Kansas Hits the Road to Face No. 1 Notre Dame
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball will hit the road for the first time in 2014-15 and square off with the top-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on Sunday, Nov. 30 at noon, inside the Mohegan Sun. The match-up will conclude the 2014 Naismith Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge, which the Jayhawks have a 2-1 mark after the first three games played in Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas is off to a 5-1 start to its 2014-15 campaign. The Jayhawks started the season with a pair of wins before suffering a five-point loss to Alabama (11/21). KU bounced back from the loss with three-straight victories. Today’s contest against Notre Dame is the first ranked opponent that the Jayhawks will face and third this season that appeared in the 2014 postseason. Kansas is 2-0 against programs that competed in the postseason a year ago.
Six games into the season, the Jayhawks are averaging 73.0 points per game and have a +17.0 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 44.4 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to 31.6 percent shooting. The Jayhawks are averaging 41.8 rebounds, 16.2 assists, 6.0 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.
Seniors Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight and Asia Boyd are averaging double digits through the first six games with 20.0, 11.2 and 10.7 points per game, respectively. Gardner is also averaging 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per contest. She has recorded a double-double in three games this season to lead the Big 12 once again. Knight has the top assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 10.0. She has recorded 20 assists and just two turnovers in 169 minutes of play. Boyd came off the bench and knocked in a season-high 19 points against Iona (11/26) and was one of four Jayhawks to net double figures.
Sophomore Jada Brown is the last veteran in Kansas’ starting lineup. She is averaging 3.7 points and 5.40rebounds per game, which is the third-most on the roster. Against the Crimson Tide, Brown recorded a career-high 12 points. Freshmen Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle round out the Jayhawks’ starting five. Aldridge is averaging 8.2 points per game and is tied for the lead among Big 12 freshmen with 4.3 assists per game. Cheadle is averaging 6.8 points per game and is shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
- Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in each of Kansas’ six games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games. Seniors Natalie Knight and Chelsea Gardner have scored 10 or more points in every game of 2014-15.
- KU has limited its opponents to 31.6 percent shooting from the field, which is the second-lowest in the Big 12 Conference. Against Georgetown (11/23), KU limited the Hoyas to just 23 percent shooting, which is the lowest percentage against the Jayhawks since the 2010 season. GU’s low field goal percentage marked the second time in five games that the Jayhawks have held their opponent to less than 30 percent shooting.
- Three Jayhawks began the 2014-15 season scoring double figures. Gardner, Knight and freshman Lauren Aldridge all tallied a double-digit scoring effort against South Dakota (11/16). Gardner finished with 24, while Knight and Aldridge added 15 and 11 points, respectively.
- Kansas’ all-time record is 775-553 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-249. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 334-217 all-time and 175-155 at KU.
- KU has a record of 129-59 (.684) in Allen Fieldhouse under Henrickson and an all-time home record of 401-160 (.714).
- Gardner, a Preseason All-Big 12 selection, joined the 1,000-point club after a scoring 24 points in the season opener against South Dakota.
- Knight has 751 career points and needs 249 more to join Gardner in the 1,000-point club, which she is on pace to reach by the end of February.
- Gardner, a DeSoto, Texas native, recorded Big 12 single-game highs with 13 field goals against Alabama (11/22) and 16 rebounds against Georgetown (11/23).
- Gardner has three double-doubles after six games this season and once again leads the Big 12 Conference. She posted a Big 12-leading 13 double-doubles last year. Gardner’s 13 double-doubles were the most by a Jayhawk in a single season since Shyra Holden had 14 in 1978-79.
- Gardner has scored 20 or more points in three of Kansas’ six games, including a season-high 30 against Alabama (11/22). Gardner has netted double figures in every game of 2014-15 and in 31 of her last 34 games.
- Freshman guard Chayla Cheadle had a breakout game against Texas Southern (11/18) after scoring a career-high 15 points off the bench. She connected on 4-of-5 shots from behind the arc and is shooting 40.0 percent from the three-point line in 2014-15.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame started its 2014-15 campaign with a 6-0 record. This includes the Irish’s most recent defeat against Quinnipiac 112-52. During that game, Notre Dame had five players in double figures, two of which had over 20. Junior guard Jewell Loyd led the Fighting Irish with 23 points. Notre Dame had a double-double performance from freshman forward Kathryn Westbeld.
As a squad, the Irish average 96.2 points, 50.5 rebounds per game and have finished three contest with over 100 points put up on the board. Their closest game thus far in the season came against Michigan State, where the Fighting Irish defeated the Spartans on their home court, 71-63.
A regular postseason contender, Notre Dame had an almost perfect 2013-14 season that was left untarnished until a loss against UConn in the 2014 NCAA National Championship game, 79-58. The national runner-up also swept to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles. Notre Dame welcomes back six veterans including Loyd, who was named to the Associated Press All-America Second Team. The Lincolnwood, Illinois native averages 19.8 points and 5.5 points per game.
Having only met one time, Notre Dame leads the overall series over KU, 1-0.
The Jayhawks and the Fighting Irish are set to meet for the second time in program history heading into Sunday’s match-up. Kansas opened the all-time series in 2013 with a loss to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16 round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Last Time Out
Kansas fell to Notre Dame, 93-63 in the third round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Carolyn Davis led the Jayhawks with 25 points and four rebounds. Monica Engleman added 10, as the only two Jayhawks to score in double figures. Angel Goodrich joined their efforts by dishing out double-digit assists, but the Jayhawks were unable to overcome the No. 1 seeded Fighting Irish.
JAYHAWKS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Kansas’ match-up with Notre Dame is the first time this season that KU will face a ranked opponent. It is the first time that the Jayhawks will square off with the No. 1 team in the nation since 2012-13 when Kansas hosted Baylor in Allen Fieldhouse. The last time KU defeated a nationally-ranked foe was last season after defeating Baylor, 76-60. Since 2004, KU is 13-63 against opponents in the national polls and 3-27 against foes ranked in the top 10.
Head coach Bonnie Henrickson stresses the importance of defense and the Jayhawks are taking that to heart in 2014-15. On the season, Kansas has held its opponents to 31.6 percent shooting, which is the second-lowest mark in the Big 12 Conference. Against Georgetown (11/23), KU limited the Hoyas to just 23 percent shooting, which is the lowest percentage against the Jayhawks since the 2010 season. GU’s low field goal percentage marked the second time in six games that the Jayhawks have held their opponent to under 30 percent shooting. The Jayhawks have the second-best scoring defense in the Big 12, allowing only 56.0 points per game.
FRESHMEN MAKE AN EARLY IMPACT
Kansas added four freshmen to the 2014-15 roster during the offseason and several are making an impact already. Lauren Aldridge has started all six games at point guard and is fourth on the team in scoring with 8.2 points per game. She played two games in a row without a turnover while dishing out 13 assists. On the season, she is averaging 4.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game. Aldridge has scored in double figures twice, including a season-high 13 against Temple (11/22). Chayla Cheadle is fifth on the team with 6.8 points per game and scored a career-high 15 points against Texas Southern (11/18) after a 4-for-5 performance from the three-point line. After six games in 2014-15, Cheadle is shooting 44.8 percent, which is the seventh-best mark among the Big 12 Conference freshmen. Terriell Bradley came off the bench against Iona (11/26) to net a career-high 16 points after a 5-for-5 performance from behind the arc. Her efforts from the three-point line marks the second-best in single game history behind Kay-Kay Hart’s 6-for-6 performance in 1991.
In the month of November, the Jayhawks have an overall mark of 119-30 (.797). Under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, KU is 49-10 (.827) in November. Kansas has won 26 of the last 29 games played in November dating back to the start of the 2010 season.
THAT 70’s SHOW
Kansas’ success during the Bonnie Henrickson-era has been pretty much based on 70 points. When the Jayhawks score 70 or more points, Kansas owns a 114-17 record (.869) during her tenure. When KU opponents score less than 70 points, the Jayhawks are 143-72 (.665) during that span.
JAYHAWKS FACE TOURNAMENT TESTED OPPONENTS
Kansas faces 14 opponents that advanced to the postseason last season, which is two more than the previous season. KU’s non-conference schedule includes three conference champions and seven squads that reached the 20-win plateau. Kansas has a 2-0 record, after defeating South Dakota and Texas Southern, in 2014-15 against programs that appeared in the 2014 postseason.
GARDNER EARNS PRESEASON AWARD
After ending 2013-14 with various postseason awards, Kansas senior forward Chelsea Gardner kicked off the current season the same way, adding to her list of accolades. The DeSoto, Texas, native was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team as voted on by the conference head coaches.
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, Dec. 4 against Incarnate Word. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and is one the last four non-conference games in Allen Fieldhouse this season. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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