Cats look to bounce back against OSU in ‘Pink Zone’


Pink jerseys will fill the court in Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday afternoon as the Wildcats play host to the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the annual “Pink Zone” game.

Through the display of the pink uniforms designed by Nike, the K-State women’s basketball team is joining a national effort to raise breast cancer awareness.

The Wildcats (19-3, 6-3 Big 12 Conference) will look to bounce back after suffering only their third loss of the season at the hand of the then-No. 8 Lady Bears.

“I think we played a really high-quality game against Baylor aside from the turnover issues,” head coach Deb Patterson said.

Following the loss to Baylor, Patterson’s team has had a week off and time to prepare for Oklahoma State.

“I think [the break] has been really good for us. We have zoned on having some time to work to get better,” Patterson said. “It is good heading into the stretch run of February to feel like you have that teaching time and that time where we can run the kids a little bit and still give them off days.”

Oklahoma State (14-8 3-6 Big 12) comes into Manhattan having lost three consecutive games, with their last loss at home to the Baylor Bears in overtime by a score of 64-62.

“We have to come out and play our game,” junior guard Kari Kincaid said. “Each game is a new day, so you never know the nature of the game, so we are going to have to figure out our strengths. We won’t know that until game time.”

The series between the Cowgirls and Wildcats is tied at 26 games each. However, the Wildcats have won five of the last six meetings, including last year’s match at Stillwater, Okla., 68-63.

The Wildcats greatest challenge Sunday afternoon could come in the effort to slow down Cowgirl guard Andrea Riley. With 23.6 points per game, Riley leads the Big 12 in individual scoring. She is averaging a solid four points ahead of her closest competitor, Danielle McCray of Kansas with 19 points per game.

“We don’t at all look at our game plan and say that we are going to shut down Riley. You aren’t going to do that,” Patterson said. “[We are] going to bring awareness to her, play quality team defense limit her easy basket opportunities and hope that you can be successful at that from a team concept — not a one-on-one — because I don’t think you can guard her one-on-one.”

Tip-off for Sunday’s game is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City. The game can also be heard the K-State Sports Network, KMAN 1350, in Manhattan.