Kansas Set for Showdown Against No. 23 Texas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball welcomes nationally-ranked Texas to Allen FIeldhouse for the teams’ final meeting during the regular season. The rematch against the Longhorns is slated for 7 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 14. A victory for KU would split the 2014-15 series and snap a four-game losing streak against UT. The game will air on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas looks to even this year’s series with a win against the Longhorns, as the Jayhawks lost the conference opener to Texas, 60-46, at the beginning of January. The Jayhawks are looking to improve their 13-12 overall mark and 4-8 conference record with a win Saturday. KU also is looking to bounce back after a close loss, 59-56, in Morgantown against West Virginia Tuesday. After being limited to just 15 points in the first half, the lowest point total in a half since only scoring 13 against Kansas State (1/9/10), Kansas shot 62 percent in the second half and with 41 points posted its best single-half performance of conference play during the 2014-15 season. With 18 points and 12 rebounds, senior forward Chelsea Gardner posted her seventh double-double this season and 25th in her career. The DeSoto, Texas native has now scored in double figures in 21 games this season, the most of any Jayhawk. Senior guard Asia Boyd tallied her 13th game with 10 or more points, ending the night with 18 points, one point shy of her season-high.
Gardner is averaging a team-high 16.3 points per game, the fourth-best average in the league, while shooting 55.3 percent from the field. Senior guard Natalie Knight is second the team with 12.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. Knight has scored in double figures in all but six games this year. Fellow classmate Asia Boyd follows Knight and Gardner on the roster with 10.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Freshmen guards Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle are making an impact in KU’s lineup averaging 7.8 and 6.2 points, respectively. Aldridge has started every game this season at point and is fifth in the conference in assists per game with 4.5. She has played the most minutes (848) among the Jayhawks in 2014-15. Cheadle led the squad with 15 points at Kansas State (1/11) and is connecting on 33.9 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 2.8 rebounds per contest, which is fifth-best on the team. She is also averaging 1.8 points per game in 25 starts.
The Jayhawks are averaging 63.6 points per game with a +2.6 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.8 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to shooting 38.3 percent. Kansas has connected on 36.1 percent of its attempts from the three-point line, which is the best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 35.8 rebounds, 14.5 assists, 6.0 steals and 4.0 blocks per game.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
• Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in 18 of Kansas’ 25 games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games and in a total of eight contests. Senior forward Chelsea Gardner has scored 10 or more points in 21-of-25 games in 2014-15, while senior guard Natalie Knight has contributed double figures in all but six games this season. For the first time this season, Kansas had five players in double figures against Texas Tech (2/4).
• Kansas is 4-3 in its last six Big 12 games. KU’s winning ways began after senior guard Asia Boyd knocked in a layup in the final seconds at Texas Tech (1/21) to seal the victory. Over the span of the last seven games, Boyd is averaging 13.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
• The outcomes of Kansas’ last seven contests have been all decided by single-digit margins. Of KU’s four wins, the largest winning margin was six, while the lowest was two points. In the losses, the Jayhawks were defeated by eight points twice and most recently by three points at West Virginia (2/10).
• Gardner is the latest Jayhawk to record a double-double after an 18-point, 12-rebound performance at West Virginia (2/10). She is one of three Jayhawks to post a double-double during the 2014-15 season and has recorded seven during her senior campaign. Knight recorded her first career double-double against Arkansas State (12/14), while Boyd posted a double-double effort against Oklahoma State (2/7).
• Kansas’ all-time record is 783-562 while the program has an all-time conference record of 241-257. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 342-228 all-time and 184-166 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 990 career points and needs just 10 more to join Gardner in the 1,000-point club. It would mark the first time since 2012-13 that multiple Jayhawks have reached the 1,000-point milestone in the same season.
• 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 4.5 and is in the top 10 in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (seventh, 1.6).
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
Texas heads into Saturday’s contest with a 15-8 overall record and a 4-8 mark in the Big 12 Conference. After winning its first eight games in conference play, Texas is looking to snap a four-game losing streak and improve its winning streak over KU to five games in a row. Both programs are sitting at 4-8 in league action and the victor would surpass the other in the Big 12 standings.
As a squad, Texas averages 68.2 points per game with a +9.8 scoring margin over its opponents, which is third in the Big 12, and is shooting 42.2 percent from the field. The Longhorns hit 27.4 of shots taken from long range and dish out 15.4 assists per game. Defensively, Texas pulls down 43.2 rebounds, grabs 7.6 steals and swats 4.3 blocks per game.
Texas’ leading scorer, and rebounder, senior forward Nneka Enemkapli, who chalks up 12.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Sophomore center Kelsey Lang is the other Longhorn averaging double digits with 11.3 points per game, while grabbing 6.6 rebounds per contest. Freshman guard Ariel Atkins is close to averaging double digits with 9.9 points per game.
Texas owns an 18-10 advantage over the Jayhawks in the all-time series. Kansas has a 6-6 mark against the Longhorns in Allen Fieldhouse.
A Kansas victory would snap the Longhorns’ four-game winning streak over the Jayhawks that dates back to the second meeting during the 2012-13 season. The all-time series began in 1982 with a 66-47 win for Texas. The last time KU defeated UT in Lawrence was on Jan. 23, 2013.
Last Time Out
Kansas headed into the locker room trailing nationally-ranked Texas by only four points, but the No. 3 Longhorns came out of the halftime break with a 13-2 run and a second-half offensive surge to power past the Jayhawks, 60-46. Leading the way for KU was senior forward Chelsea Gardner, who had 11 points and eight rebounds. Texas had three in the double-digit club, including senior forward Nneka Enemkpali, who registered her 28th-career double-double and sixth straight with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
A SPARK OFF THE BENCH
The Jayhawks’ bench is providing a spark offensively in 2014-15 and is averaging 20.1 points per game. Kansas’ bench has scored in double figures in 23 of 25 games this year, including a season-high 49 against Iona (11/30). KU’s bench has scored 20 or more points on 12 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 10.2 points per game.
JAYHAWKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Kansas is among one of the most televised women’s basketball programs in the country. The Jayhawks have three games featured on FOX Sports Network, while every home game is aired on the new Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3. KU is scheduled to play 25 contests in 2014-15 in front of a nationally-televised audience.
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 11-5 at home this season, while the Jayhawks compiled a 9-8 mark in Allen Fieldhouse in 2013-14. KU has a record of 131-63 (.686) in Allen Fieldhouse under head coach Bonnie Henrickson and an all-time home record of 405-164 (.715).
The Jayhawks head south for their second meeting with TCU on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m., in Dallas. Kansas looks to even the series after dropping the first contest in Allen Fieldhouse, 80-63, on Jan. 14.
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