Wichita State's women's basketball team planned to show up this afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse, maybe even deliver a victory against Kansas in the Dial Classic championship game, said second-year Shocker coach Linda Hargrove.
But she didn't figure it would be easy.
``I know we're not as big as they are, and we're not as quick as they are,'' Hargrove said. ``But if we're shooting well, and we're playing good defense, I think we can play with them. I think they're individually more talented than we are.''
The Jayhawks, 4-1, and Shockers, 2-2, were to meet in the title game at 4 p.m. today. The two teams took widely different paths to the final.
In Friday night's first round, Kansas coasted to a convincing 74-38 victory over St. Louis after WSU edged Texas Christian, 67-65.
Hargrove said she and her players were hoping to face Kansas.
``THIS IS THE first tournament final that my seniors will ever be going to,'' she said.
``We're pumped to play in the final,'' added WSU senior Lisa Klaassen, whose 10-foot jump shot with four seconds remaining broke a 65-65 tie.
KU coach Marian Washington, likewise, said she relished playing the Shockers.
``We're going to have a very emotional game,'' Washington assured. ``Wichita State is similar to the KU-K-State rivalry, so we know we'll have our hands full.''
Kansas leads the series with WSU, 26-5.
``We're not going to treat them any different than anyone else,'' said KU sophomore guard Stacy Truitt, who totaled nine points and a team-leading nine rebounds against St. Louis.
Still, the Shockers figured to provide a tougher test than the Billikens, who dropped to 0-4.
ST. LOUIS shot an ice-cold 19.6 percent, committed 31 turnovers and was outrebounded 58-37.
``To shoot 19 percent is a little bit discouraging,'' St. Louis coach Steve Cochran confirmed. ``Kansas is awfully good. They're pretty physical, and they do so many good things. When you shoot 19 percent and have as many turnovers as we had tonight, it makes it pretty tough.''
Added Kathy Purvis, who led the Billikens with 10 points: ``We lost the game on the offensive boards. You can't give a team five rebounds on the same play.''
KU grabbed an early 11-1 lead, and the game was never close. The Jayhawks were up 34-16 at halftime.
``We tend to not look at the score when we play,'' said KU sophomore forward Misti Chennault, the game's top scorer with 12 points. ``It's times like that when we need to work on certain aspects of our play.''
St. Louis and Texas Christian were to meet in the third-place game at 2 this afternoon.