Jayhawks Conclude Road Swing at Oklahoma State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After playing two of its last three games away from Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas women’s basketball is set to conclude its current stretch on the road at Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Jayhawks are looking to even the 2015 series against the Cowgirls and snap their five-game losing streak. The game will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas will finish a two-game road test against Oklahoma State in hopes of tying the regular-season series with the Cowgirls, 1-1, after falling in the previous match up in Lawrence, 57-65. The Jayhawks are looking to bounce back after a loss to TCU (2/17), 67-73, earlier this week. Senior Natalie Knight and Chelsea Gardner led the charge for Kansas in the contest against the Horned Frogs, both posting 20 or more points. Knight’s career high fell after she finished with 29 points on the night, while Gardner posted her 23rd game during the 2014-15 campaign in double figures and ninth with 20 or more points. That game marked the first time this season and since March 7, 2014 against K-State that two Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points in a single contest.
Gardner is averaging a team-high 16.4 points per game, the third-best average in the league, while shooting 55.0 percent from the field. Knight has stayed consistent for the Jayhawks connecting on 39.2 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. She is second the team with 12.6 points and 3.9 assists per game. Knight has scored in double figures in all but six games this year, while Gardner has posted 23 games this season with 10 or more points. Fellow classmate Asia Boyd follows Knight and Gardner on the roster with 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Freshmen guards Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle are making an impact in KU’s lineup averaging 7.7 and 5.9 points, respectively. Aldridge has started every game this season at point and is third in the conference in assists per game with 4.7. She has played the most minutes (923) among the Jayhawks in 2014-15. Cheadle is connecting on 32.3 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 2.7 rebounds per contest and averaging 1.7 points per game in 27 starts.
The Jayhawks are averaging 63.7 points per game with a +1.8 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.6 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to shooting 38.6 percent. Kansas has connected on 35.5 percent of its attempts from the three-point line, which is the second-best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 35.3 rebounds, 14.5 assists, 6.2 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
• Kansas women’s basketball had three student-athletes earn a spot on the 2015 Big 12 Academic All-Conference Teams. Sophomore Caelynn Manning-Allen was named to the first team, while sophomore Jada Brown and senior Natalie Knight were selected to the second team.
• Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in 19 of Kansas’ 27 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 23-of-27 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).
• The outcomes of eight of the last nine KU contests have all been 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, three points at West Virginia (2/10) and most recently by six points at TCU (2/17).
• Kansas’ all-time record is 783-564 while the program has an all-time conference record of 241-259. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 342-230 all-time and 184-168 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 also etched her name on to the list of Jayhawks to score over 1,000 points in their career this season. An 11-point performance vs. Texas (2/14) elevated her past the 1,000-point milestone. With Gardner and Knight both reaching the 1,000-point achievement, it marks 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 fourth in the league in assists per game with 4.7 and has dished out five or more assists in seven of her last nine outings, including a career-best 10 assists at TCU (2/17).
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Oklahoma State comes into the contest with a 17-8 mark and a 7-7 record in Big 12 Conference, while sitting at third place in the league. The Cowgirls are hot right now, boasting a four-game win streak dating back to their win over the Jayhawks in Lawrence. A win in Stillwater would give them a 2-0 series record with Kansas during the 2014-15 regular season.
Junior guard Brittney Martin is at the helm of the Cowgirl offense, averaging 13.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Senior forward Liz Donohoe follows with 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. In all, four Cowgirls are averaging double figures with sophomore guard Roshunda Johnson and senior center LaShawn Jones putting up an average 11.1 and 10.7 points per game, respectively. Johnson and Martin each posted 16 points and led Oklahoma State in scoring in the win against Kansas earlier this season.
Collectively, Oklahoma State averages 65.9 points per game behind a +11.4 scoring margin over its opponents, the second-best in the league. OSU is shooting 44.0 percent from the field and pulling down an average 40.4 rebounds per game. With 16.1 assists per game, the Cowgirls have the third-best assist average in the Big 12.
Heading into Saturday’s match up, the Jayhawks lead the all-time series, 31-30, and are 13-11 in Stillwater.
A win for OSU would tie the all-time series with Kansas and extend the Cowgirls’ winning streak to five.
Last Time Out
The Cowgirls took home a win in Lawrence in the first meeting this season, 57-64. Senior guard Asia Boyd turned in her first double-double of the season with an 11-point, 12-rebound effort, while senior forward Chelsea Gardner led all scorers with 18 points and tallied her 20th game this season in double figures. With just under three minutes to play, it was a one-possession ballgame as each team battled to gain an advantage. The second half saw a total of five lead changes, but Oklahoma State capitalized on Kansas’ turnovers to finish with an 8-1 run and leave Lawrence with the win.
JAYHAWKS AWARDED FOR EFFORTS IN THE CLASSROOM
Three Jayhawks were selected as members of the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 team. Sophomore Caelynn Manning-Allen earned her second academic honor from the league after being named to the first team. Sophomore Jada Brown and senior Natalie Knight each were named to the second team. The trio brings the total of Jayhawks to earn academic accolades under head coach Bonnie Henrickson to 34.
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 Feb. 18. The Jayhawks are currently ranked 42nd in the country in field-goal percentage by shooting 43.6 percent. From long range, KU is 45th in three-point field goal percentage (35.5). Senior forward Chelsea Gardner ranks 20th in the country with a field goal percentage of 55.0 and 42nd in blocked shots per game (2.3). Senior guard Natalie Knight is 55th in three-point field goal percentage (39.2). Freshman Lauren Aldridge is 51st in the country in assists per game (4.7).
A SPARK OFF THE BENCH
The Jayhawks’ bench is providing a spark offensively in 2014-15 and is averaging 19.8 points per game. Kansas’ bench has scored in double figures in 25 of 27 games this year, including a season-high 49 against Iona (11/30). KU’s bench has scored 20 or more points on 13 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 10.3 points per game.
Kansas hosts Kansas State for the second part of the Sunflower Showdown on the hardwood on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. It’s the second-to-last chance to catch the Jayhawks in action in Allen Fieldhouse this season. The game will air on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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