Kansas Set for Road Test Against Creighton
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball will travel north to face Creighton on Monday, Dec. 22 at 6:05 p.m., inside D.J. Sokol Arena. The Jayhawks will be back in action after a week-long break following their win against Arkansas State (12/14) and will look to bring home their first road win of the season. The game will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks, who are 0-2 on the road this season, look to break the trend with a win over Creighton on Monday night. After suffering a loss to Purdue on Dec. 11, Kansas bounced back against Arkansas State, 62-48.
In the win, freshman Chayla Cheadle shined with multiple career highs. The Columbia, Missouri native recorded career highs in points (19), field goal attempts (12), free throws (six) and minutes (30). She also tied career highs with three assists and six free-throw attempts. The freshman even completed a rare four-point play after being fouled in the act of shooting a three-pointer.
Senior guard Natalie Knight also had an impressive performance as she tallied her first-career double-double with a season-high 15 points and career-best 13 rebounds. With three rejections against the Red Wolves, senior forward Chelsea Gardner elevated herself past Aishah Sutherland (2009-12) to second all-time on KU’s career blocked shots list with 150. Lisa Tate (1991-94) holds the Jayhawk record for blocks with 269.
Eleven games into the season, the Jayhawks are averaging 65.9 points per game with a +9.6 scoring margin over their opponents. Kansas has won six of its last eight games, highlighted by a victory over a top-10 opponent. KU is shooting 44.1 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to 33.4 From the three-point line, Kansas is connecting on 39.0 percent of its attempts, which is the best mark in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are averaging 39.5 rebounds, 14.8 assists, 6.1 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.
Seniors Gardner, Knight and Asia Boyd are averaging double digits through the first 11 games with 17.6, 11.8 and 10.0 points per game, respectively. Gardner also leads the team with 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest. From beyond the arc, Knight is shooting an impressive 47.1 percent and has shot 50 percent or higher in seven-of-11 games played this year. Boyd came off the bench and knocked in a season-high 19 points against Iona (11/26). She also 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 2.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, which is third-most on the roster. Against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Brown recorded a career-high 12 points. Freshmen Lauren Aldridge and Cheadle round out the Jayhawks’ starting five. Aldridge is averaging 6.9 points per game. She dished out a career-high eight assists at Purdue (12/11). Cheadle is averaging 6.8 points per game and is shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
- Three or more Jayhawks have netted double-figure scoring performances in eight of Kansas’ 11 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 10-of-11 games in 2014-15, while senior Natalie Knight has contributed double figures in nine of the Jayhawks’ 11 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).
- KU has limited its opponents to 33.4 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 the match-up and KU kept the Bears under 40 points.
- Kansas’ all-time record is 778-555 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-249. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 337-219 all-time and 178-157 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 has 814 career points and needs 186 more to join Gardner in the 1,000-point club, which she is on pace to reach by the end of February.
- Gardner has four double-doubles after 11 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’ 11 games, including a season-high 30 against Alabama (11/22). Gardner has netted double figures in every game of 2014-15 and in 36 of her last 39 games.
SCOUTING THE BLUEJAYS
Creighton comes into Monday’s matchup with a 6-5 mark. Creighton is coming off a 67-50 win against Omaha on Saturday. Freshman Sydney Lamberty led the Bluejays with a career-high 20 points against Omaha, while seniors Alexis Akin-Otiko (12) and Marissa Janning (10) also reached double figures.
On the season, the Bluejays are averaging 68.1 points per game, while shooting 40.5 percent from the field. Defensively, Creighton collects an average of 35.5 rebounds, 5.7 steals and 3.7 blocks per game. Janning is at the top of the roster, averaging 16.0 points per game and is second on the team with 4.6 rebounds per game. Senior forward Alexis Akin-Otinko is close behind with 12.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Creighton is coming off a 20-14 mark in the 2013-14 campaign when they finished 12-6 in the Big East Conference. Last season came to a close for the Bluejays with a 62-51 loss against South Dakota State in the second round of the WNIT. It was Creighton’s seventh consecutive season and 10th time overall to receive an invitation to the WNIT.
Kansas leads the all-time series against Creighton, 25-12. The Jayhawks lead both in Lawrence (15-5) and in Omaha (10-7).
The Jayhawks and the Bluejays are set to meet for the 38th time in program history heading into Monday’s match-up. The two teams opened the all-time series on Nov. 22, 1980, in which Kansas won in Omaha, 75-39.
Last Time Out
Strong shooting helped the Jayhawks over Creighton on Nov. 17, 2013. Kansas shot 75 percent from the field and was led by current senior forward Chelsea Gardner who went 8-for-15 from field goal range to chalk up 24 total points. Current senior guard Asia Boyd also scored in double figures with 19. Kansas led by as much as 17 in the second half and took home a 74-66 win.
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 4-2 record after facing six programs that appeared in the 2014 postseason.
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 33.4 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. On the season, Kansas has held six opponents under 50 points.
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.
In the month of December, the Jayhawks own an overall mark of 184-80 (.696) and are 50-19 (.724) 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 16-6 record in December.
NOT IN OUR LEAGUE
Kansas owns a 8-3 record after the first 11 non-conference games of the 2014-15 season. The Jayhawks boast a 339-156 (.684) 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 80-19 (.808) in non-conference games since the 2007-08 season.
Following a holiday break, the Jayhawks will return home when KU hosts Samford on Monday, Dec. 29. Game time is slated for 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The contest will air on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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