Wildcat women’s basketball looks to bounce back against Shockers

Hannah Hunsinger | Collegian Freshman guard Leticia Romero looks to pass against Tennessee State on Nov. 8 at Bramalge Coliseum. K-State plays Wichita State tonight and will try to improve on their 2-1 start to the season.Photo credit: Hannah Hunsinger.

Going into this season, head coach Deb Patterson understood that her team would endure growing pains. The youth is clearly present on the K-State women’s basketball team, as K-State possesses its youngest roster since the 1977-78 season.

A 45-point loss in their season opening road game just wasn’t a part of the ideal picture. It added to the road blues for the Wildcats as they’ve now lost seven true road games dating back to last season.

With Wichita State coming to Bramlage tonight, the Wildcats will have an opportunity to right the ship against a team they’ve historically dominated.

The Wildcats hold a 41-6 record against their in-state opponent. Under Patterson, K-State holds a 4-1 record against the Shockers. They’ve played three consecutive seasons, with the Wildcats winning the most recent game in Wichita last season 48-43.

Since missing last season due to a torn ACL, guard Kelly Thomson has continued to present herself as one of the Wildcats’ top 3-point shooting threats. The freshman knocked in five 3-pointers against UTEP last Saturday and is averaging 8 points per game.

K-State faced its fair share of difficulties in defending the paint last season, but freshman forward Breanna Lewis put forth her strongest game of the season against the Miners.

Lewis scored a career-high 12 points and will be needed against an aggressive and tall team like the Shockers. Her eight blocks in the season’s first three games are the most by any player in a three-game stretch since K-State alumna Branshea Brown’s 2010-11 performance.

Having scored in double figures in each game prior, guard Leticia Romero struggled mightily against UTEP. The freshman finished 0-7 from the field and ended the game with just two points.

For the first time in its program’s history, Wichita State is coming off of an NCAA tournament appearance. This record led to increased expectations, but the Shockers are off to just a 2-2 start.

Wichita State was picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley preseason standings. In Jody Adam’s five seasons as coach of the Shockers, the team has finished at or above its preseason selection every year.

K-State will be Wichita State’s second Big 12 opponent, as they lost 89-70 to Oklahoma earlier this season. Alex Harden knocked in 24 points against the Sooners and is the leading scorer for the Shockers. The junior was also selected as Missouri Valley Preseason Player of the Year.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.