Kansas State captures WNIT title
March 31, 2006 – Kansas State defeated Marquette 77-65 Saturday in the championship game of the 2006 Postseason WNIT. The teams played in front of a sellout crowd of 13,340 fans at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. It was the third-largest crowd in Postseason WNIT history and the first sellout in two years at K-State.
Kansas State (24-10) and Marquette (22-11) battled back and forth nearly the entire game. Marquette led 39-38 at halftime, and the lead changed 10 times before K-State made its final run late in the game, and then held Marquette to two baskets in the final seven minutes of play.
Kimberly Dietz (21 points) led K-State, and teammate Shalee Lehning had a rare triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. For Marquette, Danielle Kamm scored 16 points.
Dietz and Kamm earned spots on the WNIT All-Tournament team, as did Marquette's Christina Quaye, Western Kentucky's Crystal Kelly and Pittsburgh's Mallorie Winn. Claire Coggins, a junior at Kansas State, was named the Tournament MVP and scored 87 points during the tournament.
To get to the finals, Kansas State defeated Western Kentucky, Idaho State, Fresno State and Nebraska. Marquette downed Pittsburgh, Illinois, Iowa State and Indiana in earlier rounds. It was the first postseason championship game for either Kansas State or Marquette.
The final marked the culmination of the WNIT's first 40-team field. The event began with 16 teams playing a preliminary round, with the winners feeding into 16 first-round games. All games were held on the campuses of participating schools, and no seeds were designated. It was the first year that the tournament expanded from 32 to 40 teams, which was done to offer more postseason opportunities to teams that won their regular-season conference title but lost in their conference tournament and did not earn an NCAA automatic berth.
2006 Postseason WNIT Teams