Old Dominion Versus Kansas State AP Preview
March 20, 2002
GAME: No. 7 Old Dominion (27-5) vs. No. 3 Kansas State (26-7).
REGIONAL: Mideast, semifinals.
TIME: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. EST.
SITE: U.S. Cellular Arena, Milwaukee.
The youngsters of Kansas State had the homecourt advantage in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Now the Wildcats will face the veterans of Old Dominion in the Mideast semifinals in Milwaukee.
For Kansas State, Manhattan, Kan., was a fun place in the first two rounds. The Wildcats used their up-tempo style to post double-digit wins over Kent State and Arkansas.
But Kansas State's second-round 82-68 victory was tougher than the final score indicated, with the Wildcats needing a late 8-1 burst to put away the game. Freshman Laurie Koehn scored 25 points and sophomore Nicole Ohlde added 19 for K-State, which had all five players in double figures.
"We're one of the elite teams in the country now and we're legit," Wildcats freshman forward Megan Mahoney said. "(Old Dominion's Monarchs) are awesome, they're very tough."
Old Dominion felt slighted after being awarded a 7 seed and shipped to West Lafayette, Ind., for the subregional hosted by Purdue.
The Monarchs responded by posting two victories to become one of just three teams to advance to the regionals without the benefit of homecourt advantage.
Senior guard Hamchetou Maiga had 17 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Monarchs to a 74-70 overtime victory over the Boilermakers in the second round. Old Dominion pounded Purdue on the glass, building up a 52-34 rebounding advantage, and limited the Boilermakers to 32 percent shooting.
"We felt like we were better than a 7 seed," Monarchs coach Wendy Larry said. "It was a true battle of respect."
With Maiga and senior forward Lucienne Berthieu leading the way for Old Dominion, Kansas State players know they will have their hands full.
"They're also bigger and quicker on the perimeter at the (two guard) spots," Wildcats coach Deb Patterson said of Old Dominion. "Our players will have to be even better at working to get open because their defenders have bigger wingspans and take away more of the passing angles, rather than dogging the ball."
Old Dominion carries a 20-game winning streak into this contest.
The Wildcats have not been to a regional final since 1982, when they defeated the Monarchs 76-67. It also was the last meeting between the teams, which have split two games all-time.
The winner of this game will play the winner of the Connecticut-Penn State game Monday in the regional final.
Old Dominion - F Monique Coker (9.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg), F Lucienne Berthieu (13.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg), C Tiffany Thompson (5.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg), G Hamchetou Maiga (11.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg), G Sharron Francis (7.8 ppg, 5.3 apg).
Kansas State - F Mahoney (8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg), F Kendra Wecker (16.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg), C Ohlde (17.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg), G Koehn (17.8 ppg, 2.5 apg), G Kristin Rethman (7.7 ppg, 2.2 apg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
Old Dominion - Automatic bid, Colonial Athletic Association champion, defeated No. 10 Georgia 68-54 in first round, defeated No. 2 Purdue 74-70 (OT) in second round.
Kansas State - At-large bid, Big 12 Conference, defeated No. 14 Kent State 92-65 in first round, defeated No. 6 Arkansas 82-68 in second round.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD:
Old Dominion - 31-17, 19 years.
Kansas State - 5-5, 6 years.