|Kansas at Kansas State
||Sunday, Jan. 11
||1 p.m. CT
||Kansas State leads, 63-46
||FOX Sports Network
||Jayhawk Radio Network
Big 12 Conference
|Stats at a Glance
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball looks for its third-straight win in Manhattan when the Jayhawks travel to in-state rival Kansas State on Sunday, Jan. 11 for the hardwood edition of the Sunflower Showdown. The game is set for a 1 p.m., tipoff, inside Bramlage Coliseum, on FOX Sports Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas heads into the weekend 0-2 in Big 12 Conference play and looking to get back on track against Kansas State, who is also searching for its first league victory. The Jayhawks have had some road woes in 2014-15 and with a win at Bramlage Coliseum would snap a four-game road losing streak.
The Jayhawks are averaging 65.0 points per game with a +6.6 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.7 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to shooting 35.0 percent. Kansas has connected on 38.2 percent of its attempts from the three-point line, which is the second-best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 37.9 rebounds, 14.2 assists, 6.1 steals and 4.4 blocks per game.
Seniors Chelsea Gardner and Natalie Knight are averaging double digits with 15.5 and 12.4 points per game, respectively. Gardner also leads the team with 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest. From beyond the arc, Knight is shooting an impressive 42.5 percent and has shot 50 percent or higher in nine-of-15 games played this year.
Sophomore Jada Brown is the last veteran in Kansas’ starting lineup. She is averaging 2.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, which is tied for third-most on the roster. Against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Brown recorded a career-high 12 points. Freshmen Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle round out the Jayhawks’ starting five. Aldridge is averaging 7.5 points per game. She dished out a career-high eight assists at Purdue (12/11). Cheadle is averaging 7.1 points per game and is shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Senior Asia Boyd is one of the first Jayhawks head coach Bonnie Henrickson calls upon off the bench. The Detroit, Michigan native is third on the team in scoring with 9.9 points and tied for third on the squad in rebounds with 3.7 per contest. She is also shooting 45.5 percent from the field. Freshman Terriell Bradley is also coming off the bench averaging 6.1 points per game and shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
• Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in 10 of Kansas’ 15 games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games and in a total of six contests. Senior Chelsea Gardner has scored 10 or more points in 12-of-15 games in 2014-15, while senior Natalie Knight has also contributed double figures in 12 of the Jayhawks’ 15 games this year.
• For the first time in nearly 14 years, the Jayhawks shot 67 percent from three-point range on a minimum of 10 attempts against Incarnate Word (12/4), connecting on 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc. It marked the highest completion rate from three since Dec. 2, 2000, when Kansas went 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) against St. Joseph in Allen Fieldhouse. KU followed that with a 7-for-11 effort from the three-point line against then-No. 10 Cal (12/7).
• KU has limited its opponents to 35.0 percent shooting from the field. The Jayhawks have held three opponents to less than 30 percent shooting, including holding the Cal Golden Bears to 25 percent from the field. Cal averaged 90 points coming into the match-up and KU kept the Bears under 40 points.
• Kansas’ all-time record is 779-556 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-251. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 338-222 all-time and 180-160 at KU.
• Gardner, a Preseason All-Big 12 selection, joined the 1,000-point club after scoring 24 points in the season opener against South Dakota (11/16). Natalie Knight has 870 career points and needs 130 more to join Gardner in the 1,000-point club, which she is on pace to reach by the end of February. It would mark the first time since 2012-13 that multiple Jayhawks have reached the 1,000-point milestone in the same season.
• Gardner has four double-doubles after 15 games this season and is fourth in the Big 12 Conference. She posted a Big 12-leading 13 double-doubles last year. Gardner’s 13 double-doubles were the most by a Jayhawk in a single season since Shyra Holden had 14 in 1978-79.
• Gardner has scored 20 or more points in four of Kansas’ 15 games, including a season-high 30 against Alabama (11/22). Gardner has netted double figures in 29 of her last 32 games.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Kansas State began Big 12 Conference action with a 10-1 mark and a four-game winning streak, but the Wildcats are off to a slow start in league play with an 0-2 record and overall mark of 10-3 on the season heading into Sunday’s contest. K-State was voted to finish ninth in the Big 12 by the conference coaches.
Kansas State has the top defense in the league after limiting opponents to 49.1 points per game and held foes to just 33.9 percent from the field. The Wildcats’ defense also leads the league in steals with 13.5 per game and is second in blocked shots per contest with 5.8. Offensively, K-State is averaging 60.3 points per game, which is the second-to-lowest average in the league. The Wildcats are shooting 41.0 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from three-point range.
Sophomore forward Breanna Lewis, who has started every game this season, leads the squad averaging 12.2 points per contest and is the only Wildcat averaging double figures. Lewis also leads the team with 44 blocks and is shooting 51.9 percent from field goal range. Senior guard Ashia Woods leads the team with 6.8 rebounds per game, while senior guard Haley Texada is leading the way from behind the arc connecting on 36.2 percent of her three-point attempts.
The Wildcats lead the overall series, 63-46. The Jayhawks have a 15-30 mark against Kansas State in Bramlage Coliseum.
Sunday afternoon’s matchup marks the 110th meeting between the in-state rivals. Kansas has won four of the last five meetings between the two programs, including three-straight victories in Bramlage Coliseum. The series began in 1969 on a neutral court with the Wildcats claiming the series-opening victory, 34-18.
Last Time Out
With Kansas down two and just over a minute remaining in regulation, forward Chelsea Gardner scored four-straight points to help send the Jayhawks into overtime against Kansas State (3/7/14), where the KU rallied from a six-point deficit to win, 87-84, in the first round of the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. Gardner scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed five rebounds, while blocking two shots.
A KNIGHT’S TALE
Senior Natalie Knight has had a consistent presence on the hardwood for the Jayhawks since she first stepped on to the court as a freshman in 2011. Knight is two games away from her 100th career start in the Crimson and Blue. She has started every game played since she arrived in Lawrence except the final 15 games of the 2012-2013 season when she suffered a knee injury. The Olathe, Kansas native has played 3,172 in her career and averages 31.4 minutes per game. During her senior season, Knight is averaging 12.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She has shot 50 percent or better from the three-point line in nine of KU’s 15 contests. She recorded her first double-double with 13 points and a career-best 15 rebounds against Arkansas State (12/14).
JAYHAWKS FACE TOURNAMENT TESTED OPPONENTS
Kansas faces 14 opponents that advanced to the postseason last season, which is two more than the previous season. KU’s non-conference schedule included three conference champions and seven squads that reached the 20-win plateau. Kansas has a 4-5 record after facing seven programs that appeared in the 2014 postseason.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
After 15 games during the 2014-15 campaign, Kansas has several players among the top of Big 12 statistical categories. Senior Chelsea Gardner is fifth in the league in scoring (15.5), fifth in rebounds (7.6) and sixth in field goal percentage (52.2). Gardner is also third in the Big 12 in blocks per game (2.3). Senior Natalie Knight is third in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (42.5). Freshman Lauren Aldridge is No. 5 in assists per game (4.1). Knight is right behind her with 3.7 assists per game, good for sixth in the league. The Jayhawks are second in the league in three-point percentage (38.2).
A SPARK OFF THE BENCH
The Jayhawks bench is providing a spark offensively in 2014-15 and are averaging 19.7 points per game. Kansas’ bench has scored in double figures in 14 of KU’s 15 games this year, including a season-high 49 against Iona (11/30). KU’s bench has scored 20 or more points on six occasions. Senior Asia Boyd is one of the first players head coach Bonnie Henrickson calls upon off the bench and she is the third leading scorer with 9.9 points per game.
JAYHAWKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Kansas is among one of the most televised women’s basketball programs in the country. The Jayhawks have three games featured on FOX Sports Network, while every home game is aired on the new Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3. KU is scheduled to play 25 contests in 2014-15 in front of a nationally-televised audience.
“HAWK TALK” WITH BONNIE HENRICKSON
“Hawk Talk” with Kansas women’s basketball head coach Bonnie Henrickson is held weekly and broadcasted live from Henry T’s. Each week Henrickson will be joined by a special player guest. “Hawk Talk” allows fans to ask Henrickson questions and hear the latest Kansas women’s basketball news. There will be a total of 15 “Hawk Talks” during the 2014-15 season. The show will air Thursdays from 6-7 p.m., with a few exceptions.
After Sunday’s road test, Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse for a two-game homestand with contests against TCU on Wednesday, Jan. 14, and Baylor on Saturday, Jan. 17.
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