Jayhawks Head to Purdue for Second Road Tilt
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas hits the road for just the second time this season after recording a pair of victories last week, including a convincing win over nationally-ranked Cal. The Jayhawks head to West Lafayette, Indiana for a match-up with the Boilermakers of Purdue on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., inside Mackey Arena. The game will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network and on BTN Plus.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The second time the Jayhawks faced a ranked opponent this season ended much differently than the first. Kansas shocked then-No.10 California and handed the Golden Bears their first loss of the season with a 62-39 victory (12/7). KU hits the road with momentum on its side when Kansas heads to Purdue.
Nine games into the season, the Jayhawks are averaging 68.3 points per game. Three or more Jayhawks have scored in double figures in eight contests this year. The Jayhawks have a +11.7 scoring margin over their opponents and won five of their last six games. KU is shooting 44.4 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to 33.3 percent shooting. From the three-point line, Kansas is connecting on 38.8 percent of its attempts, which is the best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 40.0 rebounds, 15.2 assists, 6.3 steals and 4.0 blocks per game.
Seniors Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight and Asia Boyd are averaging double digits through the first nine games with 19.3, 11.1 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. Gardner is also averaging 8.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks 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 6.0. She has recorded 36 assists and just six turnovers in 258 minutes of play. From beyond the arc, Knight is shooting an impressive 47.6 percent and has shot 50 percent or higher in six-of-nine 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. She scored double figures against Incarnate Word (12/4) behind a 3-for-5 performance from the three-point line.
Sophomore Jada Brown is the last veteran in Kansas’ starting lineup. She is averaging 2.7 points and 4.0 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 7.4 points per game and is sixth in the Big 12 with 4.1 assists per game. Cheadle is averaging 5.9 points per game and is shooting 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
- Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in eight of Kansas’ nine games this season. KU had four reach double-digit scoring in three-straight games and a total of four contests. Senior Chelsea Gardner has scored 10 or more points in every game of 2014-15, while senior Natalie Knight has contributed double figures in seven of the Jayhawks’ nine games this year.
- For the first time in nearly 14 years, the Jayhawks shot 67 percent from three-point range on a minimum of 10 attempts against Incarnate Word (12/4), connecting on 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc. It marked the highest completion rate from three since Dec. 2, 2000, when Kansas went 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) against St. Joseph in Allen Fieldhouse. KU followed that with a 7-for-11 effort from the three-point line against then-No. 10 Cal (12/7).
- Kansas shot better than average overall from the field against Incarnate Word (12/4) with a 57 percent field goal average, which is the highest percentage since Dec. 29, 2013, against Yale.
- KU has limited its opponents to 33.3 percent shooting from the field. The Jayhawks have held three opponents to less than 30 percent shooting, including holding the Golden Bears to 25 percent from the field. Cal averaged 90 points coming into last Sunday’s match-up and KU kept the Bears under 40 points.
- Kansas’ all-time record is 777-554 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-249. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 336-218 all-time and 177-156 at KU.
- Freshman guard Lauren Aldridge earned her first Big 12 honor after being selected as the Phillips 66 Freshman Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 1. She is the first Jayhawk to receive a weekly honor from the conference in 2014-15.
- 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 has 784 career points and needs 216 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 nine 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 four of Kansas’ nine games, including a season-high 30 against Alabama (11/22). Gardner has netted double figures in every game of 2014-15 and in 35 of her last 38 games.
SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS
Purdue heads into Thursday’s matchup with a 3-4 mark. The Boilermakers are coming off a tough, 63-61, loss against Dayton last Sunday. However, senior Whitney Bays still posted an impressive performance with 19 points, 18 rebounds and five steals. Collectively, the Boilermakers grabbed a season-high 51 rebounds and committed just five turnovers in the second half.
On the season, Purdue averages 66.1 points per game with a 38.2 field goal percentage. The Boilermakers boast a strong defense with an average of 10.6 steals and 37.1 rebounds per game. Individually, three players are averaging in double figures with Bays at the top of the roster with 12.9 points per game. Close behind are junior April Wilson and sophomore Ashley Morrissette, who are both averaging roughly 10 points apiece.
The Boilermakers are coming off a 22-9 finish last season when they made their 24th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and fourth-straight under head coach Sharon Versyp. The fourth-seeded team fell to Oklahoma State in the second round of the tournament, 73-66.
Purdue leads the all-time series 3-1 and is undefeated on its home court, 2-0.
The Jayhawks and the Boilermakers are set to meet for the fifth time in program history heading into Thursday’s contest. The two teams opened the all-time series on Nov. 26, 1995, inwhich Kansas fell, 72-80.
Last Time Out
Although it was a close game, the Jayhawks fell to the Boilermakers, 71-68, in 2013. The duo of current seniors, Chelsea Gardner and Asia Boyd, both tallied 17 points against Purdue. Kansas led going into halftime, but could not overcome a second-half Boilermaker rally. Purdue was held to a shooting percentage of 37 percent from the field, which was the lowest since they played then-No. 5 Stanford on Nov. 26 of that year.
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 33.3 percent shooting. The Jayhawks have held three opponents to under 30 percent shooting including then-No. 10 Cal, who has one of the most potent offenses in the country. The Golden Bears were averaging 90 points coming into the match-up and Kansas’ defense held Cal to 39 points and 24 percent shooting from the field.
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 nine games at point guard and is fourth on the team in scoring with 7.4 points per game. She played two games in a row without a turnover while dishing out 13 assists. Aldridge has scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 13 against Temple (11/22). Chayla Cheadle is fifth on the team with 5.9 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. Terriell Bradley came off the bench against Iona (11/26) to net a career-high 16 points after going a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc. Her efforts from the three-point line marked the second-best in single game history behind Kay-Kay Hart’s 6-for-6 performance in 1991.
In the month of December, the Jayhawks own an overall mark of 183-79 (.695) and are 49-18 (.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 15-5 record in December.
NOT IN OUR LEAGUE
Kansas owns a 7-2 record after the first nine non-conference games of the 2014-15 season. The Jayhawks boast a 338-155 (.685) record all-time versus non-conference opponents. The Jayhawks’ best non-conference record came during the 2005-06 season when they posted a perfect 11-0 mark during the regular season. KU is 79-18 (.817) in non-conference games since the 2007-08 season.
Kansas returns to Lawrence to host Arkansas State on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. It’s the Jayhawks annual Toys for Tots game, anyone who donate a toy will receive free admission to the game.
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