K-State Women Selected to 2022 NCAA Tournament


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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kansas – For the first time since the 2018-19 season, Kansas State women’s basketball was rewarded with an at-large bid into the 2022 NCAA Tournament during Sunday night’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show on ESPN. This is the program’s 17th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the fourth under the direction of head coach Jeff Mittie.

K-State (19-12, 9-9 Big 12) was chosen as a No. 9 seed in the Bridgeport, Connecticut regional and will be opposed by No. 8 seed Washington State (19-10, 11-6 Pac 12) on Saturday, March 19 in Raleigh, North Carolina, at Reynolds Coliseum.

K-State leads the all-time series with Washington State, 4-0. The last time these two programs met was Nov. 20, 2009, in Manhattan, as the Wildcats won, 70-63.

The winner of the Kansas State-Washington State game will play the winner of the No. 1 NC State-No. 16 Longwood/Mt. St. Mary’s matchup on Monday, March 21. The top four seeds in the Bridgeport region are: No. 1 NC State (29-3), No. 2 Connecticut (25-5), No. 3 Indiana (22-8) and No. 4 Oklahoma (24-8).

Tickets for K-State’s first round matchup with Washington State will be available Monday morning at 8:30 a.m., by calling the K-State Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS. All ticket orders will be distributed as a mobile ticket.

K-State is 13-16 in its previous 16 NCAA Tournament bids. The Wildcats took part in the 2019 NCAA Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, as K-State entered the tournament as the No. 9 seed in the Albany region. K-State fell to No. 9 seed Michigan in the first round.

Under Mittie’s guidance in his eighth season, Kansas State has registered the fifth 19-win season in the last eight seasons. K-State recorded nine Big 12 wins for the fifth time in Mittie’s eight seasons.

After being slated for an eighth-place finish by the Big 12 Conference coaches in the preseason poll, K-State carded a sixth-place finish in the conference standings.

On the floor this season, Kansas State features 2022 All-America candidate Ayoka Lee and freshmen Serena Sundell and Brylee Glenn.

Lee is a First Team All-American by The Athletic and Sports Illustrated and is a finalist for the 2022 Lisa Leslie Award. She is also a member of the 2022 Wooden Award national ballot and a candidate for the 2022 Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year and the 2021-22 Wade Trophy.

In the 2021-22 season, Lee is second in the Big 12 and ranks seventh in the nation in scoring average (22.4 ppg). She is second in the Big 12 and is fifth in the nation in total points (695) and leads the nation in field goals made (286). Lee is the only player in the nation to average 20 or more points, 10 or more rebounds and 3 or more blocks.

Lee, a unanimous selection to the 2022 All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, owns a 2021-22 resume that includes an NCAA Division I record of 61 points scored against Oklahoma on January 23 and a Big 12-high eight games with 30 or more points.

A two-time United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week recipient, Lee’s 695 points and 286 made field goals are new career single-season highs. She is the first player in program history with 675 or more points, 300 or more rebounds and 90 or more blocks.

The product of Byron, Minnesota, tops the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.566) and is second in blocks (3.0 bpg). She also leads the Big 12 in 30-point games (8) and is second in the league for 20-point games (15) and second in the Big 12 and 11th in the nation in double-doubles (19).

Lee, a four-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection and a three-time National Player of the Week honoree, is second in the Big 12 in rebounding (10.2 rpg) and eighth in free throw percentage (.764).

In league play, Lee led the league in field goal percentage (.555), 30-point games in league play (4), games with 10 or more rebounds (11) and double-doubles (11). She finished second in the Big 12 in scoring (21.89 ppg) rebounding (9.78 rpg) and blocked shots (2.4 bpg).

In her first season in the Little Apple, Sundell led the Wildcats and ranked second in the Big 12 in assists per game (5.5 apg). She is second on the team and 20th in the Big 12 in scoring (10.6 ppg) and leads K-State and ranks fifth in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.816).

Sundell, a five-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week recipient, is the first K-State freshman guard to register 300 or more points, 170 or more assists and 20 or more blocks. She joins Kayla Goth as the only K-State guards in program history to reach these season milestones at any time in their careers.

A guard from Maryville, Missouri, Sundell leads all Big 12 freshmen in assists, assists per game, blocks, 3-point field goals made, 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

Sundell is the only freshman in K-State history and the only freshman in the nation this season to register 170 or more assists and 40 or more 3-point field goals made in their debut season.

Glenn, a three-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week honoree, is averaging 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals. Glenn has notched nine games with 10 or more points including five in Big 12 games.

Washington State enters the NCAA Tournament with wins in five of their last seven games. This will be the third NCAA Tournament appearance for the Cougars and the second straight after making the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars are led on the sidelines by fourth-year head coach Kamie Ethridge. Ethridge served as K-State associate head coach for 18 seasons under former head coach Deb Patterson. Patterson, the all-time career wins leader at K-State, serves on Ethridge’s staff as the Director of Player Personnel and Program Analytics. Also on the Washington State staff is 2021 K-State Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Laurie Koehn as the Associate Head Coach.

On the floor, Washington State is led by the trio of Charlisse Leger-Walker, Bella Murekatete and Johanna Teder. Leger-Walker, a sophomore guard, paces the squad with 16.0 points and 5.2 rebounds. Murekatete, a junior center, is second on the team in scoring with 10.6 points and leads the team on the glass with 7.2 rebounds and in blocks with 1.7. Teder, a junior guard is averaging 10.6 points and is the top 3-point shooter with 56 connections from beyond the arc.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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