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SLATE: The Wildcats are moving up!

MittieCats with highest ranking in a decade; plus men look to rebound from road loss, and baseball starting soon.

Gabby Gregory #12 of the Kansas State Wildcats reacts during introductions before a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Bramlage Coliseum on January 10, 2024 in Manhattan, Kansas. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Women’s Basketball

11-straight. The Kansas State Wildcats took down then-#10 Texas in Bramlage on Saturday in a hard fought 61-58 game to improve their winning streak to 11 games, and start 5-0 in conference play for the first time since 2008-09. The Cats, now 17-1 on the season, haven’t lost since November, when they fell to #3 Iowa in Florida. The win over Texas give them two Top 10 wins this season, and three Top 25 wins (including beating #3 Iowa in Iowa City and then-#18 North Carolina in Florida).

Ayoka Lee, despite being a focus of the Longhorns defense, scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her 55th-career double-double, and broke 2,000 points in her career, becoming just the fourth player in program history to surpass that mark. With the third of her four blocks on the day, she also surpassed Breanna Lewis as the career blocks leader. Her effort was critical, as just two other Wildcats scored in double figures. Zyanna Walker put in just 9 points, but none were more important than her final 3 points, which came on a buzzer-beater to end the 3rd quarter, and gave K-State the lead for good.

On the strength of the win, the Cats improved to #7 in the latest AP rankings, their highest ranking since being ranked 5th to start the 2003-04 season.

Next up is a road trip to Ft. Worth to take on the 14-4, 1-4 Horned Frogs. TCU has yet to pick up a win in 2024, but have played a tough opening schedule including at Baylor and Texas during that stretch. That game is set for a 6:30pm tip at Schollmaier Arena and will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Men’s Basketball

Saturday wasn’t as kind to the TangCats, as they finally fell in Big 12 play, dropping their first game in 2024 to Texas Tech 59-60 to move to 12-4, 2-1 on the season. It was a tale of two halves for K-State, as the Wildcats shrugged of a slow start to take an 11-point lead into the locker room. But a second slow start could not be overcome, as the Red Raiders (14-2, 3-0) won the second half by 12 points to edge out the visitors.

No rest for the weary, as the Wildcats return home to face #9 Baylor (14-2, 3-0) tonight in Bramlage at 7pm. Winter weather is still impacting northern Kansas, but with school scheduled to start today in Manhattan (though classes were cancelled), the Octagon of Doom should at least have a full student section to make it plenty doomy. We’ll have your game thread here and on Discord later this evening.

Baseball

Your preseason #24 K-State baseball’s start is just a month away, as the Cats are scheduled to take on Cal on Friday, February 16th at 7pm CT in the MLB Desert Invitational in Scottsdale, AZ. The home opener is a week later, as the BatCats take on Holy Cross for a three-game series starting Feb 23rd, and season tickets have just gone on sale today. The home slate includes the final conference series against Texas, as well as the Sunflower Showdown, and home series against Big 12 newcomers Cincinnati and BYU.

K-State’s game against Cal to open the season will be aired live on MLB Network, while the games against Boston College (2/17, 1pm CT) and Georgetown (2/18, 1pm CT) will be streamed live on MLB.com.