K-State women’s basketball looks to end Ames losing streak

Junior forward Jessica Sheble, freshman guard Kayla Goth and junior guard Kelly Thomson all cheer on their team during the second round of the Sunflower Showdown on Feb 13, 2016 in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats beat the Jayhawks 81-67. (File Photo by Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

In 2008, Flo Rida and T-Pain’s, “Low,” was the top song on the Billboard Year End chart, “The Dark Knight,” was the top-ranked movie and former President George W. Bush was still in office. 2008 was also the last time the K-State women’s basketball team won a game in Ames, Iowa.

The Wildcats, 17-9 overall and 7-8 in the Big 12, have ventured to Hilton Coliseum seven times since their last win there, and they’ve been unsuccessful every time since that 2007-08 season.

“They have a good team for one, and then they have eight or nine thousand fans at every game,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “They’re always in the top 10 in the country in attendance. It’s a good environment to play in.”

Although Mittie has only experienced, “Hilton Magic,” one time as head coach, he’s had his fair share of games against the Cyclones. Mittie has just a 2-7 record against Iowa State.

K-State senior guard Megan Deines will be making her first trip to Ames, Iowa, on Wednesday, but said she knows the challenge that lies ahead.

“I just hear it from my teammates, how hard it is to play there,” Deines said. “I haven’t seen the gym or anything, though.”

In addition to the challenge that the environment of Hilton Coliseum provides, the Cyclones, 13-13 overall and 5-10 in the Big 12, also provide a challenge on the floor. Iowa State has three players on the roster who provide a scoring threat the Wildcat defense will have to stop.

Junior guard Seanna Johnson leads the charge with 16.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Bridget Carleton follows Johnson with 11.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Finally, sophomore guard Jadda Buckley provides 11.2 points per game.

In the two team’s first meeting this season, a 84-79 Cyclone win in Manhattan, the trio tallied 20, 17 and 19 points, respectively.

In the last outing, junior center Breanna Lewis contributed 16 points and seven rebounds against the Cyclones, which matches her total season average.

“I feel like we had a good offensive game when they played here, but our defense was just not good at all,” Deines said. “They couldn’t stop (Lewis) inside, so I feel like just getting a good start on defense will be fun.”

It will require a solid showing out of Lewis and the right K-State defense on Wednesday night in order to end the seven-year skid.

“We’re definitely picking it up, just being more aggressive and being quicker on passes,” Deines said. “I felt like at the beginning of the year we were just a second slow and we were there, but it was always a second slow or a step too slow. So I feel like now we’re really focused on being more aggressive, and playing with effort.”

Tipoff between the Cyclones and Wildcats will take place at 7 p.m. inside Hilton Coliseum.