Women's Basketball Opens 2007-08 Season With Home Tilt Versus Hartford Sunday
Nov. 10, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
The University of Kansas opens the 2007-08 season with a home game versus the University of Hartford on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks and Hawks will be meeting for the first time in program history. KU enters the contest having posted a 2-0 mark in exhibition play with wins over in-state foes Pittsburg State (82-48) and Emporia State (74-64). Hartford will also be opening the season on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks did not compete in any exhibition contests this season.
–Bonnie Henrickson is 2-1 in season openers at KU, including a 64-50 victory over Seton Hall last year. Henrickson has compiled a 9-1 record in season openers as a head coach.
–The Jayhawks are 7-3 in their last 10 season-opening contests.
–Kansas wrapped up its exhibition season with a 2-0 record for the fourth-straight year.
–Sophomore forward Danielle McCray led the Jayhawks in exhibition play with a team-leading 28.0 points per game, including a 36-point effort in KU’s win over Emporia State.
KU-UH SERIES HISTORY
Today marks the first meeting in the history of the two programs.
A LOOK AT HARTFORD
The University of Hartford women’s basketball team, the unanimous favorite to win the 2008 America East Women’s Basketball Championship will look to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons when they tip off the 2007-08 season with a game at Kansas. Led by senior forward/center Danielle Hood, a unanimous preseason all-conference selection, who has picked up First Team All-Conference honors in each of the last two years and was an All-Rookie honoree three seasons ago. Last season, Hood led the Hawks in scoring with a 13.1 point-per-game average. She also pulled down 4.3 rebounds-per-game and shot .472 from the field. The Hawks (25-9, 15-1 AE last year) enter the season with a streak of three seasons with 20 or more wins, including a victory over a ranked opponent in each of the last two years. After falling in the conference championship game last year, the Hawks look to capture their third title in four years and return to the NCAA Tournament, where they defeated Temple two years ago. The Hawks return four of their five starters and 10 players overall. Head Coach Jennifer Rizzotti also welcomes four freshmen to the team. Rizzotti is 144-98 entering her ninth season at the helm of the Hawk program.
A LOOK AT KANSAS
Kansas will hit the court to begin the 2007-08 season returning 11 letterwinners, including three starters, from last season’s 11-20 team. With several momentum building wins down the stretch of Big 12 Conference play, including a 71-62 upset of No. 6 seed Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2007 Big 12 Championship, the Jayhawks are poised to make a run in head coach Bonnie Henrickson’s fourth season with the program. Henrickson, who owns a 40-49 mark at KU, has compiled back-to-back top 25 recruiting classes and is ready to see the fruits of her labor. With six sophomores and three freshmen on the roster, the Jayhawks are again a young team, but have strong upperclassmen in tri-captains seniors Jamie Boyd and Taylor McIntosh and junior Ivana Catic to lead the way. Henrickson, who needs just two wins to reach the 200 plateau for her career, and the Jayhawks collected wins in each of their two exhibition games for the fourth-straight season.
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
–Kansas Director of Athletics Lew Perkins was serving in the same capacity of the University of Connecticut when Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti was an All-American guard helping guide the Huskies to the 1995 national championship.
–Kansas Associate Dirctor of Strength and Conditioning Andrea Hudy was also at UConn with Rizzotti, working in her first season as a strength coach with the national champions.
KANSAS VERSUS THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE
KU is 1-0 all-time versus the America East Conference. The Jayhawks knocked off Binghamton in their lone match-up with an America East school. Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson owns a 4-0 mark against the league with wins over Maine, UMBC and Vermont to go along with her Kansas win over Binghamton. The Jayhawks will play fellow America East member Boston University on Dec. 30.
JAYHAWKS IN SEASON OPENERS
Kansas is 29-9 all-time in season-opening games, including a 2-1 mark under head coach Bonnie Henrickson. Kansas has won seven of their last 10 season openers, including two straight.
KANSAS IN HOME OPENERS
KU is 33-5 all-time in home-opening games, including a 2-1 mark under head coach Bonnie Henrickson. Kansas has won nine of its last 10 season openers at home and 22 of its last 23 opening games in Allen Fieldhouse.
KU IMPRESSIVE VERSUS NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
The Jayhawks have compiled an impressive record outside the Big 12 Conference in regular-season play. KU owns a 259-136 (.653 winning percentage) record versus non-conference opponents. The Jayhawks’ best non-conference record came during the 2005-06 season as they collected an 11-0 mark against non-conference foes during the regular season and added another out of conference win during the 2006 WNIT with a win over Northern Iowa.
LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore Danielle McCray erupted for 36 points, including 13 in overtime, as the Kansas women’s basketball team closed out its exhibition season with a hard-fought 74-64 win over Emporia State on Thursday night at Allen Fieldhouse. McCray owned the second half and overtime for KU, scoring a combined 28 after the break and accounting for nearly two-thirds of the Hawks’ 43 during that span. The Olathe, Kan., native scored nine of Kansas’ final 10 points in regulation on her way to finishing 13-of-22 from the field. Kansas appeared to be on its way to an easy win early on as it held the Hornets scoreless for nearly four minutes to open the game and jumped out to a 23-5 lead midway through the half. However, ESU stormed back, ending the frame on a 21-8 run to cut the lead to 31-26 at the break. Emporia State then tied the contest at 33-33 early in the second, but KU used a 12-0 run sparked by McCray and freshman Nicollette Smith, who finished with nine points, to regain a comfortable margin. The Hornets again fought back, though, as they went on a 9-0 run to eventually take a 51-50 lead with just under three minutes left to play. Following two game-tying free-throws by McCray to knot the score at 55, Emporia State had a chance to win the game with possession of the ball and the shot clock turned off. Smith, though, came up with a huge defensive play as she forced a Hornet turnover to give the `Hawks a shot at the victory. However, Smith’s three-pointer and senior Taylor McIntosh’s put-back attempt fell short, sending the game into the extra period. Kansas then dominated overtime, led by McCray who put the game out of reach with an unconventional four-point play midway through the extra-frame. The sophomore streaked down the court to connect on a lay-up while absorbing a flagrant ESU foul, and then made both free-throws to put her squad up 66-59. Junior guard Ivana Catic had a solid floor game for Kansas, tallying eight steals and six assists to go along with five points, while McIntosh finished with four points and 10 rebounds.
EMPORIA STATE LEFTOVERS
–Sophomore Danielle McCray scored what would be a career-best 36 points. She hit 13-of-22 shots from the field, including 3-of-6 from the three-point line. She also made 7-of-14 from the foul line. Each of her makes and attempts would have been career-highs had the game not been an exhibition.
–KU forced 27 Emporia State turnovers, converting them into 27 points.
–Kansas has now won 22 of their last 24 exhibition contests and are 31-9 all-time in exhibition.
–The Jayhawk bench outscored their ESU counterparts 15-1.
–Kansas held the Lady Hornets without a field goal for the first 7:16 of the game.
–Senior Taylor McIntosh pulled down 10 rebounds to lead KU. McIntosh pulled down 10 or more rebounds in each of the Jayhawks exhibition wins.
–Junior Ivana Catic had a career night with eight steals. Catic also dished a team-best six assists.
–McIntosh recorded a career-high four blocked shots.
Nicollette Smith STEPS UP IN EXxHIBITION PLAY
Freshman forward Nicollette Smith turned in a solid performance in the Jayhawks’ two exhibition wins. The 6-foot-2 Tulsa, native, averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in the two games. She had a big steal which helped force the Emporia State game into overtime and knocked down a timely three to help seal the win.
BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
The University of Kansas was tabbed 10th in the preseason poll voted on by the league’s head coaches. Texas A&M edged two-time defending champion Oklahoma for the top spot in the poll. The Aggies return all five starters from last season’s team and received seven first place votes.
McCRAY GARNERS PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 HONORS
Kansas sophomore guard-forward Danielle McCray was tabbed Preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention in a poll of the league coaches. It was the first such honor for the 5-foot-11 Olathe, Kan., native.
LEADERS OF THE JAYHAWKS
Seniors Jamie Boyd and Taylor McIntosh and junior Ivana Catic have been named tri-captains for the 2007-08 season. It is the second-straight year for both McIntosh and Catic to be bestowed with the honor, while Boyd is serving as a captain for the first time in her Jayhawk career.
HENRICKSON TWO WINS AWAY FROM 200
Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson enters the 2007-08 season with an overall mark of 198-111 (.641 winning percentage) in her first 10 seasons on the sidelines. With just two wins, Henrickson will hit the prestigious 200-victory mark. Through her first decade as a head coach, Willmar, Minn., native, has averaged nearly 20 wins per season.
BIG 12 SHOWING POWER EARLY
The Big 12 Conference is well represented in both the preseason Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls. Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas are ranked in both polls, while Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Iowa State and Texas Tech are receiving votes. In addition to KU’s Big 12 competition receiving recognition, non-conference opponent California is tabbed in both Top 25 polls, while other out of conference foes, Xavier, Marquette, Drake and Hartford are receiving votes in one or both polls.
The 2007-08 version of the Kansas women’s basketball team features six super sophomores in guards LaChelda Jacobs, Kelly Kohn and Sade Morris, guard-forward Danielle McCray and forwards Rebecca Feickert and Porscha Weddington. Making up nearly half of the Jayhawk roster, the six will be counted on to carry a lot of weight for KU in the seasons to come.
This season, Kansas fans will be able to watch 18 KU home basketball games live via AT&T Jayhawk All Access on kuathletics.com. To subscribe to Jayhawk All Access, log on to kuathletics.com and click on the All Access logo in the upper right corner of the page.
The Jayhawks television and radio coverage is one of the best in the country. KU will be featured on television 24 times this season, including all 18 contests at Allen Fieldhouse. In addition, each of KU’s 16 regular season home games will be featured nationally on ESPN360.com. Kansas will also appear on national television four times. Among the Jayhawk Radio Network affiliates carrying the 2006-07 season includes WIBW (580 AM), which boasts the 11th largest signal in the country. KLWN (1320 AM) of Lawrence will join KCSP (610 AM), weekend games, and KXTR (1660 AM), weeknight games, are a few of the affiliates fans can use to listen to Jayhawk basketball.
The Jayhawks will remain in the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse for their next outing as they play host to UMKC on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. Following the home game versus the Kangaroos, KU will travel to Dallas for the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic. The Jayhawks will take on Drake on Friday, Nov. 23 in the opening round, followed by a match-up with host SMU or Western Michigan on the second and final day of action.