Following a upset victory over the No. 15 Texas Longhorns, the K-State women’s basketball team will travel to Boulder, Colo., to face the Buffalos for their final regular season game.
The Wildcats (22-6, 9-6 Big 12 Conference) will look to build off the momentum of Wednesday’s performance in which they forced the Longhorns into 19 turnovers. The K-State defense dictated the pace of the game and held the Longhorns’ third-ranked Big 12 offense to 38 percent shooting from the field.
“That win [Wednesday] was just huge,” said head coach Deb Patterson. “It was huge for every reason: We played well, we competed hard, we faced a top-15 opponent, we lined up a significantly deeper and more athletic team and answered that aspect of the game, whereas we struggled with that against Texas A&M.”
In the game against Texas, senior point guard Shalee Lehning saw her first substantial minutes since suffering from mononucleosis.
Junior forward Ashley Sweat said having Lehning back in the lineup was significant in the success of the offense last night.
“She is such a great leader,” Sweat said. “She just brings a whole different dimension to our team. Just having her back raises everyone else’s confidence.”
Lehning scored 11 points, handed out six assists and grabbed seven rebounds while playing 39 minutes against the Longhorns on Senior Night.
Junior guard Kari Kincaid said the Wildcats will be a different team this weekend since Lehning is healthy and able to contribute. In the Wildcats’ previous meeting with Colorado, Lehning was sidelined.
“We have our All-American point guard back, which is a big weight off all our shoulders,” Kincaid said. “She just makes us so much better in every aspect of the game, which Colorado will be ready for the ‘Shalee Lineup.'”
Colorado will enter Saturday’s game having lost seven of its previous eight games. However, despite their lack of success lately Patterson says her team is not overlooking the Buffalos before the Big 12 Tournament.
“I don’t have any question in my mind that our kids are completely focused on Colorado,” Patterson said.
The Cats will enter the contest looking for their first road win since their Jan. 24 victory in Lawrence over KU.
“This is another challenge for our team right now to see if we can overcome that challenge that has nicked us in the last few road games in the Big 12,” Patterson said.
Tipoff for Saturday’s game, which will be broadcast on 1350 KMAN, is set for 3 p.m.