Illinois State’s concern will clearly be the quality and not the quantity of Kansas State’s players in Monday’s 7 p.m. Women’s National Invitation Tournament second round game.
The Wildcats (16-17) have just seven active players for the contest at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan., but one of them is three-time Big 12 Conference first team all-star Brittany Chambers.
“They have a big-time scorer,” ISU coach Stephanie Glance said. “Everybody is responsible for paying attention to where this kid is at all times.”
The 5-foot-8 Chambers averages 20.9 points and set a school record with 42 points in Kansas State’s 72-44 opening round WNIT win over Texas Southern. Chambers scored 29 points to Texas Southern’s 18 in the first half.
“You could really just see that Brittany Chambers was at her offensive best,” Wildcats’ coach Deb Patterson said. “She scored in a variety of ways and just had a beautiful stroke.
“I thought the aggressiveness Brittany brought from the very first shot helped establish confidence and a tempo we could play with all night long.”
Glance likens Chambers to Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Jacqui Kalin of Northern Iowa.
“In both of those (UNI) games, Jamie (Russell) and Chloe (Nelson) split that responsibility (defending Kalin) and did well,” said Glance.
After five season-ending injuries, none of Kansas State’s available players are taller than 5-11. The Wildcats fire up 28.8 3-point attempts per game for 49 percent of their total shots.
“They are a team that completely relies on the 3-point line,” Glance said. “We have to arrive when the ball arrives. We can’t let them take uncontested threes.”
ISU advanced to 24-10 with a 63-47 first round WNIT triumph over IUPUI.
“We picked it up the second half and started playing back to our potential,” said Russell. I think that will get us ready for K-State.”
Russell believes the ISU defense is up to the challenge of Chambers and the Wildcats.
“I’m not worried about it,” she said. “I feel like most teams don’t play against a defense as good as ours.”
Kansas State also features 5-7 sophomore Haley Texada (11.5 points), 5-10 freshman Brianna Craig (8.7) and 5-7 senior Mariah White (team-high 115 assists).
The ISU-Kansas State winner faces either Northern Iowa or Ball State in the WNIT round of 16.