🏀 GAME PREVIEW: vs Oklahoma State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a huge victory over Oklahoma on the road Wednesday night, the Kansas women’s basketball team sets its sights on Oklahoma State this weekend. The Jayhawks will welcome the Cowgirls to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, Feb, 29 at 5 p.m., for their second meeting.
Saturday’s contest will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Josh Klingler and Jill Dorsey-Hall on the call.
- With four games left in the regular season, a win over Oklahoma State would guarantee a .500 record for the Jayhawks.
- The last time a KU women’s basketball team record has reached .500 or above was the 2012-13 season, where it went 20-14 and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
- The Jayhawks trail in the all-time series versus the Cowgirls, 39-33. Kansas is looking to split the 2019-20 season after dropping the first meeting – and first Big Conference game – by the score of 67-49 on Jan, 4.
- Three games ago, Coach Brandon Schneider switched up the starting five adding junior Tina Stephens and sophomore Emma Merriweather. KU is now 2-1 with the change.
- The current starting five has four players averaging in double -digits: Thomas (13.1), Franklin (12.0), Mariane De Carvalho (10.7) and Stephens (10.2).
- On Wednesday, the Big 12 announced the recipients of its highest academic honor, the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, which includes senior Niccolly Ramahlo among the 22 Kansas student-athletes earning the accolade. The 22 KU student-athletes are the most recipients in the history of this award and the first for women’s basketball.
- Kansas captured its first conference road win after defeating Oklahoma on Wednesday. Five Jayhawks finished with double-figure points: Thomas (21), De Carvalho (16), Franklin (15), Stephens (11) and freshman Holly Kersgieter (10).
- KU also found success on the glass, outrebounding Oklahoma 44-28. The Jayhawks are 10-4 when winning the rebound battle. Stephens led the team in boards collecting 11, marking her fourth game with double-digit rebounds.
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Head coach Jim Littell is in his ninth year at the helm of the Cowgirls, collecting a 176-109 record. Littell has led this squad to a 15-12 overall record and 6-9 mark in the league.
OSU is currently ranked eighth nationally in strength of schedule with a 48 RPI. Oklahoma State is averaging 65.2 points per game on 38.8 % shooting from the field and 26% from the 3-point line.
Leading the Cowgirls is junior forward Vivian Gray, who has scored in double-figures in 52 consecutive games. Gray is averaging 19.3 points per game, which is good for third-best in the Big 12.
Oklahoma State is coming off a 74-58 win over Texas Tech on Feb. 26.
LAST TIME OUT
Kansas 83, Oklahoma 80 | Wednesday, Feb. 26; Norman, Okla.
The Jayhawks and the Sooners fought to the end, but it was Kansas who came out on top, 83-80.
Kansas began the game on 15-9 run, spanning the first minutes. Thomas fueled the Jayhawks early with a quick triple within the first 30 seconds of the first frame. Oklahoma would later respond to KU’s hot start with a 10-0 run of their own.
OU closed the first 10 minutes on two free-throws to take a 21-19 lead.
In the second, both teams were able to find the basket and finish. The score was tied twice with the last being at 40-40 with 1:15 left until the break. After a hustle play from Ramalho and a buzzer-beating jumper from Stephens, Kansas led by two-points at the half.
Oklahoma finished the third quarter up, 61-60, after outscoring Kansas in that quarter. Kansas shot 77.8% (21-of-27) from the charity stripe, which helped the Jayhawks seal the game in the final minutes.
Kansas returns one last time to Allen Fieldhouse this season, facing Iowa State Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. Along with the contest, KU will honor its seniors during pregame. Follow the action on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.