(This article originally appears on the SBNation.com site “Bring on the Cats” via www.bringonthecats.com)
It’s been nearly ten years since the Kansas State women’s basketball team defeated Oklahoma and breaking that streak this Saturday will be no easy task. Since January 31, 2004, the Sooners have taken every game in the series to extend their all-time advantage over the Wildcats to 32-23. In fact since the 1999-2000 season, the Wildcats are just 2-17 against OU.
The Sooners (10-6, 1-2 Big 12) are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Texas in overtime, 79-74, despite leading by 12 at halftime. One of the key differences was the Longhorns 0-of-8 performance from behind the arc in the first half before going a blazing 4-of-6 in the second half.
Aaryn Ellenberg led OU against Texas with 37 points including 4-of-9 shooting from three. Her four makes from beyond the arc give her a league-leading 44 made threes this year. On the season Ellenburg averages 18.9 points per game with Sharane Campbell averaging 12.6.
K-State (6-8, 0-3 Big 12) will look to Leticia Romero and Ashia Woods to lead a offensive attack that has not been as consistent as Coach Deb Patterson would like. Romero proved against Oklahoma State that she can get to the basket off of the drive but was not as consistent as the Wildcats needed in distributing off of the drive or pulling back when dribble penetration wasn’t available.
Woods is coming off a left achilles injury last season that appears to be nearly back to where it was prior to the injury. Woods has played in ten of 14 games this season and is averaging 11.5 points per game including a career high 27 against Baylor last week. Her season average is nearly twice what Woods had last season (5.9) prior to the injury.
One major area of concern is whether or not the Wildcats will be able to establish any rebounding against the Sooners. Currently K-State ranks dead last in the conference for defensive rebounding and are led by Romero, a guard, with 5.9 rebounds per game.
Early in the season the Wildcats were looking to 6’5 freshman Breanna Lewis to pick up the slack left by the graduation of Brittany Chambers but the Milwaukee, Wis. native averages just 4.5 rebounds per game, starting only nine of the 14 games played this season.
The Wildcats are young this season, with Katya Leick, Ashlynn Knoll and Chantay Caron being the lone seniors on the roster but the youth of K-State will have to start maturing pretty quickly if there are going to get off the snide and pick up their first conference win of the season.
An interesting fact about the two teams, neither has a player ranked in the top 20 of rebounding for the Big 12 Conference so this may be the game where the Wildcats can start to address some of their current rebounding woes.