Jayhawks Host Wildcats for Sunflower Showdown
Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Sunflower Showdown hits the hardwood as Kansas women’s basketball host in-state rival Kansas State for the first installment of the rivalry series on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcast on FSN and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
AROUND THE GYM
Fans will receive KU foam sticks upon entrance to Allen Fieldhouse for the Sunflower Showdown, while supplies last. The first 200 Kansas students get a free corn dog and chips at the game.
- KU trails in-state rival Kansas State, 66-46, in the overall series that began in 1969.
- Kansas is 25-27 against K-State when playing inside Allen Fieldhouse.
- The Jayhawks dominated the series during the 90’s and posted a 17-7 record from 1990-99.
- The Jayhawks own a 119-199 all-time record against Big 12 Conference foes.
- Kansas has a record of 410-172 (.705) in Allen Fieldhouse. Over the last five seasons, Kansas has posted a 65-36 mark on its home court. This season, Kansas owns a 4-7 mark at home.
- 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 35.6 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 30 blocks this season, averaging 1.8 per game, and 72 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 23 more to crack Kansas’ top-10 season list and 12 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 (5-12, 0-6 Big 12) face their in-state rival Kansas State after falling on the road to West Virginia, 72-35. Kansas concluded the season series against the Mountaineers 0-2 after a season-high 25 turnovers slowed down the Kansas offensive attack. The Jayhawks shot just 23 percent from the field on their way to a season-low 35 points.
As the Jayhawks’ leading scorer for the ninth game this season, sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge posted 10 points, including two of the team’s three long-range baskets. 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 ranks fourth in the Big 12 among underclassmen.
Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen was the only starter to shoot 50 percent or better on the night, putting in 3-of-6 field goal attempts for six points. Always a defensive threat in the paint, Manning-Allen swatted away two shots, contributing to Kansas’ season-high seven blocks and bringing her season total to 30. Her block average of 1.8 per game is on pace to be a top-10 season record for Kansas and ranks sixth in the conference. Manning-Allen continues to be Kansas’ best rebounder, leading the way against the Mountaineers with eight boards. Her average of 6.3 rebounds per game ranks 12th in the Big 12.
Kansas has dropped four of the last five games against the Wildcats, most recently in a 57-49 loss in the first round of the 2015 Big 12 Championship last season. A win for the Jayhawks would end an eight-game losing streak, the longest since dropping the final 10 games of the 2003-04 season.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Kansas State is 12-5 on the season, and 2-4 in the Big 12 after earning its second-consecutive conference victory of the season against TCU on Jan. 16 by a score of 58-49. The Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to just 14 first-half points to get out to a 13-point lead at the intermission and fend off a second-half comeback. Kansas State arrives in Lawrence with a 66-46 all-time record against the Jayhawks, and a 28-26 record in Allen Fieldhouse.
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 2.56 per game and in scoring with 17.1 points per game. Lewis put in 25 points in Kansas State’s victory over Oklahoma State, marking her sixth 20-point scoring effort this season.
Junior guard Kindred Wesemann contributes on both sides of the ball, cracking the conference’s top-10 in three different categories. The Pleasant Hill, Missouri native is ninth in assists with 3.65, fourth in steals with 2.06 per game, and first in free throw percentage (.889). Wesemann is on pace to be one of the Wildcats’ best all-time free throw shooters, currently holding the sixth-best record.
Kansas will look to limit the three-point shooting of the Wildcats, who have drained more long-range buckets (128) than any other team in the Big 12. On defense, Kansas State ranks second in the conference in blocks with 5.76 per game and first in steals with 10.29 per game. As the only Big 12 team to average double-digit steals, the Wildcats also hold a conference-best plus-2.82 turnover margin.
Kansas State leads Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown, 66-46.
The Jayhawks and Wildcats meet for 113th time since the beginning of the series in 1969. Kansas State won the first six match-ups before KU recorded its first victory over its in-state rival in 1971. The Jayhawks dominated the series during the 90’s and posted a 17-7 record from 1990-99. Kansas is 25-27 against K-State when playing inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Last Time Out
An incredible 26-8 run in the second half gave Kansas the lead with just over seven minutes to play. A subsequent 13-3 Wildcat run weakened the Jayhawks’ momentum and ultimately opened the door for Kansas State to steal a 57-49 victory over KU during the first round of the 2015 Big 12 Championship. Leading the way for Kansas, behind her 28th-career double-double, senior forward Chelsea Gardner posted 14 points and 12 rebounds. Three Wildcats were in double digits with sophomore forward Breanna Lewis at the helm, posting 18 points and 10 rebounds.
THIS DAY IN KU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Jan. 20: 6-6
Kansas women’s basketball will play on the 20th day of January for the 13th time in program history. The first meeting on Jan. 20 was in 1977 against Oklahoma, while the last was at Iowa State in 2010. In 1990, Kansas outscored Missouri, 39-19, in the first half of a 82-59 victory over the Tigers. Kansas’ efforts were led by Misti Chennault, who contributed 19 points followed by Lisa Braddy with 15 points.
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.
Kansas continues its homestand with Oklahoma State on Sunday, Jan. 24, for an action-packed day of fun in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks’ annual Superhero Day will take place when hosting the Cowgirls on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.