🏀 GAME PREVIEW: at Kansas State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In what will be the final game of the regular season, the Kansas women’s basketball team will travel to Kansas State for the 123rd Dillions Sunflower Showdown inside Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m., on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.
Kansas at Kansas State
Date/Time: Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.
Where: Bramlage Coliseum (Manhattan, Kan.)
Listen: Jayhawk Radio Network with Jimmy Chavez and David Lawrence.
Watch: Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ with Brian Smoller (play-by-play), Missy Heidrick (analyst) and Anna Christianson (sideline).
- The Jayhawks have closed out the 2019-20 season strong. Of the last five games, Kansas has won three and with a victory over Oklahoma State, 77-69, on Saturday, Feb. 29, the team will finish with a .500 record for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
- Kansas and Kansas State will meet in Manhattan, Kansas, for the 123rd installment of the Dillions Sunflower Showdown this Sunday. The Jayhawks and Wildcats split the two-game series last season and K-State leads the all-time series, 75-47.
- Freshman Zakiyah Franklin and sophomore Aniya Thomas are both in the top-25 in the Big 12 Conference for total points. Thomas ranks 19th with 354 points and Franklin ranks 21st with 339 points this season.
- Junior Tina Stephens ranks 10th in the Big 12 in rebounds per averaging 7.2 boards. She has collected 181 rebounds over 25 games.
- Thomas is averaging 2.0 steals a game on the season, which is the fifth-best average among the Big 12. Her 55 total steals over the season are tied for third-most in the conference.
- Head coach Brandon Schneider changed the starting lineup, adding Stephens and redshirt-sophomore Emma Merriweather, and since then Kansas is 3-2.
- Four of the five players in the starting lineup are averaging double-digits per game: Thomas (13.0), Franklin (12.4), senior Mariane De Carvalho (10.5) and Stephens (10.3).
- Stephens led the Jayhawks in the last outing against Iowa State (March 3) with her third-consecutive double-double scoring game with 12 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, surpassing her previous career best of 15 boards when the Jayhawks played Florida Atlantic on Nov. 11, 2019.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Head coach Jeff Mittie is in his sixth season with Kansas State and has a record of 115-79. Mittie is 568-314 as a collegiate head coach in 28 seasons with stops at TCU, Arkansas State and Missouri Western.
Kansas State heads into the contest with a 15-13 record on the season and is 9-8 in Big 12 play. The Wildcats are 8-6 when playing at home this season and are coming off a win against Oklahoma State, 62-52, on Tuesday, March 3.
The Wildcats are averaging 68.3 points per game on 40.4% shooting from the field and knocking down 26.5% of their attempts from beyond the arc. K-State collects 43.4 rebounds per game and protects the paint with 5.7 blocks a game.
Leading Kansas State has been freshman Ayoka Lee who is averaging 15.7 points on 56.5% shooting and tops the team in rebounding with 11.3 per game. Behind Lee has been senior Peyton Williams who averages 15.1 points on 45.1% shooting from the field and 11.1 rebounds a game.
LAST TIME OUT
KANSAS 42, IOWA STATE 61 | TUESDAY, MARCH, 3; LAWRENCE, KAN.
The Cyclones came out firing opening the first quarter with a 15-5 run with four baskets coming from the 3-point line. ISU would go on to make 10 3-pointers in the first half and take a 36-18 lead going into halftime.
Stephens led KU at halftime with six points and 10 rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
Iowa State’s hot outside shooting in the first half helped the Cyclones maintain their lead by outscoring Kansas in the second half, 25-24.
Kansas will prep for the 2020 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, March 12-15, at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. KU will start play on Thursday, March 12, at 6 p.m., or 8:30 p.m., CT against a team that has yet to be determined. The bracket for the tournament will be finalized following this weekend’s slate of games. The game Thursday evening is set to be televised on FCS.