Cyclones face conference leader

Matt Gubbels

The Kansas State Wildcats were picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 and were one of two come out of conference play with fewer than ten wins.

That was three weeks ago.

The 22nd-ranked Wildcats (12-5, 4-0 Big 12) are now tied for the conference lead with Oklahoma State and Baylor and cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time this week.

Coach Bill Fennelly said Kansas State, because of its wins at Texas and Texas A&M, may be the favorite to win the league now, and is very similar to his team.

“They have really good guard play,” Fennelly said. “Shalee Lehning has had a great year, and [Kimberly] Dietz is one of those players that no one talks about until you have to play against them.”

Kansas State is ranked in the Big 12’s top three in scoring offense and scoring defense, and Dietz has led them to dominance in both areas with her 14.5 points per game and defense on the perimeter.

Wildcat coach Deb Patterson said the team will attack Iowa State like they normally have, regardless of the Cyclones’ recent injury problems.

“We are going to be very preoccupied with their ability to shoot the three and drive it at you,” Patterson said.

Sophomore Alison Lacey said the Wildcats show how deep the league is.

“Anyone can win – it doesn’t matter from the North or the South,” Lacey said. “It’s going to be a tough game on Wednesday, and hopefully we can come away with a win.”