|Kansas at Texas Tech
||Wednesday, Jan. 21
||United Supermarkets Arena
||Texas Tech leads, 16-7.
||Texas Tech TV
||Jayhawk Radio Network
|Stats at a Glance
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball is on the road again for a Big 12 conference match up at Texas Tech. It is the first of two meetings between the Jayhawks and the Lady Raiders this season. Last season, KU swept the series and heads into Lubbock having won four of the last six outings against TTU. Tipoff at the United Supermarkets Arena is slated for 7 p.m., on Texas Tech TV and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas is still looking for its first victory away from Allen Fieldhouse and in Big 12 Conference action this season. A win in Lubbock would snap a six-game Big 12 losing streak that dates back to final game of the 2014 Big 12 Championship and halt a six-game road skid.
Senior forward Chelsea Gardner is averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game, the fourth-best average in the league, while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. Senior guard Natalie Knight has stayed consistent for the Jayhawks connecting on 41.5 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. She is second the team with 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Like Gardner, Knight has scored double figures in all but three games this year.
Freshmen guards Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle are making an early impact in KU’s lineup and are averaging 7.4 and 7.2 points, respectively. Aldridge has started every game this season at point and is fifth in the conference in assists per game with 4.2 and has played the most minutes (580) among the Jayhawks in 2014-15. Cheadle led the squad with 15 points at Kansas State (1/11) and is connecting on 36 percent of her shots from long range. Sophomore forward Jada Brown is the final member of Kansas’ starting lineup. The Las Vegas, Nevada native is grabbing 3.4 rebounds per contest, which is fourth-best on the team. She is also averaging 2.2 points per game in 18 starts.
The Jayhawks are averaging 64.1 points per game with a +3.8 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.3 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to shooting 36.6 percent. Kansas has connected on 37.5 percent of its attempts from the three-point line, which is the second-best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 36.8 rebounds, 14.6 assists, 5.8 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
• Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in 12 of Kansas’ 18 games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games and in a total of six contests. Senior forward Chelsea Gardner has scored 10 or more points in 15-of-18 games in 2014-15, while senior Natalie Knight has also contributed double figures in 15 of the Jayhawks’ 18 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 36.6 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 779-559 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-254. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 338-225 all-time and 180-163 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). Knight has 916 career points and needs 84 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 attempted more than 10 shots 38 times in her four-year career and with her 10-for-13 performance against TCU (1/14), Gardner averages an astounding 52 percent conversion rate in games she has attempted more than 10 shots.
• Rookie Lauren Aldridge is one of two freshmen in the Big 12 conference starting at the point guard position. The Marshfield, Missouri native is fifth in the league in assists per game with 4.2 and is in the top 10 in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6).
SCOUTING THE LADY RAIDERS
Texas Tech has lost three of its last four games heading into Wednesday night’s match up. The Lady Raiders have a 12-5 overall mark and 2-3 record in Big 12 Conference games. Prior to the start of league play, the Lady Raiders won six-straight contests to conclude non-conference action. TTU extended its winning streak by defeating TCU, 52-37, in its Big 12 opener on Jan. 4. Texas Tech was selected to finish in 10th place in the conference by the league coaches.
Senior guard Amber Battle, who has started all 11of the games in which she’s played in 2014-15, leads the squad with 15.5 points per game behind 35.4 percent shooting from the field. She also averages a team-high 7.0 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Kelsi Baker is the only other Lady Raider averaging double figures with 10.1 points per game. She has grabbed 5.3 boards per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Minta Spears is shooting a team-best 49.4 percent from field goal range and is averaging 8.5 points.
The Lady Raiders average 57.6 points per game, while allowing opponents to score only 56.8 points. TTU is also shooting better than its foes as Texas Tech is connecting on 37.7 percent of its attempts and limiting opponents to 36.2 percent shooting. Halfway through the season, the Lady Raiders are averaging 37.4 rebounds, 10.1 assists, 17.3 turnovers, 8.1 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series between the two programs, 16-7.
The Jayhawks swept the 2013-14 series against Texas Tech and have won four of the last six outings against the Lady Raiders. KU won the first meeting against TTU, 76-53, in 1978.
Last Time Out
Natalie Knight came up big late in the game for the Jayhawks by blocking a three-point attempt by Texas Tech that would have pulled the Lady Raiders within three. However, Knight’s blocked shot stopped the momentum from swinging in Texas Tech’s favor as Kansas fended off a late rally to defeat TTU, 70-62 (2/1/14). Even though Knight’s blocked sealed the Kansas victory, it was forward Chelsea Gardner who carried most of the load, scoring a career-high 34 points. Gardner made her first eight baskets and added 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the 2013-14 season.
THAT 70’S SHOW
Kansas’ success during the Bonnie Henrickson-era has been pretty much based on 70 points. When the Jayhawks score 70 or more points, Kansas owns a 114-19 record (.869) during her tenure. When KU opponents score less than 70 points, the Jayhawks are 144-74 (.665) during that span.
Senior guard Natalie Knight was among the top-10 three-point shooters in the Big 12 during the 2013-14 season. Last year, she shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc, which was the best percentage in the league. In 2014-15, Knight is shooting 41.5 percent from the three-point line, which is once again one of the top percentages in the conference (fourth). She has shot 50 percent or higher from behind the arc in nine of KU’s 18 contests, including a season-high 74 percent (3-of-4) against then-No. 1 Notre Dame (11/30), then-No. 10 Cal (12/7) and Incarnate Word (12/4). In her career, Knight is shooting 39.1 percent, which is currently the second-best three-point average in KU women’s basketball history.
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.
HOW THE JAYHAWKS STACK UP NATIONALLY
Kansas also stacks up well with the rest of the country and is represented in the top half of several categories in 2014-15 as of Jan. 15. The Jayhawks are currently ranked 59th in the country in field-goal defense after limiting opponents to 36.6 shooting. Offensively, KU is 17th in three-point field goal percentage (37.5). Senior forward Chelsea Gardner ranks 30th in the country with a field goal percentage of 54.2, while senior guard Natalie Knight is 32nd in three-point field goal percentage (41.5).
A SPARK OFF THE BENCH
The Jayhawks’ bench is providing a spark offensively in 2014-15 and is averaging 19.6 points per game. Kansas’ bench has scored in double figures in 16 of KU’s 18 games this year, including a season-high 49 against Iona (11/30). KU’s bench has scored 20 or more points on seven occasions. Senior Asia Boyd is one of the first players head coach Bonnie Henrickson calls upon off the bench and she is the Jayhawks’ third-leading scorer with 9.0 points per game.
The Jayhawks return to Lawrence for their first match up against West Virginia this season on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. It’s Superhero Day inside Allen Fieldhouse and all children that dress like a superhero receives free admission to the game against the Mountaineers. The contest will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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