Kansas Travels to Texas to conclude 2016 series
Redshirt junior Timeka O’Neal
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball returns to the Lonestar State for the second time this season, first since the start of Big 12 Conference action, when facing Texas on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., inside the Frank Erwin Center. The match-up concludes the 2016 series against the Longhorns, which will air on the Longhorn Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Following the Jayhawks
Kansas’ match-up with Texas will be broadcast on Longhorn Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network, along with audio streaming via KUAthletics.com. Fans can follow live stats through texassports.com. For the most up-to-date information, follow Kansas women’s basketball on Twitter (@KUwbball).
- Kansas trails Texas in the all-time series, 20-10. KU is 4-10 when facing the Longhorns inside the Frank Erwin Center. The Jayhawks’ last win in Austin was during the 2012 season.
- The Jayhawks are looking to end a six-game losing streak to the Longhorns, which began in the second meeting of 2013.
- The Jayhawks own a 119-201 all-time record against Big 12 Conference foes.
- Kansas has a record of 364-406 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.
- 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 35.4 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.
- Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 32.7 minutes per game during her rookie season. Her minutes per game rank sixth in the Big 12 and are the highest among freshmen in the league.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen has swatted away a team-high 30 blocks this season, averaging 1.6 per game, for 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 seven occasions, including a career-high mark of six against Northern Illinois (11/27). She leads the team with 39 assists.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks (5-14, 0-8 Big 12) hit the road to face No. 6 Texas on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. In their last outing, Kansas fell to Oklahoma State, 74-46. Facing off against the Big 12’s leading scorer and rebounder in senior guard Brittney Martin, the Jayhawks struggled to find an answer. Martin tallied 24 points and 17 rebounds as the Cowgirls jumped out to a 13-0 advantage and never looked back. The Jayhawks look to end a 10-game losing streak and earn their first Big 12 victory by the midway point of conference play.
As the Jayhawks’ leading scorer for the fifth game this season, freshman guard Kylee Kopatich posted 14 points in the loss to Oklahoma State. The Olathe, Kansas, native has recorded double-digit scoring in 12 games this season, tied with sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge for the most of any Jayhawk. Kopatich shot 4-of-4 at the charity stripe against the Cowgirls, improving her free throw average to .804 and moving up to fifth in the Big 12 rankings.
Freshman forward Tyler Johnson made the most of her third career start, reaching a new career high in scoring with nine points. Johnson, a product of Leavenworth, Kansas, shot an efficient 4-of-6 from the field, and head coach Brandon Schneider has made it clear that getting the young post player more involved in the offense is a key focus. Johnson is averaging 23 minutes per game over the last four contests, after logging just 13.5 minutes on average through the first 15 games of the season.
Kansas managed just 12 made field goals in the 75-38 loss to Texas at home on Jan. 13, with eight of those coming from beyond the arc. Shooting from distance will be crucial once again as the Longhorns allow just 18.2 points in the paint per game. The Jayhawks look to earn their first road victory over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 23/25 Texas in Austin on Jan. 4, 2012 by a score of 72-67. The Longhorns have other plans, seeking to win the program’s 1,000th all-time victory, a feat only four other programs have achieved.
Scouting the Longhorns
The Longhorns are picked to finish second in the Big 12 by the coaches’ preseason poll, after a sixth-place finish and trip to the NCAA Tournament last season. Texas made it all the way to the Sweet 16 a season ago, before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut. The Longhorns have already bested four ranked opponents and claim a scoring margin of +19.7.
One game removed from trying to match up with the Big 12’s leading rebounder in Oklahoma State’s Brittney Martin, the Jayhawks now face senior center Imani Boyette, who ranks just behind Martin with 10.1 rebounds per game. Boyette picked up her 11th double-double of the season on Saturday with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and now averages double-figures in both points (13.6) and rebounds. The Los Angeles, California native is also shooting 56.4 percent from the floor, the sixth-best mark in the conference. Boyette is a force in the paint defensively, as well; Texas owns the second-best block average in the conference at 5.95 per game, due largely in part to Boyette’s Big 12-leading 3.42 swats per contest.
Sophomore guard Brooke McCarty is behind Boyette with 11.1 points per contest, and is the Longhorns’ greatest threat from beyond the arc. McCarty is responsible for more than one third of Texas’ three-point offense, averaging 1.8 made three-pointers per game, which ranks ninth in the Big 12.
Texas holds the second-best offense in the Big 12, averaging 74.5 points per game, despite no players cracking the top-10 in individual scoring. The well-balanced Longhorn attack has been hard to slow down this season, with six different Texas players averaging seven points or better. No player on the Texas roster ranks in the top-10 in terms of minutes played either, while KU’s Aldridge and Kopatich rank second and sixth respectively, accounting for 34 percent of Kansas’ minutes. Texas’ defense is just as solid, giving up only 52.6 points per game, with the help of Boyette, currently the Big 12’s leading blocker averaging 3.42 swats per game.
Texas leads the overall series, 20-10.
The series between the Jayhawks and the Longhorns began in 1982. Texas won the first three meetings before Kansas earned its first victory over the Longhorns in 1996. KU looks to snap a six-game losing streak to Texas, as the last KU win over the Longhorns was in 2013.
Last Time Out
The Longhorns held Kansas to its lowest-scoring game of the season and fewest made field goals (12). Multiple Jayhawks found their way into foul trouble over the course of the game, leading to Texas taking the most free throws by a Kansas opponent this season (27) and sinking 23 of the attempts, another season high for an opponent. Kansas could not keep up with nationally-ranked Texas, who overpowered the Jayhawks, 75-38, in the first meeting of 2016.
This Day in KU Women’s Basketball History
Record on Jan. 27: 9-2
Kansas women’s basketball will play on the 27th day of January for the 12th time in program history. The first meeting came on Jan. 27 of 1972 in a 33-32 win over Kansas State. On Jan. 27, 1999, Lynn Pride’s 19 points led Kansas to a 56-54 victory over the Longhorns in Austin, for the second win of what shaped into a six-game winning streak. The 1998-99 Jayhawks would go on to finish third in the Big 12 with an 11-5 record.
One – Two – Three!
On the season, Kansas is connecting on 30.0 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. Both redshirt junior guard Timeka O’Neal and sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge are shooting above average, making 39.7 and 36.1 percent of their long-range shots, respectively. Both Jayhawks rank among the top 11 in the Big 12 and Aldridge’s career mark of 35.4 is closing in on KU’s all-time career three-point field goal percentage list.
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 return to the Lonestar State to face Texas Tech on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. It marks the first meeting between KU and the Lady Raiders, which will air on FOX Sports Southwest and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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