4:00 PM ET, January 22, 2005
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Kendra Wecker wasn't really certain how she was going to do it but she knew she had to score.The Kansas State forward made a layup with 7.4 seconds left to cap a 19-point performance and lead Kansas State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to a 55-53 victory over Texas Tech (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) on Saturday."I was just trying to make a play," she said. "I just kept the ball in my right hand and was somehow able to shoot it over (Tech's Cisti Greenwalt) and got the lucky bounce."Kansas State (14-3, 5-1 Big 12) got the ball to Wecker when it needed points and she delivered, scoring the Wildcats' final seven points."I thought it was just a battle of stops and rebounds," Wildcats coach Deb Patterson said. "Obviously, neither team was allowed to play at a fast tempo, and it required a great deal of execution and toughness on both ends defensively."With less than a minute remaining and Kansas State up 53-51, Texas Tech's LaToya Davis forced a turnover by Wecker. After a timeout, Erin Grant made a short jumper from inside the lane to tie the game at 53 with 31 seconds remaining.But Wecker didn't let the turnover bother her. On the ensuing possession, she got the ball on the left side of the lane and went over Greenwalt for a layup to put the Wildcats up 55-53."We just didn't get our hands up high enough," Tech coach Marsha Sharp said.A final short shot by Grant rolled off the rim as the buzzer sounded. The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for Tech (14-3, 5-1).The Lady Raiders scored on only three of their last 11 possessions."It is frustrating, and I think probably we were just rushing a bit," Sharp said. "They were on our perimeter players so tough that we wanted post players to get it."Kansas State's Laurie Koehn scored 12 points, going 4-for-6 on 3-point attempts, while Megan Mahoney had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.Davis scored 16 points and Alesha Robertson added 10 for Tech.The Wildcats were able to limit points by Tech's top three scorers -- Chesley Dabbs, Robertson and Greenwalt -- who were averaging a combined 44 points per game coming into the contest, scored only 25 points total."I thought our players really did a tremendous job of working hard to lock down their shooters," Patterson said.There were 13 lead changes and six ties in the second half with neither team going ahead by more than three points.Tech led 27-26 at halftime, after both teams shot poorly to end the period. The Lady Raiders went just 1-for-8 in the final 6:38 of the half. The Wildcats were 3-of-9 down the stretch but used a 7-3 run, with five points by Mahoney, in the final 1:55.The Wildcats celebrated the win by their bench as the Texas Tech school song was being sung and Tech players and Sharp stood at the center of the court. Sharp called it "not very classy" for the Wildcats to stay on the court to celebrate.Patterson said she and her team were not aware that the song was playing."Obviously it was an emotional victory for us and our senior class," Patterson said. "I want to publicly apologize sincerely for any offense that coach Sharp and her staff may have taken."
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