|Kansas vs.West Virginia
||Saturday, Jan. 24
||Jayhawk Radio Network
|Stats at a Glance
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Super Jayhawks fly back into Allen Fieldhouse for an action-packed Superhero Day on Saturday, Jan. 24 against West Virginia. The contest is slated for a 1 p.m., tipoff on FOX Sports Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network. Saturday afternoon Allen Fieldhouse will be transformed into headquarters for Superheroes of all ages. Children who dress up as their favorite superhero will receive free admission to the game and will be able to participate in a superhero parade.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas snapped its Big 12 Conference losing skid after overcoming a 17-point deficit to edge Texas Tech, 68-66, on Wednesday evening. The Jayhawks look to keep the momentum rolling with another victory on Saturday afternoon. KU has a 9-4 mark in the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse this season and a win this weekend would mark the 10th victory at home in 2014-15.
Senior forward Chelsea Gardner is averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game, the fourth-best average in the league, while shooting 55.1 percent from the field. Senior guard Natalie Knight has stayed consistent for the Jayhawks connecting on 40.6 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. She is second the team with 12.6 and 5.6 rebounds per game. Both Gardner and Knight have scored in 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 7.5 and 6.8 points, respectively. Aldridge has started every game this season at point and is fifth in the conference in assists per game with 4.3 and has played the most minutes (620) 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 3.2 rebounds per contest, which is fourth-best on the team. She is also averaging 2.1 points per game in 19 starts.
The Jayhawks are averaging 64.3 points per game with a +3.7 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.9 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to shooting 37 percent. Kansas has connected on 37.1 percent of its attempts from the three-point line, which is the second-best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 36.5 rebounds, 14.4 assists, 5.9 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
• Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in 13 of Kansas’ 19 games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games and in a total of seven contests. Senior forward Chelsea Gardner has scored 10 or more points in 16-of-19 games in 2014-15, while senior Natalie Knight has also contributed double figures in 16 of the Jayhawks’ 19 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 37.0 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 780-559 while the program has an all-time conference record of 238-254. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 339-225 all-time and 181-163 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 930 career points and needs 70 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 39 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 4.3 and is in the top 10 in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (seventh, 1.5).
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia heads into the contest with a 12-6 mark and a 2-4 record in Big 12 Conference play. The Mountaineers are looking to extend their two-game win streak, after back-to-back victories against Oklahoma State (1/17) and Kansas State (1/21). Before conference action, WVU had a 10-2 record that included a seven-game win streak. West Virginia was selected to finish third in the Big 12 by league coaches.
Junior guard Bria Holmes leads the way with 20.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Senior forward Averee Fields follows with 15.0 points and pulls down an average of 6.7 rebounds per game. Junior guard Jessica Morton is the third and final Mountaineer averaging double figures with 10.3 points per game. The Augusta, Georgia native led the Mountaineers in scoring against K-State with 22 points. Redshirt sophomore center Lanay Montgomery chalks up the most boards with 8.2 rebounds per game.
Collectively, West Virginia averages 70.1 points per game behind a +11.8 scoring margin over its opponents and is shooting 42 percent from the field. The Mountaineers average 45.4 rebounds, 14.2 assists and 7.2 blocks per game.
Heading into Saturday’s match up, the all-time series between the Jayhawks and Mountaineers is tied, 3-3. Kansas leads the series in Lawrence, 2-1.
When the two teams will meet for the seventh time, KU looks to snap its three-contest losing streak against WVU.
Last Time Out
Kansas dropped its final regular-season game of the 2013-14 season in Morgantown to the Mountaineers, 67-60. CeCe Harper led all scorers and tied her season-high with 19 points. Harper also dished out seven assists and tied her career-high with three blocked shots. On the defensive end, Kansas held West Virginia scoreless for nearly seven minutes in the first half from the 10:08 mark until the 3:17 mark.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Kansas is set to play 19 games in the comfort of Allen Fieldhouse in 2014-15, 12 of which come during the non-conference slate. KU is off to a 9-4 start at home this season, while the Jayhawks compiled a 9-8 mark in Allen Fieldhouse in 2013-14. KU has a record of 130-62 (.686) in Allen Fieldhouse under head coach Bonnie Henrickson and an all-time home record of 404-163 (.715).
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 made her 100th career start in the Crimson and Blue on Jan. 14 against TCU. She has started every game played since she arrived in Lawrence except the final 15 games of the 2012-13 season when she suffered a knee injury. The Olathe, Kansas native has played 3,317 minutes in her career and averages 32.4 minutes per game in 2014-15. During her senior season, Knight is averaging 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. She has shot 50 percent or better from the three-point line in nine of KU’s 19 contests. She recorded her first double-double with 13 points and a career-best 15 rebounds against Arkansas State (12/14).
Senior forward Chelsea Gardner opened the 2014-15 season with her 50th double-digit scoring effort and her 21st double-figure rebounding performance with 24 points and 11 rebounds on Nov. 16 against South Dakota. She converted six of her nine shots in the 2014-15 season opener for a 64.3 shooting percentage from the field. Gardner has 22 double-doubles in her career and four on the year, which is fourth in the league. In her senior campaign, Gardner is averaging 15.9 points, the fourth-best scoring average in the Big 12, and 7.2 rebounds per game, which is the sixth-best mark in the league. She is also shooting 55.1 percent from the field, which is good for fifth among the Big 12 players.
THE YOUNG AND RESTLESS
Kansas added four freshmen to the 2014-15 roster during the offseason and several are making an impact for the Jayhawks. Lauren Aldridge has started all 19 games at point guard and is fourth on the team in scoring with 7.5 points per game. She played two games in a row without a turnover while dishing out 13 assists. Aldridge has scored in double figures seven times, including a season-high 14 against No. 3 Baylor (1/17). Chayla Cheadle is fifth on the team with 6.8 points per game and scored a career-high 19 points against Arkansas State (12/14), 16 of those coming in the final 20 minutes of play. Terriell Bradley came off the bench against Creighton (12/22) to net a career-high 21 points. She also recorded the second-best single-game three-point percentage after a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc against Iona (11/26).
Kansas heads back out on the road for its first match up of the season with Iowa State. The Jayhawks travel to Ames on Wednesday, Jan. 28 and tipoff against the Cyclones at 7 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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