|Kansas vs. Kansas State
||Wednesday, Feb. 25
||Kansas State leads 64-46
||Jayhawk TV Network/ESPN3
||Jayhawk Radio Network
|Stats at a Glance
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball hosts Kansas State for the final installment of the Sunflower Showdown, presented by Dillon’s, during the 2014-15 season. The Jayhawks are looking to even the series on the hardwood with a victory over the Wildcats in Allen Fieldhouse. The contest versus in-state rival K-State will be fandemonium for KU students, who receive free admission and chances to win hundreds of dollars worth of prizes. The rivalry game will air on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas returns home to for the second part of the 2014-15 Sunflower Showdown and looks to even this season’s record versus Kansas State with a win. The Jayhawks marginally fell to the Wildcats in Manhattan, 58-52. KU is coming off a road loss to Oklahoma State, 80-76, as it couldn’t clinch the final advantage after 10 lead changes in the contest. Despite the loss, Three Jayhawks posted 10 or more points, including senior guard Natalie Knight, who had her second-straight game with 20 or more points. The Jayhawks are hoping for their fifth Big 12 win this season, as they sit 4-11 in the conference heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
Senior forward Chelsea Gardner is averaging a team-high 16.5 points per game, the third-best average in the league, while shooting 54.3 percent from the field. Knight has stayed consistent for the Jayhawks connecting on 39.4 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. She is second on the team with 12.9 points and 3.9 assists per game. Knight has scored in double figures in all but six games this year, while Gardner has posted 24 games this season with 10 or more points. Fellow classmate Asia Boyd follows Knight and Gardner on the roster with 10.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Freshmen guards Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle are making an impact in KU’s lineup averaging 8.0 and 5.6 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 (963) among the Jayhawks in 2014-15. Sophomore forward Jada Brown is the final member of Kansas’ starting lineup. The Las Vegas, Nevada native is grabbing 2.7 rebounds per contest, which is sixth-best on the team. She is also averaging 1.8 points per game in 28 starts.
The Jayhawks are averaging 64.1 points per game with a +1.6 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.8 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to shooting 38.8 percent. Kansas has connected on 36.1 percent of its attempts from the three-point line, which is the second-best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 35.2 rebounds, 14.4 assists, 6.1 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
• The Jayhawks will face Kansas State for the 111th time in program history. Although K-State owns 64-46 advantage in the overall series, Kansas has won four of the last six contests. The last five outings against the Wildcats have been decided by single-digit margins, including two overtime victories for KU.
• 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 20 of Kansas’ 28 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 24-of-28 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’ all-time record is 783-565 while the program has an all-time conference record of 241-260. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 342-231 all-time and 184-169 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 third in the league in assists per game with 4.7 and has dished out five or more assists in seven of her last 10 outings, including a career-best 10 assists at TCU (2/17).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Kansas State comes into the contest with a 15-11 mark and a 5-10 record in Big 12 Conference, while sitting in a two-way tie for sixth place in the league. A win over the Jayhawks would give the Wildcats an advantage over Texas Tech. KSU is hoping to snap a three-game losing streak after falling to Texas Tech (68-74) in overtime, Texas (58-76) and Oklahoma (64-73).
Collectively, Kansas State averages 59.4 points per game behind a +2.4 scoring margin over its opponents. Kansas State is shooting 39.4 percent from the field and pulling down an average of 34.2 rebounds per game. The Wildcats hand out 13.2 assists and pull away 11.2 steals per game. They are third in the Big 12 with 4.9 blocks per contest.
Sophomore forward Breanna Lewis leads the Wildcat offense, averaging 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Senior guard Ashia Woods follows with 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. The Wichita, Kansas native posted 16 points against Oklahoma (2/21), the most of any Wildcat. Senior guard Haley Texada averages 9.3 points per game and logged 14 against the Sooners behind an 8-for-12 mark from the charity line.
KSU leads this rivalry series, 67-43 all-time. Kansas has a 28-25 advantage on its home court in Lawrence.
The two teams will meet for the 111th in history as Kansas State looks to go undefeated against Kansas for the 2014-15 regular season.
Last Time Out
Although the Jayhawks led for over 25 minutes, a late Wildcat lead proved too much to overcome as Kansas fell to in-state rival Kansas State, 58-52. With 15 points, freshman guard Chayla Cheadle led the Jayhawks’ offensive efforts against the Wildcats, while senior forward Chelsea Gardner tallied her 13th game in double digits with 13 total points. Senior guard Natalie Knight also recorded double digits with a late three-point shot in the waning seconds of the game and finished with 12 points.
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 11-6 at home this season, while the Jayhawks compiled a 9-8 mark in Allen Fieldhouse in 2013-14. KU has a record of 131-64 (.686) in Allen Fieldhouse under head coach Bonnie Henrickson and an all-time home record of 405-165 (.715).
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 26 of 28 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.
Seniors Asia Boyd, Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight and Bunny Williams will not only lead the Jayhawks as captains, but will also be a strong force for Kansas during the season on the court. During 2013-14, the four seniors accounted for almost 60 percent of Kansas’ 2,134 total points (1,273). Leading the pack was Gardner, who tallied a team-high 548 points throughout the season. The captains were also successful behind the arc tallying 96 three-point shots. Knight knocked down 63 of these, which was the fourth-highest in program history. To add to this success, they chalked up 563 total rebounds and Gardner led again with 270 rebounds. During the seniors’ tenure at Kansas, the Jayhawks made back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16’s in 2012 and 2013.
Kansas heads south to Oklahoma for its final road test of the 2014-15 regular season. Tipoff between the two programs is slated for 7 p.m., inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The game will air on Sooner Sports TV and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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