Jayhawks Return Home; Host Incarnate Word
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a tough road loss, Kansas (5-2) looks to bounce back against Incarnate Word (2-4) on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks return to Lawrence after their first road trip of the year, which resulted in a loss to No. 1 Notre Dame. The match-up with the Cardinals is the first of two contests at home before KU hits the road again. The game will be broadcast on Jayhawk Television Netowrk/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas is looking to regain momentum and earn its sixth victory of the season on Thursday night after suffering its second loss of the season and first road loss of the year to No. 1 Notre Dame. The Jayhawks have compiled a 5-2 record with the first month of the season in the books.
Seven games into the season, the Jayhawks are averaging 69.3 points per game, which is just below KU’s magic number of 70. Kansas has a 114-17 record when scoring 70 or more points. The Jayhawks have a +8.6 scoring margin over their opponents. KU is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to 34.7 percent shooting. From the three-point line, Kansas is connecting on 33.9 percent of its attempts. The Jayhawks are averaging 40.0 rebounds, 15.7 assists, 5.9 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.
Seniors Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight and Asia Boyd are averaging double digits through the first seven games with 19.3, 11.4 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. Gardner is also averaging 8.6 rebounds and 1.9blocks per contest. She has recorded a double-double in three games this season to lead the Big 12 once again and has scored in double figures in every game this season. Knight has the top assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 8.6. She has recorded 26 assists and just three turnovers in 198 minutes of play. From beyond the arc, Knight is shooting 41.2 percent and has shot 50 percent or higher in four-of-seven contests this year. 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 3.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, which is the third-most on the roster. Against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Brown recorded a career-high 12 points. Freshmen Lauren Aldridge and Chayla Cheadle round out the Jayhawks’ starting five. Aldridge is averaging 7.3 points per game and is tied for the lead among Big 12 freshmen with 4.1 assists per game. Cheadle is averaging 6.1 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 six of Kansas’ seven games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games. Senior Chelsea Gardner has scored 10 or more points in every game of 2014-15, while senior Natalie Knight has contributed double figures in six of the Jayhawks’ seven games this year.
- KU has limited its opponents to 34.7 percent shooting from the field. 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 775-554 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-249. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 334-218 all-time and 175-156 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 (11/16).
- Knight has 764 career points and needs 236 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 seven 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’ seven games, including a season-high 30 against Alabama (11/22). Gardner has netted double figures in every game of 2014-15 and in 33 of her last 36 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 35.3 percent from the three-point line in 2014-15.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
After the first six games of the 2014-15 season, Incarnate Word has a 2-4 mark and lost three-straight contests heading into Thursday night’s match-up. The Cardinals were picked to finish the conference season in 12th place as voted on by the Southland Conference coaches. UIW is led by second-year head coach Kate Henderson, who has brought in a brand new team and has one only returning letterwinner from the 2013-14 roster.
Junior guard Aricka Adams leads Incarnate Word in scoring with 11.8 points per game and is shooting 41.2 percent from the field. Junior forward Yvonne Maosa has grabbed a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game.
Incarnate Word is averaging 50.3 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 64.5 points per game. The Cardinals are shooting 33.6 percent from the field and 24.7 percent from the three-point line. From the charity stripe, UIW is making 50.5 percent of its shots. Defensively, the Cardinals are averaging 36.2 rebounds, 9.2 steals and 2.3 blocks per game.
The Jayhawks face Incarnate Word for the first time in program history.
KU’s contest against UIW marks the seventh program from the Southland Conference that the Jayhawks have played. Kansas owns a 9-6 record against teams from the Southland Conference.
In the month of December, the Jayhawks own an overall mark of 181-79 (.695) and are 47-18 (.737) during the Bonnie Henrickson era in the final month of the year. In the past three seasons, Kansas and its senior captains have recorded a 13-5 record in December.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
After seven games during the 2014-15 campaign, Kansas has several players among the top of Big 12 statistical categories. Senior Chelsea Gardner is second in the league in scoring (19.3), second in rebounds (8.6) and 12th in field goal percentage (57.6). Gardner is also fourth in the Big 12 in blocks per game (1.9). Senior Natalie Knight has the top assist-to-turnover ratio (8.6) in the Big 12. She has 26 assists to three turnovers in the first seven games. Knight is second in the conference in free throw percentage (93.3). Freshman Lauren Aldridge ranks No. 6 in assists per game (4.1).
HOW THE JAYHAWKS STACK UP NATIONALLY
Kansas also stack up well with the rest of the country and are represented in the top half of several categories in 2014-15. The Jayhawks are currently ranked 45th in the country in field-goal defense after limiting opponents to 34.7 shooting. Individually, senior guard Natalie Knight is third in the nation with a 8.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Senior forward Chelsea Gardner is 23rd in double-doubles (3) and 45th in points per game (19.3). She also has recorded the 42nd-best field goal percentage in the country (57.6).
Kansas continues its two-game homestand by hosting No. 10 Cal on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The two programs combined have six NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, including both advancing in 2013. The game will be broadcast on FS1, the first nationally-televised contest this season on the FOX Networks for KU, and on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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