Kansas Faces Oklahoma in Annual 'Jayhawks For a Cure' Game
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas will square off in its sixth contest this season against a ranked opponent when it hosts No. 20/21 Oklahoma in the annual ‘Jayhawks for a Cure’ game on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Around the ArenaEach season Kansas honors and remembers all individuals whose lives have been affected by breast cancer and all cancer through its ‘Jayhawks For a Cure’ game. All 15 Jayhawk warm-up tops, one for each student-athlete, will represent a person in the fight with cancer or honor a life that lost their battle with cancer.
Prior to tipoff, a survivor luncheon will be held in the atrium. All survivors are invited and encouraged to attend along with the pregame on-court recognition and high-five tunnel prior to tipoff.
- Oklahoma leads Kansas 35-30 in the overall series. KU can even its record against the Sooners inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, which currently sits at 19-20.
- Kansas has a record of 410-175 (.705) in Allen Fieldhouse. Over the last five seasons, Kansas has posted a 65-39 mark on its home court. This season, Kansas owns a 4-11 mark at home.
- Freshman Kylee Kopatich logged her 15th double-figure scoring performance of the season against TCU. Kopatich is now tied with sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge for the most double-digit games this season.
- 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, Aldridge has hit 35.6 percent of her attempts from behind the arc, which is closing in on Kansas’ all-time three-point field percentage top-10.
- Kopatich is averaging 32.6 minutes per game during her rookie season. Her minutes per game rank seventh in the Big 12 and second among freshmen in the league.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen has swatted away a team-high 34 blocks this season, averaging 1.4 per game, for 76 blocks in her career. She needs 19 more to crack Kansas’ top-10 season list and nine to etch her name into the junior record.
- Freshman guard Jayde Christopher has dished out three or more assists on nine occasions, including a career-high mark of six against Northern Illinois (11/27). She is second on the team in assists with 52 on the year. Aldridge leads the squad with 53 and tallied six against Texas Tech (1/30), for her second five-assist effort this season.
About the JayhawksKansas (5-20, 0-14 Big 12) enters Saturday’s matchup with No. 20/21 Oklahoma still in search of its first Big 12 win of the season. The Jayhawks are 19-20 all-time when facing the Sooners in Allen Fieldhouse. A victory on Saturday would not only draw the series even, but also bury a 16-game losing streak and give Kansas its first win over a ranked opponent this season.
In Kansas’ loss at Kansas State on Feb. 13, the Jayhawks netted a season-high 13 baskets from beyond the arc, improving upon the team’s previous mark of 10, set in its preceding game against Baylor. The three-point shooting cooled off in Wednesday’s contest against the Horned Frogs. The Jayhawks shot 3-of-16 from long distance. Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge hit the mark on her only three-point attempt, but freshman Kylee Kopatich and redshirt junior guard Timeka O’Neal, the team’s best three-point shooter, shot a combined 2-of-10.
Kansas also set season-high marks against the Wildcats in assists (19), steals (16) and bench points (36). Against TCU on Wednesday, the Jayhawks collected 10 assists, their third-consecutive game with double-figure assists, and 10 steals, marking back-to-back contests reaching double-digit takeaways.
Seven different Jayhawks tallied at least one assist against the Horned Frogs. Aldridge and freshmen guards Aisia Robertson and Jayde Christopher each dished out two assists. Christopher has notched four or more dimes in six games this season, more than any other Jayhawk.
Robertson achieved a new career high in scoring against the Horned Frogs, finishing the night with 11 points. In her fifth-consecutive start, Robertson struggled from the field (5-of-17), but played 22 minutes and grabbed two boards and three steals.
A Kansas win would be its first since the 19-point comeback, overtime victory over Navy on Dec. 13. Kansas’ magic number for Saturday might be 65; when allowing more than 65 points from opponents this season, the Jayhawks are 0-11. Kansas is 4-2 on the year when scoring 65 points or more.
Scouting the SoonersNo. 20/21 Oklahoma will look to end its week with a winning record after going 1-1 in its previous two games. Last Sunday, the Sooners stunned No. 6/5 Texas with an 18-point victory, 74-56, in Norman. The Sooners then traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia, where the Mountaineers got the best of them, 63-55. Oklahoma finished the night 0-of-17 from three-point range, its first game this season without recording at least one triple. The Sooners were outrebounded, 44-39, and committed 19 turnovers. Junior guard Gioya Carter logged her seventh-consecutive double-digit game, netting 10 points, but Oklahoma’s leading scorer, redshirt senior forward Kaylon Williams, finished with a quiet five points.
The Sooners were selected to finish third in Big 12 Conference play with a total of 69 points, including one first-place vote. Oklahoma (17-8, 8-6 Big 12) currently sits fifth in the conference, but a win on Saturday could move the Sooners into a tie for third if Oklahoma State and West Virginia both fall this weekend. Head coach Sherri Coale’s squad is 7-0 on the year in games following a loss, and will try to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since suffering losses to Texas and West Virginia, on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1, of last season.
Williams leads the offensive charge for OU this season with 12.8 points per game, the 11th-best scoring average in the Big 12, and is shooting 54.2 percent shooting from the field, which ranks sixth in the conference. Williams has grabbed a team-high 7.4 boards per game, and is currently the fourth-best offensive rebounder in the Big 12, averaging 3.0 per game. Williams and sophomore guard Gabbi Ortiz are the only Sooners to start every game this season.
Redshirt junior guard Peyton Little is the only other Sooner averaging double-figure scoring for OU. Little is logging 11.3 points per game behind 38.2 percent shooting from the field, and is connecting on 30.0 percent of attempts from beyond the arc. Always active on the defensive end, Little’s average of 1.52 steals per game ranks 10th in the Big 12.
Oklahoma’s primary threat from three-point range is junior guard Derica Wyatt. With 41 made triples on the year, Wyatt has made the eighth-most long-range baskets in the conference and owns the 11th-best shooting average (.353), ranking just behind Kansas’ Aldridge.
The long ball might be the Jayhawks’ best asset against the Sooners on Saturday. Kansas shoots 30.8 percent from beyond the arc, good for sixth in the conference, while Oklahoma ranks eighth in three-point defense (.305). Kansas will benefit from trying to keep the Sooners away from the free throw line. Oklahoma ranks third in the conference from the charity stripe with a .698 average. Redshirt junior guard Maddie Manning holds the ninth-best mark in the conference at 76.9 percent, while Little (.716) and Williams (.703) rank 14th and 15th, respectively.
This Day in KU Women’s Basketball HistoryRecord on Feb. 20: 9-4Kansas women’s basketball will play on the 20th day of February for the 14th time in program history. The Jayhawks’ first-ever contest on Feb. 20 was also the first game in Kansas women’s basketball history, back in 1969. Head coach Marlene Mawson led Kansas to a 55-43 win over Central Missouri. The last meeting on Feb. 20 came in 2013 against the Texas Longhorns. Kansas seniors Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich each posted 20-plus scoring efforts and combined to score 54. Goodrich finished with a career-best 31 points. Neither was good enough to counter Texas’ hot-shooting in a 93-83 loss.
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.
One – Two – Three!On the season, Kansas is connecting on 30.8 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 38.6 and 36.4 percent of their long-range shots, respectively. Both Jayhawks rank among the top 10 in the Big 12 and Aldridge’s career mark of 35.6 nears the all-time KU three-point field goal percentage, where the No. 10 spot is 35.9 percent held by Monica Engelman.
Up NextThe Jayhawks head to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to conclude the season series with Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. The matchup will be broadcast on Fox Plus, and over the airwaves on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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