Kendra Wecker made sure her day wasn't spoiled.
The Kansas State forward missed her first two shots on "Kendra Wecker Day" in front of a sellout crowd of 13,340 yesterday at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. Then, she had trouble missing, scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the No. 3 Wildcats (18-1, 5-0) past No. 17 Texas, 71-69.
"I took a couple of quick three-pointers that I probably shouldn't have," Wecker said. "I felt pretty good after that. My teammates probably got mad, but I kept shooting."
Megan Mahoney's free throw with 3.1 seconds left secured their 13th straight win and fourth over Texas (12-5, 5-1 Big 12).
"I thought our team stepped up in an exceptional manner down the stretch," Kansas State Coach Deb Patterson said. "I'm really proud of the intensity and the focus late in the game when every possession mattered."
Nicole Ohlde added 19 points for the Wildcats, who are off to the best start in school history.
Stacey Stephens scored 17 points, and Heather Schreiber had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Texas.
"When we were struggling in our offense, it was great to have that go-to player," Mahoney said. "Ohlde does that and Kendra does that. It was a very close game. We had to stay strong."
Texas led by six in the second half, but Laurie Koehn hit a three-pointer with 3 minutes 30 seconds remaining to bring the sellout crowd to its feet and the Wildcats never trailed again.
Ohlde followed with a layup to cap an 11-0 run that gave Kansas State its biggest lead at 68-61 with 1:20 left.
Texas had four chances to stop the run, but poor shooting caught up with them -- they shot 37.1 percent.
"I'd ring their necks, but I like them too much to do that," Texas Coach Jody Conradt said of her team's ill-advised shots. "We had our chances. I'm really disappointed."
* CONNECTICUT 76, PITTSBURGH 55: The No. 2 Lady Huskies used an overwhelming edge on the backboards and a balanced offense, led by Jessica Moore's 18 points, to extend its record winning streak to 57 games.
Connecticut (18-0, 6-0 Big East) opened a 12-point lead in the opening minutes and maintained double-digit leads throughout, mostly because Pitt, playing at home, rarely got more than one shot on any possession.
U-Conn. held a 56-21 rebounding edge, led by Ashley Battle's 13, and a commanding 26-3 advantage in offensive rebounds. Diana Taurasi added 14 points and nine rebounds for U-Conn. despite a below-average 5-of-13 shooting night.
With Pitt's offense limited mostly to outside shots, the Panthers (9-8, 1-5) never got a chance to energize what easily was the biggest crowd to watch a women's game in Pittsburgh -- a standing room turnout of 12,632.
With all tickets priced at $1, a crowd that included hundreds of Pittsburgh area girls high school players was about 12,200 larger than the 430 who attended the Miami-Pitt women's game Wednesday. Until Saturday, the Pitt women's largest home crowd this season was 1,876 for Penn State.
* NOTRE DAME 58, VILLANOVA 56: Courtney LaVere scored 20 points and hit a key free throw in the final seconds to lead the Fighting Irish (11-6, 3-3 Big East) to the road upset of the No. 20 Wildcats.
Jacqueline Batteast scored 12 points and Alicia Ratay added 10 for Notre Dame, which led 29-25 at the half.
Trish Juhline had 22 points for Villanova (14-3, 4-2), which saw its nine-game home winning streak snapped. Katie Davis added 14 points and Courtney Mix had 13.
* WRIGHT STATE 73, WIS.-GREEN BAY 70: Tiffany Webb scored 24 points and Iesha Gray added 18 to help the Raiders snap the No. 16 Phoenix's 10-game winning streak at home.
Wisconsin-Green Bay (16-3, 7-1 Horizon League) didn't get a basket over the final 2:43 after taking a 69-67 lead on Natalie Yudt's layup. Yudt's free throw with 15 seconds left was the Phoenix's only point in that stretch.
Wright State (6-11, 4-3) shot 57 percent from the field, including 7 of 15 from three-point range. Webb made 5 of 7 three-pointers.
* LOUISIANA TECH 79, RICE 65: Erica Smith and Amber Obaze scored 20 points apiece as the visiting No. 11 Lady Techsters notched their 12th straight victory.
Louisiana Tech (14-2, 7-0 Western Athletic Conference) had a 38-35 rebounding advantage, finished with a 49.1 shooting percentage and forced the Owls into 16 turnovers. It was the Techsters' 24th regular season win in 25 games against WAC opponents.
* RUTGERS 70, ST. JOHN'S 64: Shalicia Hurns had 13 points and 17 rebounds and the No. 23 Scarlet Knights outlasted the visiting Red Storm in two overtimes.
Cappie Pondexter had 17 points and Horton and Dawn McCullouch 13 each for Rutgers (10-5, 4-2). Danielle Rainey scored 20 points, Shemika Stevens had 18 and Reka Szavuly 12 for St. John's (7-11, 1-6 Big East).
* UC SANTA BARBARA 65, CAL POLY-SLO: Lindsay Taylor came off the bench to score 11 points as the No. 21 Gauchos (13-3, 6-1 Big West) won on the road. UC Santa Barbara made just 39 percent of its shot attempts but held the Mustangs to just 26 percent efficiency.