🏀 GAME PREVIEW: vs. Saint Mary's
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Undefeated through eight games this season, Kansas women’s basketball will host Saint Mary’s on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas vs. Saint Mary’s
Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. (CT)
Where: Allen Fieldhouse (Lawrence, Kan.)
Listen: Jayhawk Radio Network
Watch: Big 12 NOW on ESPN+
- Kansas and Saint Mary’s have faced off once prior to Sunday on Jan. 4, 1985, where the Jayhawks came out on top, 82-58, in Moraga, California.
- Kansas is 8-0 so far this season making it one of 14 teams in Division I women’s basketball still undefeated.
- Through eight games, six Jayhawks are averaging in double figures in points with sophomore guard Aniya Thomas (12.6), freshman guard Holly Kersgieter (12.6), freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin (11.3), senior forward Mariane De Carvalho (11.0), junior forward Tina Stephens (10.9) and sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell (10.6).
- In six of the last eight games, Kansas has had at least three players score in double figures.
- The Jayhawks’ Dec. 8 win over the Florida Gators, 76-66, makes it three-straight wins in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. In 2018-19 KU beat LSU, 68-61, and Arkansas in 2017-18, 71-60.
- Kansas shot 26-of-50 (52.0%) from the field and 8-of-16 (50.0%) from beyond the arc against Florida. The Jayhawks held the Gators to 26-of-66 (39.4%) from the field and KU’s bench contributed 30 points in the effort.
- Sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell lead the way against Florida, scoring 16 points on 6-of-10 (60.0%) from the field and tied her career-high in assists and rebounds with six each.
- Junior forward Tina Stephens chalked up 16 points on 6-of-8 (75.0%) from the field, grabbed four boards and recorded two steals against Florida.
SCOUTING THE GAELS
The Gaels brought back 10 players from last year and added four newcomers. Saint Mary’s comes into Allen Fieldhouse 4-4 on the season and coming off back-to-back wins, defeating Western Kentucky, 80-73, in overtime and routing Cal Poly, 84-67.
Head coach Paul Thomas is in his 14th season at Saint Mary’s and has a 260-160 record at the program, which is the most wins in the program’s history.
The Gaels are averaging 72.9 points a game on 42.9% shooting from the field and 36.6% from beyond the arc. Saint Mary’s has shared the ball with 16.5 assists a game and has fought on the glass, averaging 39.8 rebounds.
Leading the Gaels has been sophomore guard Sam Simons who is averaging 16.3 points per game on 43.5% shooting along with 5.5 rebounds. Following Simmons is junior guard Emily Codding, who averages 14.1 points per game on 51.1% shooting from the field. In addition, she leads the team in rebounding with 7.8 boards per game.
LAST TIME OUT
The Jayhawks defense came out in the first quarter with 10 rebounds. On offense, KU put up 10 points early. Despite their effort, the Jayhawks were down 14-10 going into the second quarter.
After a slow the second-quarter start, KU went on a 10-point run to take the lead with 1:45 left. Six of the 10 points came by way of three-pointers from sophomore guard Brooklyn Mitchell and freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin. Kansas held the lead in the final seconds of the half, but a pair of free throws by Florida tied the game at 29 going into the locker room.
Kansas shot 64.3% (9-of-14) from the field and was 71.4% (5-of-7) from beyond the arc in the third quarter. Freshman guard Holly Kersgieter put up nine points in that quarter, making her KU’s second-leading scorer.
In the final 10 minutes, the Jayhawks were able to pull away for the first time with a 10-point lead. Florida fought for a comeback, but Kansas’ defense held the Gators off and won its Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup. Junior forward Tina Stephens put up eight points in the fourth quarter, collecting a total of 16 points. Stephens, along with Mitchell, led the Jayhawks as leading scorers with 16 points each.
Kansas is 8-0 in the 2019-20 season, making it one of 14 teams in Division I women’s basketball with an undefeated record. This marks the best start for the Jayhawks in the Brandon Schneider era.
Kansas has started the season 8-0 on four separate occasions in program history (2010-11, 2005-06, 1991-92 and 1980-81).
The last time the Jayhawks started a season 8-0 was back in 2010-11. Kansas went on to finish 21-13 and won its first game in the Big 12 Championship against Colorado, 71-45, then fell to No. 3 Baylor, 86-51, in the next round.
In the first installment of RPI for the 2019-20 season, Kansas sits at No. 33 as five other Big 12 squads rank in the top-60: No. 29 Baylor, No. 30 TCU, No. 35 Oklahoma State, No. 54 Oklahoma and No. 60 West Virginia.
KU’s No. 33 rank tops nine teams currently ranked in the Top-25 polls.
Kansas will hit the road for the second time this season to match-up against Saint Louis in Chaifetz Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m.