A year ago, Wichita State was no match for the Kansas State women’s basketball team at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Wildcats cruised past the Shockers 60-34 on a night when Brittany Chambers scored her 1,000th career point.
This year, the Wildcats (5-0) will take the show on the road when they travel to Wichita to face the Shockers on Tuesday night at 7.
“It’s a great in-state rivalry,” K-State coach Deb Patterson said following her team’s win over Mississippi Valley State on Friday night. “This is a game of the year, you’re lining up against a Big 12 opponent that’s an in-state opponent, and I think we saw that from them last year; the aggressiveness and the toughness and the heart that they brought to the floor.”
The Shockers are paced by guard Jessica Diamond who averages 15 points per game. The senior scored 19 points to help her team snap a 3-game losing streak last week against Grambling State.
The Shockers are 2-0 on their home court this year, and while their 3-4 record may not look impressive, they have not lost a game by more than five points all season.
With a 72-70 loss to Louisiana State and a 49-44 loss to Missouri, Wichita State has proven its ability to play with high-caliber teams.
“They’re a hungry basketball team, they’re extremely athletic, they play fast,” Patterson said. “I understand that headed into this matchup. It’s part of what makes the in-state games very exciting and challenging.
“It’s great for our fans, great for our players and for our institutions. I appreciate the matchup that we have.”
K-State may be coming off of a 64-57 win, but its sloppy second half against Mississippi Valley State on Friday when the Devilettes outscored the Cats 36-21, shows the Wildcats still need to find more cosistency.
Chambers said the quick turnaround between games is good for K-State.
“I’m ready to get into a grove of playing,” Chambers said. “I think it’s been great to have these practices early, but now it’s time to get used to playing games every couple days and being focused in, winning or losing, and being able to come back and act like none of it happened the day before.”
The trip South also allows for the Wildcats to showcase themselves to the Wichita area, a region of the state that’s been a hotbed of talent in recent years.
“We have Ashia Woods from that area,” Patterson said. “So, we would like to continue grow the interest in Kansas State there in Wichita because it is a very good and a strong basketball hub. So, hopefully we can expose the very best we have to offer when we go in there.”