🏀 Game Preview: at Ole Miss

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas will travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to face Ole Miss as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Thursday, Dec. 3, inside The Pavilion. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network and will also air live on the IMG Jayhawk Radio Network with Jimmy Chavez on the call.

The Jayhawks (2-0) are coming off a dominant 42-point win over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi on Nov. 29, in their second game of the season in Lawrence.  Ole Miss looks to improve on its 1-0 start to the year after a 99-44 victory at home against McNeese State on Nov. 30.

Through two games, KU averages 81.5 points per game with a +29.0 scoring margin. Defense and quick scoring have been highlights so far this season. Three Jayhawks have registered double-digit scoring efforts with sophomore Holly Kersgieter leading the way with 19.0 per game. Kersgieter has held steady, posting her second-career double-double against Northern Colorado while shooting 83.3% (5-of-6) from behind the arc versus Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Also adding to the Kansas offense is senior Tina Stephens with 13.0 points per game, while freshman Ioanna Chatzileonti contributes 10.5.

On the defensive end, Kansas has forced an average of 17.5 turnovers per game and is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 45.0 boards per game. Following her 15 boards, six points and four blocks against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Chatzileonti received recognition from the Big 12 Conference as she was selected as the season’s first Freshman of the Week. The honor is the first of Chatzileonti’s career. The last time Kansas women’s basketball had an international student-athlete win the weekly accolade was in 2008. Chatzileonti is the second Big 12 Freshman of the Week selection in head coach Brandon Schneider’s era at Kansas. His first was Holly Kersgieter in 2019. 

The matchup between the Jayhawks and the Rebels will be the third all-time meeting between the two programs. Ole Miss leads the series 2-0 after defeating Kansas with a buzzer-beater in the first round of the WNIT inside Allen Fieldhouse, 78-76, in 2006.

In its seventh year, the SEC/Big 12 Challenge will feature 10 games with every Big 12 team participating and 10 SEC teams. The format features five home games on campus sites for each conference per year. The 10-team format began in 2016 with the two conferences splitting the challenge in 2017 and 2018. The Big 12 won the event in 2019 with eight of its teams collecting victories.

Kansas is 3-1 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, having defeated Florida in 2019-20 in Allen Fieldhouse. KU’s last two challenge victories came on the road at LSU in 2018-19 and at home over Arkansas in 2017-18.