🏀 GAME PREVIEW: vs. Florida
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off winning the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament, Kansas (7-0) will be back in Allen Fieldhouse to face Florida for the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m.
Kansas vs. Florida
Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. (CT)
Where: Allen Fieldhouse (Lawrence, Kan.)
Listen: Jayhawk Radio Network
Watch: Big 12 NOW on ESPN+
- The Jayhawks have won seven straight to start the season making it one of 16 teams that is still undefeated. The last time Kansas started the season was the 2017-18 season.
- Kansas has only faced Florida once in program history, dating back to Nov. 26, 1994, where the Gators came out on top, 58-56, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Kansas is 61-70 all-time against SEC schools entering the sixth installment of the Big12/SEC Challenge.
- In five of the last seven games, Kansas has had at least three players score in double figures.
- Through seven games, five Jayhawks are averaging in double figures in points with sophomore guard Aniya Thomas (13.0), freshman guard Holly Kersgieter (12.4), senior forward Mariane De Carvalho (11.6), freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin (11.4) and junior forward Tina Stephens (10.1).
- Kansas is coming off winning the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament, which marks the second tournament championship in the Schneider era with the first coming last season at the Duel in the Desert.
- In the two games at the FAU Thanksgiving tournament, KU shot 46.1 percent (60-130) from the field and held its opponents (Wright State/FAU) to 35.5 percent (42-118) shooting from the field. In the eight quarters, the Jayhawks only allowed its opponents to score more than 20 points in one quarter.
- Coming off the bench and earning All-Tournament team honors, Stephens recorded a career-best 19 points, 15 rebounds, seven offensive rebounds and six steals against FAU. This marks Stephens’ third double-double of the season.
- Sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell earned MVP of the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament as she caught fire against FAU scoring a career-high 23 points on 76.9 percent (10-13) shooting along with four rebounds.
- Thomas recorded a career-high 19 points against FAU and a career-high seven rebounds along with four steals.
SCOUTING THE GATORS
Florida is 5-2 so far this season averaging 67.9 points per game on 41.4 percent shooting from the field and outscoring its opponents by an average of 11.9 points.
Leading the Gators has been junior guard Kiara Smith averaging 13.7 points a game, 5.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
In the 84-40 win over Florida A&M, Gators’ senior forward Zada Williams finished with 22 points, 19 rebounds, two steals and a block.
Florida scored 54 points in the paint against Florida A&M along with shooting 50.7 percent from the field while holding the Rattlers to 26.5 percent from the field.
A LOOK BACK AT FAU
Sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell came out aggressive in the opening quarter scoring 11 points against FAU. Kansas went on an 11-2 run in the last 3:12 and took a 24-10 lead into the second quarter.
To open the second quarter, the Jayhawks went on a 10-4 run to extend the lead to 20 points. The Owls answered with a 19-4 run over 3:59, but the Jayhawks took a 42-37 lead into halftime.
The Jayhawks outscored the Owls 23-10 and shot 55.6 percent (10-18) from the field in the third quarter. Kansas held FAU to 25 percent (4-16) from the field and 22.2 percent (2-9) from beyond the arc.
KU continued to roll through the fourth quarter shooting 50.0 percent (8-16) from the field and defensively held the Owls to 13 points on 27.3 percent (3-11) shooting from the field and 28.6 percent (2-7) from the 3-point line. Jayhawks rolled on to win the championship, 90-60, over FAU.
BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE
The sixth edition of the women’s basketball challenge between the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference includes six games that will feature at least one ranked opponent in either the Associated Press or USA Today Sports’ Coaches Poll. This is the fourth season in which 10 games will be played. The format consists of five home games on campus sites for each conference.
The inaugural challenge was held in 2014 in Little Rock, Arkansas and featured a top-5 showdown with No. 3 Texas squaring off against No. 4 Texas A&M. Oklahoma and Arkansas, who were both receiving votes, played in the second game. The conferences split the challenge with the two games decided by a total of nine points.
The 2015 version was contested in Oklahoma City with the opponents reversed as No. 5 Texas played Arkansas while No. 17 Oklahoma competed against no. 18 Texas A&M. Each league again claimed a win. In 2016, the sec edged the big 12, 6-4, in the first 10-game slate. The conferences have split the challenge, 5-5, in the last two seasons.
Last season, Kansas took down LSU, 68-61, in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Jayhawks forced the Tigers into committing 22 turnovers, with 12 of them coming in the first half alone. Kansas capitalized on LSU’s mistakes, scoring 26 of its 68 points off of those turnovers.
The Jayhawks will host Saint Mary’s College at Allen Fieldhouse for its seventh home game on Dec. 15, at 2 p.m.