Women's Basketball Set To Face Arkansas In WNIT Third Round Game

March 25, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

Game Notes in PDF Format

OPENING TIP

The Kansas women’s basketball team will host Arkansas on Thursday evening at 7 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse in a Women’s NIT Third Round game. Arkansas (18-13, 6-8 SEC) advanced to Thursday’s game by defeating Oklahoma State, 61-60, in overtime on Monday evening in Fayetteville, Ark., while the Jayhawks moved into Thursday’s game by knocking off Creighton, 79-64, at home on Monday evening. Kansas (19-13, 6-10 Big 12) will be playing in the WNIT Third Round for the second-straight season. The Kansas-Arkansas winner will advance to face the winner of a Third Round game between Oregon State and either Nebraska or New Mexico in the WNIT Quarterfinals.

FAST BREAKS

-Kansas has won six of its last eight games, including wins over Top-25-ranked teams #5 Baylor and #22 Iowa State. The Jayhawks have also won their last four home games and won a 14-3 mark in Allen Fieldhouse this season.

-Junior guard-forward Danielle McCray has scored 20 or better in 19-of-32 games on the season, including 30 or more points in three games. McCray, who is leading KU with 20.5 points per game, ranks second in the Big 12 Conference in scoring behind only Andrea Riley of Oklahoma State. She has averaged 26.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in KU’s last five games.

-Kansas junior Sade Morris has come on strong as of late. Morris turned in a career-high 24 points in KU’s win over Nebraska in the opening round of the 2009 Big 12 Championship. She also had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals versus the Cornhuskers. She also went over the 20-point mark versus Creighton with 21 tallies. She is averaging 20.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists during the three-game stretch.

-KU freshman forward Aishah Sutherland has also been solid for KU over the last three games. Sutherland has averaged 11.0 points and 6.7 rebounds and has connected on 14-of-23 shots from the field, good for 60.9 percent, over the last three outings. She collected her first career double-double versus Creighton with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

-Jayhawk senior Ivana Catic dished six assists against one turnover in Kansas’ win over Creighton in the WNIT Second Round. She also had 12 dimes against just one turnover against Oklahoma and Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship, giving her 19 assists, comparied to just two miscues during her last three games.

A LOOK AT ARKANSAS

Arkansas is 18-13 on the year, with wins over NCAA Tournament teams Florida, Georgia and Mississippi State. Arkansas finished 6-8 in the Southeastern Conference this season, earning the eight-seed in the conference tournament. The Razorbacks are led on the season by SEC Freshman of the Year Ceira Ricketts with 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Ricketts led the SEC in steals and has 80 on the season to lead UA and also leads the Razorbacks with 121 assists. Senior forward Whitney Jones is also in double figures with 10.5 points per game, while lead the Razorbacks with 7.8 caroms per contest. Senior forward Aynana Brereton is the third Razorback in double figures with 10.1 tallies per outing. Brereton is the top long-range shooting for UA having connected on 38-of-92 from beyond the arc. The Razorbacks make 40.2 percent of their shots from the field as a team and shoot 66.5 percent from the foul line. The Razorbacks out-rebound their opponents by 1.1 rebounds per game. Arkansas head coach Tom Collen is 35-26 in his second season with the Razorbacks. His overall coaching record is 252-97 in his 11th season in the business.

KANSAS-ARKANSAS SERIES HISTORY

Thursday’s game will mark the fifth meeting between the Jayhawks and Razorbacks, with each team owning two wins in previous meetings. Arkansas claimed a win in the first meeting between the two schools. KU then took two-straight from the Razorbacks, before Arkansas snapped the Jayhawk winning streak with a 79-63 win in the 1998 NCAA Sweet 16 in Oakland, Calif. KU head coach Bonnie Henrickson will be meeting the Razorbacks for the first time in her coaching career.

A LOOK AT KANSAS

Kansas enters Thursday’s game with an 19-13 overall record, including a 6-10 ledger in Big 12 Conference play after picking up six wins its its last eight games down the stretch. Led by a pair of double figures scorers in Danielle McCray and Sade Morris, the Jayhawks are out scoring their opponents by 7.3 points per game. McCray tops the Jayhawk scorers with 20.5 points per game, while Morris adds 12.3. Sophomore Krysten Boogaard is next with 8.8 points per game. In addition, Nicollette Smith and LaChelda Jacobs are adding 6.8 and 6.4 points per game, respectively. KU is shooting 45.6 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to just 37.9 percent field goal shooting. Three different Jayhawks are making better than 50.0 percent of their shots, led by Rebecca Feickert at 56.7 percent. The Jayhawks have recorded 226 steals on the season, led by McCray with 46 pilfers. Ivana Catic is the leader in assists with 110 dimes, while Jacobs has dished 102 assists and Morris 76. McCray is pulling down a team-leading 7.8 rebounds and Boogaard is grabbing 5.5 per game. Kansas is also shooting well from the three-point line as it has connected on 147-of-387 shots from beyond the arc, good for 38.0 percent, tops in the Big 12 Conference. McCray is leading the way from beyond the arc as she has knocked 68-of-159 shots. Ivana Catic leads the Jayhawks from the foul line as she has connected on 27-of-31 attempts. McCray has connected on 83.9 percent of her foul shots.

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

-Razorback junior forward Ashley McCray attended the same junior college as KU men’s basketball junior guard-foward Mario Little. The duo both competed for Chipola (Fla.) Community College last season.

-The Jayhawks and Razorbacks shared four common opponent this season in Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Missouri and Kansas State. UA dropped all three of its contests versus Kansas’ fellow Big 12 opponents losing to Texas Tech Missouri and Kansas State. The Razorbacks defeated OSU, 61-60 on Monday to advance to Thursday’s Third Round game. KU posted a 2-3 mark against those four conference foes.

KU IN THE WNIT

KU is playing in the WNIT for the third time under its current format, and also played in the NWIT twice — in 1978 and 1991 — when it was an eight-team tournament. There was no NWIT tournament in 1997. In 1998, the tournament was brought back under the new name WNIT and in 1999, the field expanded to 32 teams. Last year, the tournament expanded to 48 teams. KU is 2-2 in the current WNIT format having knocked off Northern Iowa, 59-49, before falling to Ole Miss, 78-76, in the second round in 2006. KU defeated Evansville, 82-60, in Lawrence in the second round last season before dropping a 58-54 game at Michigan State in the third round in the 2008 WNIT. Combined with the Jayhawks’ 79-64 win over Creighton on Monday, KU is 3-2 in WNIT games under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.

A KANSAS WIN WOULD…

Make Kansas 20-13 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season … Give the Jayhawks a 3-2 mark versus Arkansas, including a 2-0 mark in games played in Lawrence … Give Kansas a win in its second game of the WNIT for the first time in school history … Mark KU’s first win over Arkansas since 1989 … Make KU 6-14 all-time versus Southeastern Conference schools … Improve Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson to 1-0 versus Arkansas … Give Henrickson a 77-78 mark at Kansas and a 235-140 overall record … Make Kansas 673-476 all time.

A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…

Drop KU to 19-14 overall … Give KU a loss in the Third Round of the WNIT in its third-straight appearance … Make the series versus UA 2-3, including an 0-1 mark for KU head coach Bonnie Henrickson … Give the Jayhawks a 1-1 mark versus the Razorbacks in games played in Lawrence … Make KU 5-15 overall versus Southeastern Conference schools … Drop Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson’s record at KU to 76-79 and her overall mark to 234-141 … Make Kansas 672-477 all time.