In a season that has seen lengthy streaks, both of the winning and losing variety, the K-State women’s basketball team closes out their regular season schedule tonight at home against West Virginia.
The Wildcats (16-12, 6-11) and Mountaineers (17-12, 7-11) have been trending in opposite directions as of late. West Virginia recently upset No. 24 Texas 76-69 in overtime. Meanwhile, K-State was blown out by TCU 67-47. In the loss, the Wildcats shot just 30.8 percent from the field, including 15.4 percent from 3-point range.
In the season’s first matchup on Jan. 21, the Mountaineers defeated the Wildcats 63-51 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Sophomore forward Breanna Lewis was the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 11 points and six rebounds.
West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said stopping Lewis will be crucial if the Mountaineers are to steal a road win in the season finale.
“They (K-State) play well at home,” Carey said to WVU Sports. “Their center is their leading scorer and rebounder. We’ve got to get pressure on the ball. Don’t let them have free passes on their center. They do a good job of lobbing.”
Tonight’s contest marks the final time three Wildcat seniors will don the purple and white at home. Seniors Ashia Woods, Haley Texada and Heidi Brown will be celebrated for their accomplishments during a pregame ceremony.
The trio have left a mark on the K-State women’s basketball program. Over a four-year span, they won 66 games and made two postseason trips — the 2012 NCAA Tournament and 2013 NIT. Although Brown isn’t a regular contributor on the floor like Woods and Texada, she still carries a solid resume with three Big 12 All-Academic honors.
Texada and Woods have been the stabilizing force for a Wildcat program that’s still in the first year of head coach Jeff Mittie’s regime. As K-State has gone through the ups and downs of conference play, the Batman and Robin-like duo of Woods and Texada have kept the Wildcats on track for a winning season.
The latest feat for Texada was a season-high, 20-point outburst against in-state rival Kansas last Wednesday. For the season, Texada has averaged 9.4 points a game with a recent hot stretch that has seen her average 13 points per game in K-State’s last six contests.
Every team needs an anchor, and the one constant anchor for K-State has been Woods. The Wichita-native’s point production has increased each of the last three seasons, and she is on par to average double-figure scoring for the second time in as many seasons.
The final home game of the 2014-15 season is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum.