Kansas Concludes 2016 Series with Mountaineers
Sophomore Chayla Cheadle
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball hits the road to close out the 2016 series with West Virgina on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. (CT), inside WVU Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on Root Sports and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
FOLLOWING THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas’ match-up with West Virginia will be broadcast on Root Sports and the Jayhawk Radio Network, along with audio streaming via KUAthletics.com. Fans can follow live stats through wvusports.com. For the most up-to-date information, follow Kansas women’s basketball on Twitter (@KUwbball).
- Kansas won the first two meetings against West Virginia in Morgantown, but the Mountaineers evened the record, 2-2, in WVU Coliseum after defeating KU in the last two meetings on their home court.
- KU trails West Virginia, 5-4, in the overall series that began in 1992.
- The Jayhawks own a 119-198 all-time record against Big 12 Conference foes.
- Kansas has a record of 364-405 away from Allen Fieldhouse.
- KU connected on a season-high 45.5 percent (5-of-11) of its shots from the three-point arc at Iowa State (1/9). The Jayhawks have shot 40 percent or better from beyond the arc five times in 2015-16.
- The Jayhawks have recorded 30 or more points in the paint on seven different occasions, including a season-high 48 against Oral Roberts (12/22).
- KU’s bench outscored then-No. 18 Oklahoma’s bench, 23-15, on Dec. 30. The Jayhawks’ bench has combined for 20 or more points in a game five times in 2015-16.
- 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 just outside Kansas’ Top-10 all-time three-point field goal percentage. Monica Engelman owns the 10th spot, as she finished her career making 35.9 percent of her shots from the perimeter.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen has swatted away a team-high 28 blocks this season, averaging 1.7 per game, and 70 blocks in her career. She is on pace to rank among the top-5 in blocks for juniors and KU’s top-10 season records. She needs 25 more to crack Kansas’ top-10 season list and 14 to etch her name into the junior record.
- Freshman guard Jayde Christopher has dished out three or more assists on six occasions, including a career-high mark of six against Northern Illinois (11/27). She leads the team with 34 assists.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks (5-11, 0-5 Big 12) face West Virginia on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m., in a rematch of a 65-45 loss on Jan. 3 in Kansas’ Big 12 home opener. Outscoring the Mountaineers 18-13 in the final quarter was not enough to mount a comeback after the visitors raced out to a 19-point advantage by halftime. The Jayhawks look to end a seven-game losing streak and earn their first conference victory this season.
As the Jayhawks’ leading scorer for the ninth game this season, sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge posted 12 points in Kansas’ last outing, a 75-38 loss to No. 4 Texas on Jan. 13. The Marshfield, Missouri native has recorded double-digit scoring in 12 games this season, the most of any Jayhawk. Aldridge’s 11.4 points per game rank fourth in the Big 12 among underclassmen.
Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen struggled against the length of the Longhorns, shooting 2-of-11 from the field for five points. Always a defensive threat in the paint, however, Manning-Allen swatted away two shots, bringing her season total to 28. Her block average of 1.75 per game is on pace to be a top-10 season record for Kansas and ranks sixth in the conference.
Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich posted double-figure scoring in Kansas’ loss to Texas, despite battling an illness all game. Her 10-point performance marked the 11th time this season in double-figures, and her 2-of-2 free throw shooting moved her up to eighth in the Big 12, connecting on 78.3 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe.
Kansas is 1-6 in its last seven meetings with the Mountaineers, but is 2-2 all-time against West Virginia in Morgantown. A win for the Jayhawks would mark the first Big 12 road victory since last season’s 65-58 win over Oklahoma on Feb. 28.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia is 14-4 on the season and 3-2 in the Big 12 after losing to No. 6/7 Baylor, 69-64, in Waco on Tuesday evening. The Mountaineers carried a one-point lead into the intermission, but could not fend off last season’s conference champions. West Virginia now faces its third conference foe at home this season, and holds a 1-1 record in Big 12 home games.
The Mountaineers finished seventh in the Big 12 in 2014-15 with a 7-11 record, and are picked to finish sixth in the conference this year by the coaches’ preseason poll. Last season, the Mountaineers reached the championship game of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), where they fell to UCLA, 62-60. West Virginia is led by senior co-captain Bria Holmes, who was an unanimous all-Big 12 First Team selection in each of the past two seasons. Holmes’ co-captain is junior Lanay Montgomery, the Big 12’s leader in blocks last season with 124, a mark that ranked 10th in the NCAA. Three more returners and 11 newcomers make up the rest of the Mountaineer roster.
Holmes is once again leading the way for the Mountaineers, averaging 17.1 points per game, a mark that ranks second in the Big 12. The New Haven, Connecticut native is also shooting 53.9 percent from the field, an average that is 15th in the conference and second on the West Virginia squad.
Montgomery, a 6-5 center, is nearly averaging a double-double with 8.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. A product of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, she ranks sixth in the Big 12 in rebounds, and is repeating her performance from last season, ranking second in the conference in blocked shots with 50. Montgomery has also climbed the list among the conference’s best shooters, now ranking third by sinking 60.0 percent of her shots.
Through 18 games, West Virginia is averaging 72.5 points per game and shooting 44.3 percent from the field. The Mountaineers are the Big 12’s leader in blocked shots with 5.83 per game. West Virginia ranks just above Kansas in free throw percentage at .663, to Kansas’ .655.
THIS DAY IN KU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Jan. 16: 5-7
Kansas women’s basketball will play on the 16th day of January for the 13th time in program history. The first meeting on Jan. 16 was in 1976 against Oklahoma State, while the last was at Nebraska in 2011. In 1994, five Jayhawks contributed double-digit scoring performances as Kansas defeated Iowa State, 84-71, in Ames. KU recorded 13 steals to Iowa State’s three. Charisse Sampson led Kansas with 21 points.
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
The Jayhawks are the only team in the Big 12 without a senior on their roster. In fact, Kansas will not face another team during the regular season that does not have at least one senior on its squad. The last time a Kansas roster did not include a senior was the 2002-03 season. The Jayhawks, along with West Virginia, boast the most underclassmen on their respective rosters with 10 each.
The Jayhawks will face 12 teams this season with postseason experience from the year prior. Familiar Big 12 foes Baylor, Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all advanced to the 2015 NCAA Tournament. TCU, Kansas State, West Virginia, Texas Southern, St. John’s and Washington State all were invited to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament at the end of last season. Oral Roberts was selected to play in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, advancing to the semifinal before losing a one-point game to eventual tournament champion, University of Louisiana Lafayette. Kansas currently holds a 1-7 record this season against teams that played in the postseason a year ago.
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse for the first installment of the Sunflower Showdown on the hardwood. The Jayhawks host Kansas State on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Tipoff with the Wildcats is slated for 7 p.m., on FS1 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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