With time running out, Cats still working to improve

By Joshua Kinder

Time is running out on the Kansas State women’s basketball team to make a move if it intends to get back in the hunt for postseason play.

(Kansas State freshman Leti Romero brings the ball down the court against Kansas on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum).

More than halfway through the season and stuck in a two-game losing streak, the Wildcats find themselves ninth in the Big 12, just ahead of Texas Tech, one game back from Kansas, which defeated K-State this past Saturday.

Yet at 8-11 overall and 2-6 in league play, K-State coach Deb Patterson’s message remains the same — work to get better.

“It’s like everything — you evaluate where you fell short and you walk into the gym looking to get better,” she said following her team’s 71-64 loss at home to the Jayhawks. “You have to look at it and say, ‘these are the areas we have to get significantly better.’ To me, a lot of it is… you just have to keep getting better.”

It’s been a rollercoaster of late for the Wildcats, who host Oklahoma on Wednesday night at 7 — televised on FSN. K-State opened Big 12 play with four straight losses, then won two straight, including an upset win over nationally ranked Iowa State on Jan. 18.

But since that win over the Cyclones, the Wildcats have found themselves back in a nosedive, beginning with an embarrassing loss at Baylor last Wednesday, a game in which the Bears led 52-13 at halftime and eventually won running away, 71-48.

Wednesday’s game with the Sooners (13-7, 4-3) is the last at home for the Wildcats until Feb. 12 when they host Texas — with tough road games the next two Saturdays at Iowa State and West Virginia.

“You have to get into the gym and apply yourself, develop consistency in what you’re going to bring day in and day out,” Patterson said. “That’s the next step for us. Who are you going to depend on? What’s the consistency level going to be? What’s the accountability going to be? We’re not there.”

Nothing would make Patterson happier right now than to steal a win at home against Oklahoma — a team K-State hasn’t beaten since 2004 — especially after losing to the rival Jayhawks at Bramlage Coliseum. The Sooners, who beat K-State 61-50 in Norman, Okla., on Jan. 11, have won three of their last four games.

“It’s devastating to lose at home,” Patterson said. “To me, that’s a crushing feeling to lose at home, but it is what it is, and now you need to find a way to get better.”

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