State.”

Heading into the game tonight against Missouri Patterson said she is looking for her team to show balance on offense with her key players. The Wildcats struggled to find that balance in Ames as they shot a mere 38 percent on 50 shot attempts

“Ultimately I want us to find a way to get a win.” Patterson said. “I want to see us improve significantly with our execution on the offense end. We have to produce.”

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