It's Game Day, Baby!

It's game day! Tonight my beloved Wildcats travel to Lubbock to take on the Red Raiders. The Aging Disco Diva will be stocking up on her favorite adult beverages and Godiva chocolates (two of the three major food caviar tonight....I must show SOME caloric restraint)

Kansas State (17-5, 7-1 Big 12)
vs. Texas Tech (12-10, 3-5 Big 12)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. CT
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Arena: United Spirit Arena (1999)
Capacity: 15,098

Series: Tied 11-11
(Texas Tech leads 6-3 at home)

Television: ESPN2
Ron Franklin (play-by-play)
Hubert Davis (analyst)
Eric Posman (producer)
Mike Roig (director)

Radio: K-State Sports Network;
Powercat Passport Internet Audio;
Yahoo! Internet Radio, Sirius Satellite 155
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)


Game Preview

No. 18th ranked Kansas State Wildcat team (17-5, 7-1 Big 12) starts the second half of the Big 12 schedule on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech (12-10, 3-5 Big 12) at United Spirit Arena beginning at 8 p.m. CT. The squad, which has won just four meetings in the series since the start of Big 12 play, will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Red Raiders in Lubbock. The Wildcats’ last road win in the series came on Dec. 4, 1986.

Wednesday’s contest will be televised nationally on ESPN with Ron Franklin (play-by-play) and Hubert Davis (analyst) calling the action. It will be the 10th of a school-record 13 appearances on national television for the Wildcats, including the second on ESPN2. The team is 1-9 all-time on ESPN2, including 0-2 this season. Kansas State lost to George Mason, 87-77, on the network on Nov. 22, 2007 before dropping an 80-77 decision to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.

The game will be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) behind the mikes. Fans can also listen to the game on Sirius Satellite 155.

Kansas State capped the first half of Big 12 play on a strong note, as the Wildcats snapped a five-game losing streak to Oklahoma State with a decisive 82-61 victory on Saturday before a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum. The 82 points were the most scored against the Cowboys since the start of conference play and the most by the Wildcats in the series since they collected 88 in a win at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Jan. 28, 1987. Although K-State shot a season-low 38.7 percent from the field, the team had nearly twice as many field goal attempts as OSU (75 to 41 attempts) and held a 51-29 rebounding advantage. The Wildcats also outscored the Cowboys, 38-14, in the paint and held a 28-7 edge in second-chance points.  After Monday’s game, K-State is now back in first-place by a half-game over Kansas and Texas.

Freshman Michael Beasley paced the Wildcats in scoring for the 17th time this season, as he led three players in double figures with 23 points and 13 rebounds to go with three assists, three blocks and two steals in 33 minutes. It marked his school-record and nation-leading 19th double-double of the season, as he broke his tie with Larry Comley (18; 1960-61). Fellow rookie Jacob Pullen posted double figures for the fourth time in five games with 17 points with a season-high five three-point field goals, while redshirt freshman Bill Walker ran his streak of double-digit scoring to 11 games with 14 points to go with eight rebounds and a career-tying five assists.

Kansas State’s 17-5 start to the season is the best by a Wildcat squad in 26 seasons since the 1981-82 squad also started 17-5. Despite the loss on Saturday, the 7-1 start to league play is the best in the Big 12 era and the best since the 1974-75 team also started 7-1.

The book on Kansas State

Kansas State remained in both major Top 25 polls on the Monday for the third consecutive week, moving up two spots in both polls to No. 18 in The Associated Press poll and to No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The squad returned to both major polls on Jan. 28 for the first time since November. The program opened the season with its first preseason ranking since 1975 in The Associated Press poll and climbed to as high as No. 18 before falling out on Dec. 3.

Kansas State is averaging 80.2 points on 44.6 percent shooting with 43.0 rebounds, 17.1 assists, 8.2 steals and 3.9 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 66.3 points on 40.1 percent shooting. Only one team at Kansas State - the 1952-53 squad - has averaged 80 or more points for a season, which averaged 81.4 points in 21 games. The Wildcats rank among the top-25 nationally in scoring margin (16th), scoring (20th) and assists (21st). The team has topped 80 or more points in 11 games (all wins) this season, which equals or surpasses the single-season totals of 80-point games from the last 17 seasons, including the eight in 2006-07.

A trio of Wildcats are averaging in double figures led by Beasley, who ranks fourth nationally in scoring at 25.2 points per game. Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 12.3 per game, is shooting 56.2 percent from the field to go with 1.7 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.4 assists in 30.5 minutes per game. He leads the squad in 15 categories, including scoring, double-doubles, 20-point games (17), field goals (205), free throws (121), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes.

Beasley, who became the first player in Big 12 history to be named the conference’s Rookie of the Week for three consecutive weeks, leads the conference in scoring and rebounding in both overall and league-only games. He has a school-record 19 double-doubles in just 22 games, while he is three shy of the all-time record for the most-ever by a freshman set by Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony (22) in 2002-03.

Rookie Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (15.8 ppg.), rebounding (6.8 rpg.), field goals (110), field goal attempts (249), blocks (14), double-digit scoring (17), and double-doubles (three). Since being moved back to the interior 14 games ago, Walker is averaging 17.7 points on 46 percent shooting, including 38.3 percent from 3-point range, with 7.1 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game. He has now scored in double figures in 21 of 26 career games, including 17 of 20 games this season.

The backcourt of Jacob Pullen, Clent Stewart and Blake Young has also continued to play well for the Wildcats. Pullen, who started the team’s first nine games, is first on the team in assists (3.5 apg.) and 3-point field goals (26) and third in scoring (10.0 ppg.). During the last nine games, Pullen has posted 34 assists to just 11 turnovers while averaging 10.1 points per game.

The Wildcats look to receive a boost with the return of Stewart, who has missed the last two games after the loss of his mother, Vanessa, who lost her courageous battle with bone cancer on Feb. 5. The team’s most experienced player with 110 appearances and 84 starts, Stewart has scored in double figures in nine of his last 14 games. The squad, which wore pink shooting shirts to honor her memory against Nebraska on Feb. 6, will continue to wear a patch on their uniforms bearing her initials.

Young, who has the team’s longest current game streak at 57 games, is averaging 6.5 points on 41.9 percent shooting in Big 12 play with 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 31.1 minutes.

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