Jayhawks Look to Even 2016 Sunflower Showdown Series
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball heads to Manhattan, Kansas, for this season’s second installment of the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., inside Bramlage Coliseum.
Following the JayhawksKansas’ match-up with Kansas State will be broadcast on Cox Cable, the Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network, along with audio streaming via KUAthletics.com. For the most up-to-date information, follow Kansas women’s basketball on Twitter (@KUwbball). Kansas FastBreaks
- Kansas State leads the all-time series against the Jayhawks, 67-46. KU owns a 16-30 mark against the Wildcats in Manhattan.
- The Jayhawks’ last win over Kansas State came on March 7 of 2014, an 87-84 overtime victory in the first round of the Big 12 Championship.
- KU owns a 119-205 all-time record against Big 12 Conference foes.
- Kansas has a record of 364-409 away from Allen Fieldhouse.
- KU shot 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from beyond the arc in its last contest, an 81-49 loss at No. 4 Baylor. The Jayhawks became only the second Big 12 team this season to sink 10 triples against the Lady Bears, who hold the second-best three-point defense (.271) in the conference. Heading into Saturday’s matchup, Kansas State ranks eighth in defending the three-pointer, allowing opponents to shoot 30.4 percent from long distance.
- When Brandon Schneider-coached teams are leading with less than five minutes to play, his overall record is 351-12, and 5-0 at Kansas.
- During her career, sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge has hit 35.8 percent of her attempts from behind the arc, which is closing in on Kansas’ all-time three-point field percentage top-10.
- Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 32.7 minutes per game during her rookie season. Her minutes per game rank sixth in the Big 12 and second among freshmen in the league.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen has swatted away a team-high 33 blocks this season, averaging 1.4 per game, for 75 blocks in her career. She needs 20 more to crack Kansas’ top-10 season list and 10 to etch her name into the junior record.
- Freshman guard Jayde Christopher has dished out three or more assists on eight occasions, including a career-high mark of six against Northern Illinois (11/27). She is second on the team in assists with 46 on the year. Aldridge leads the squad with 49 and tallied six against Texas Tech (1/30) for her second five-assist effort this season.
About the JayhawksThe Jayhawks (5-18, 0-12 Big 12) travel to Manhattan, Kansas, to face Kansas State for this season’s final Sunflower Showdown. In their last outing, No. 4 Baylor downed the Jayhawks by a score of 81-49 in Waco, Texas. Kansas shot above average from beyond the arc, draining a season-high 10 three-pointers on 29 attempts, becoming only the second conference opponent to do so against the Lady Bears. Turnovers again hindered the Jayhawk offense and Baylor capitalized, scoring 24 points off of Kansas’ 23 giveaways. The Lady Bears’ dominance inside proved to be the difference, though, tallying 50 points in the paint and outrebounding the Jayhawks 48-24.
For the first time in Big 12 play this season, three different Jayhawks recorded double-digit scoring on Saturday. Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich tallied a team-high 14 points on 50 percent shooting against Baylor, knocking down more field goals (six) than any other Jayhawk. Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge ended the afternoon connecting on 50 percent of her shots from beyond the arc, sinking 4-of-8 attempts for 12 points. The Marshfield, Missouri native has shot 50 percent or higher from the three-point line eight times in 2015-16 and leads the team in double-digit scoring efforts (15) this season. Freshman guard Aisia Robertson posted 10 points, a new career high, including 2-of-4 shooting from long distance.
The Jayhawks recorded 13 assists against Baylor, a team-high mark in Big 12 action this season. Aldridge, Kopatich and Robertson notched two each, and freshman guard Jayde Christopher came off the bench to lead the team with three dimes.
The Jayhawks now look to end a 14-game losing streak and earn their first Big 12 victory of the season against the Wildcats. Kansas State will look to build off of an 87-71 win over No. 21 Oklahoma on Feb. 9, ending a four-game skid that leaves head coach Jeff Mittie’s squad sixth in the conference standings.
Scouting the WildcatsKansas State notched 25 points in the final quarter of its matchup with No. 21 Oklahoma on Tuesday to claim its first victory this season over a ranked opponent. Junior guard Kindred Wesemann led all scorers with 26 points and logged a game-high 39 minutes. Shooting 6-of-11 from the field and 8-of-10 at the free throw line, Wesemann recorded her third game this season of 20 points or more.
The Wildcats are picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 in the coaches’ preseason poll, after a seventh-place finish last season with a 7-11 record, and a trip to the WNIT. Kansas State won eight more games in 2014-15 in its first season under head coach Jeff Mittie than in the season prior. The Wildcats return eight letterwinners from last year’s squad, including 61 percent of the team’s scoring and Kansas State’s record-holder for single-season blocks, junior forward Breanna Lewis.
Lewis was a force inside for the Wildcats last season, recording 97 blocks and tacking on 50 steals. A Second Team All-Big 12 selection from a season ago, Lewis is currently third in the conference in blocks with 2.52 per game and fifth in scoring with 16.0 points per game. Lewis put in 15 points in Kansas State’s victory over Oklahoma, and filled her line with seven boards, two blocks and two steals. Holding the fifth-best shooting mark in the conference, Lewis is converting on 55.3 percent of her field goal attempts.
Wesemann averages more minutes (32.5) than any other Wildcat and contributes on both sides of the ball, cracking the conference’s top-10 in four different categories. The Pleasant Hill, Missouri native is first in three-pointers made (64), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.416), fourth in steals with per game (1.83), and first in free throw percentage (.867). Wesemann is on pace to be one of the Wildcats’ best all-time free throw shooters, currently holding the sixth-best record.
Through 23 games, Kansas State owns the fifth-best scoring defense, allowing only 61.5 points per game from opponents. The winner of Saturday’s contest may be the team that crashes the boards most effectively, as the Wildcats and the Jayhawks rank ninth and 10th in the Big 12, respectively, in rebounding margin. For Kansas to pull off the victory inside Bramlage Coliseum, the Jayhawks must close out the game better than they have against past Big 12 foes. This season, Kansas State is playing its best basketball in the fourth quarter, posting a combined plus-49 scoring margin in the final period of action. By contrast, opponents have outscored Kansas by 62 points in the fourth quarter.
This Day in KU Women’s Basketball HistoryRecord on Feb. 13: 8-5Kansas women’s basketball will play on the 13th day of February for the 14th time in program history. The last meeting on Feb. 13 came in 2013, in the Jayhawks’ first Big 12 matchup against TCU. Backed by senior Monica Engelman’s career-best 26 points, Kansas erased a 23-point first-half deficit to claim a 76-75 victory. The Jayhawks’ first-ever contest on Feb. 13 came against Kansas State in 1971, with Kansas State prevailing in Allen Fieldhouse by a score of 56-42.
Tough and Together First-year head coach Brandon Schneider has brought a “tough and together” culture to Allen Fieldhouse and Kansas women’s basketball. The Jayhawks begin end every practice with t and t, which is short for tough and together. Schneider has vowed that his squads will compete and play together every day. Whether the Jayhawks are hitting the floor, flying over the scorers’ table or passing to a teammate, they will play tough and together.
One – Two – Three!On the season, Kansas is connecting on 30.5 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. Both redshirt junior guard Timeka O’Neal and sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge are shooting above average, making 387.5 and 36.8 percent of their long-range shots, respectively. Both Jayhawks rank among the top 10 in the Big 12 and Aldridge’s career mark of 35.8 nears the all-time KU three-point field goal percentage, where the No. 10 spot is 35.9 percent held by Monica Engelman.
Up NextThe Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse for a matchup with TCU on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. Kansas will face the Horned Frogs twice in less than two weeks, with the second installment of the season series coming on Monday, February 29. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network and ESPN3, and over the airwaves on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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