Kansas State Edges Temple In Stanford Invitational

Nov. 29, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Nicole Ohlde and her teammates took care of business on the court, then sought out the opposing coach's autograph.

Ohlde had a season-high 28 points and 15 rebounds as second-ranked Kansas State rallied for a 72-65 victory Friday night over Temple in the first round of the Stanford Invitational.

'Things weren't always going our way,' said Ohlde. 'But we had a bunch of people step up at critical times.'

The Owls are coached by WNBA star Dawn Staley, and a number of Wildcats requested her autograph after overcoming their biggest deficit of the season.

Kansas State coach Deb Patterson was Staley's coach on the 1999 USA Senior National Team that won a gold medal at the World Championships.

'Temple is aggressive at both ends of the court,' said Patterson. 'That's as tough a defensive team as we'll line up against. Down the stretch it just took us awhile to have an answer.'

Kendra Wecker added 16 points for the Wildcats (5-0). Megan Mahoney, who had 13 points and a season-high 11 rebounds, sank a short jumper with 3:29 remaining during a 10-0 run to give the Wildcats their first lead of the second half at 62-61. Wecker hit a 3-pointer a minute later and Kansas State began to pull away.

'We were a little tentative,' said Wecker. 'We had to get back to playing like ourselves.'

Stacey Smalls had 22 points for Temple (3-1).

'This shows we can compete with the best and we'll start knocking off the best,' said Smalls.

The Owls were up by six points midway through the second half before Kansas State began its rally.

The Wildcats were fresh off their Preseason NIT championship, beating teams by an average of 17 points, and had just earned their highest ranking ever.

'Ohlde was an All-American caliber player tonight,' said Patterson. 'She was our rock from the beginning of the game, and asserted herself all night long.'

Toni Belafonte hit a short jumper early in the second half to give Temple a 41-40 lead. The Owls maintained their lead in part because Kansas State missed 12 of its first 15 shots in the second half.

Ohlde scored 19 of her points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting.

'We had no answer for her,' said Staley. 'We tried to crowd her, double team her; we tried a lot of things. She's a huge target and has great moves around the basket. She didn't have any weaknesses we could expose.'

After seven lead changes and six ties, Laurie Koehn scored the final four points of the first half to give Kansas State a 40-37 lead.

Kansas State outrebounded the Owls 44-27.

Staley, in her second year at Temple, also plays for the Charlotte Sting.

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