Jayhawks Head To Texas For Big 12 Opener
Jan. 2, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Riding a four-game win streak, Kansas women’s basketball (11-1) will open the new year when it travels to No. 22 Texas (10-2) on Wednesday, Jan. 4. KU will look to win its Big 12 Conference opener for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Tip-off for the contest is slated for 8 p.m.
Follow the Jayhawks
Wednesday’s game will be carried live on WIBW-FM 94.9 in Topeka and KUDL-AM 1660 in Kansas City. The broadcast will also be streamed through Jayhawk All-Access on www.KUAthletics.com.
– Kansas leads the nation with a 51.2 field goal percentage led by Carolyn Davis’ 68.1 percent mark, which also ranks as the top mark nationally (through games on Jan. 1).
– Davis is coming off her second-straight double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds versus SamHoustonState. She scored 20 or more points for the second consecutive game and fifth time in 2011-12.
– Aishah Sutherland notched a double-double, her fourth of the year, with 12 points and 10 rebounds versus SHSU.
– Chelsea Gardner has a season-high 10 points in each of her last two games. What’s more impressive is that she collected her points in no more than seven minutes per game. The freshman forward is 10-for-12 (83.3 percent) over the past two contests.
– Despite committing 23 turnovers versus the Bearkats, freshman guard Natalie Knight provided a bright spot for the Jayhawks as she did not commit a single miscue in 27 minutes of play. Knight has just 17 turnovers this season, the fewest among KU’s starters, and zero twice in the last three games.
– KU had six players score in double figures versus SamHoustonState last Wednesday. It was the most Jayhawks with 10 or more points since Kansas faced Memphis on Nov. 27, 2010 and six players finished in double digits.
– Kansas had one of its best shooting nights of the season against SHSU going 38-for-68 from the field for a 55.9 shooting percentage. The Jayhawks rank in the top five nationally with their 51.2 field goal percentage on the year and have shot 50 percent or better in eight games in 2011-12.
– The Jayhawks held their largest rebound margin of the season last Wednesday holding a 49-25 edge on the boards (+24) over the Bearkats. Kansas has outrebounded 10 of its 12 opponents this year and is averaging 6.8 more caroms than its foes.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters the conference portion of its schedule with an 11-1 overall record and racked up at least 11 non-conference wins for the fourth time in the last five seasons. In their last outing, junior Carolyn Davis and senior Aishah Sutherland guided KU to its fourth-straight win as each notched a double-double. Davis is tops on the team with 17.4 ppg and ranks first nationally with her 68.1 field goal percentage. As a team, the Jayhawks lead the nation shooting 51.2 percent from the field, while their 78.2 ppg ranks third. Davis is coming off a season-high 13 rebounds versus Sam Houston and her 6.5 rpg on the year are second to Sutherland’s 9.1 rpg, which rank fourth in the Big 12. Sutherland also adds 13.8 ppg. Junior Angel Goodrich rounds out KU’s double-figure scorers averging 11.8 ppg. Goodrich’s versatility also puts her in the top 10 nationally as she dishes 8.1 apg and snags 3.9 spg. Junior Monica Engelman, who recently returned to the starting lineup, is scoring 9.2 ppg and is the Jayhawks’ leading free throw shooter with an 89.5 percent accuracy from the charity stripe. Freshman Natalie Knight is one of three players to start all 12 contests this season and is tops among the KU regulars with 17 turnovers. The guard is second on the team with 30 assists and 20 steals.
Texas cruised by Delaware State, 89-35, in its last outing to improve to 10-2 overall, including 7-1 at home, and has won five-straight games. Chassidy Fussell leads the Longhorns with 16.7 ppg and a 48.6 field goal percentage. She has been extremely efficient from the foul line going 37-for-41 (90.2 percent). Ashleigh Fontenette and Yvonne Anderson average double-digit points contributing 11.8 and 11.5 ppg, respectively. The duo also accounts for 111 of the team’s 188 assists this season. Fontenette is dangerous from the arc as she is second in the Big 12 hitting 45.7 percent from the three, while Anderson’s defense gives her 3.0 spg, fourth among conference players. Ashley Gayle has also been a major factor on defense leading UT with 8.6 rpg and 4.0 blocks per outing in helping the Longhorns hold opponents to 30.8 percent shooting from the field.
Kansas trails the all-time series with Texas 14-7, including 3-6 in games played in Austin. The Longhorns have claimed the last two meetings in Austin and have won four-straight against the Jayhawks. KU’s last win versus UT was a 50-49 edge on Feb. 10, 2007 in Austin.
KU in Big 12 Openers
The Jayhawks are 4-11 in Big 12 Conference openers, including a 2-6 mark when on the road to open league play.
Guard Angel Goodrich and forward Carolyn Davis, both juniors, have teamed up to form one of the best inside-outside duos in the country. Goodrich’s uncanny ability to find the open player has guided her to average 8.1 assists per game, one of the top marks in the nation. She has four games with double-digit helpers this season and ranks sixth all-time in program history with 373 career assists. Davis often finds herself on the receiving end of those passes and has been a reliable source down low as she leads the country with a 68.1 field goal percentage. Her team-high 17.4 ppg rank fifth among Big 12 players.
What to Watch For
Having reached the 1,000-point plateau earlier this season, Carolyn Davis is now well on her way to achieving 500 career rebounds. If the junior forward can do it, she will become the 14th Jayhawk in program history to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in her career. Davis is currently at 476 caroms in her two-plus seasons at KU.
Kansas returns home to host in-state rival KansasState on Saturday, Jan. 7. The contest begins at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Metro Sports.