K-State eye season sweep in Austin against Texas

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Sophomore guard Kindred Wesemann maneuvers around a defender on Feb. 4, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. Wesemann burned the net, making eight three-point shots. (Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

Sophomore guard Kindred Wesemann enjoyed a career night against the No. 20-ranked Texas Longhorns two weeks ago at Bramlage Coliseum. Her 25 points on 8-11 shooting from behind the arc propelled K-State past the Longhorns 66-57.

Tonight, exactly two weeks later, the Wildcats travel to Austin, Texas searching for a season sweep and a boost in the conference standings.

Since the first meeting on Feb. 4, Texas has dropped out of the top 25 and is 1-3 in their last four games. In a win against Kansas Saturday, guards Ariel Atkins and Brianna Taylor combined for 30 points and 13 rebounds, while forward Imani McGee-Stafford pulled down 16 rebounds and added 12 points of her own.

K-State will look to rebound, literally, from their performance against Texas Tech on Sunday. The Wildcats were out-rebounded by Texas Tech 38-30 in the 74-68 overtime loss. As a team, K-State averages just 34.9 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Texas is ranked second in the Big 12 averaging 43.5 rebounds per game.

The Wildcats will look to sophomore forward Breanna Lewis and senior guard Ashia Woods to limit second-chance scoring opportunities near the basket. Woods tallied five rebounds against Texas Tech and is averaging 6.5 rebounds per game on the season, while Lewis collected 10 rebounds against the Red Raiders and averages 6.2 rebounds per game.

Despite the loss of key forward Nneka Enemkpali, who is out for the season with an ACL injury, Texas is scoring 68.5 points per game. K-State averages just 59.3 points per game, but the Wildcats have managed to score above their average in three out of their last four games.

Capitalizing on open looks will be key to withstanding Texas’ high-scoring offense. Senior guard Haley Texada put up double figures for the Wildcats in their last two games, and strong offensive performances from Woods and Lewis have contributed to the team’s recent success.

Defensively, K-State will search for a way to shut down Texas’ prolific lineup of forwards. McGee-Stafford has scored in double figures in Texas’ last two games, and freshman center Kelsey Lang also will pose a threat on inside the paint. In the previous meeting, McGee-Stafford and Lang combined for 28 points and 16 rebounds. K-State will answer with Lewis, who is now at 79 blocks this season. She is only seven blocks away from the school record for the most blocks in a single season.

K-State is 13-15 all-time against Texas. The teams have split the last 10 meetings in the series. Wildcats head coach Jeff Mittie is 2-5 all-time against the Longhorns.

Tipoff between K-State and Texas is set for 7 p.m. tonight from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

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