Jayhawks Begin Big 12 Action With West Virginia
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas rings in the new year by hosting West Virginia in its Big 12 opener on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks (7-5) welcome the Mountaineers (11-1) who are on a 10-game winning streak as conference action is set to start.
It is the fourth year in a row that KU has opened league play in Lawrence. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
- The Jayhawks are 6-11 in Big 12 openers and 3-6 under head coach Bonnie Henrickson in the first game of the conference schedule. When opening the league slate inside Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas is 3-5 and 2-2 in Big 12 openers at home under Henrickson.
- For the fourth-consecutive season, KU opens Big 12 action at home. Kansas has a 6-2 record in Allen Fieldhouse in 2013-14. The Jayhawks have a record of 119-51 (.704) in Allen Fieldhouse under Henrickson and an all-time home record of 395-152 (.723).
- Juniors Chelsea Gardner and Asia Boyd continue to lead the Kansas offense by averaging in double figures with 17.7 and 13.8 points per game, respectively. Last time out, Gardner and Boyd both recorded double-doubles. Gardner had 26 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double on the year, while Boyd had 17 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
- In the last two games, Kansas has had four players reach double figure scoring. Against Yale, Chelsea Gardner (26), Asia Boyd (17), Natalie Knight (14) and Keyla Morgan (11) scored in double figures, while Boyd (22), Gardner (18), CeCe Harper (15) and Knight (11) knocked in double figures against Tulsa.
- Senior CeCe Harper is the third Jayhawk to average double figures with 10 points per game. She also leads the team with 59 assists for 4.9 per game. Harper recorded a career-high 13 assists against Tulsa on Dec. 22 and has set a new career-high mark in assists in two of the last three games.
- Gardner has swatted away a team-high 17 blocks in 2013-14 and she has 82 blocks in her career. She is eight blocks away from becoming the 11th Jayhawk in program history to record 90 or more career blocks.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas opens Big 12 action with West Virginia on Jan. 2 in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks enter conference play on a two-game winning streak and having won three of their last four games. KU ended the non-conference slate with a 7-5 record.
Juniors Chelsea Gardner and Asia Boyd concluded the non-conference slate by recording their fourth and second double-double of the season, respectively. Gardner knocked in 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Boyd scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 10 boards vs. Yale on Dec. 29. In the last five games, Gardner is averaging 21 points and shooting 70.4 (43-61) percent from the field. Junior guard Natalie Knight ended non-conference play by dishing out a career-best eight assists against Yale. Defensively, Knight recorded a season-high five steals and two blocks.
Freshman guard Keyla Morgan tied her career-best mark of 11 points against Yale. She has started four games and appeared in eight this season. She is averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Senior guard CeCe Harper recorded her first career double-double against Tulsa after recording 15 points and a career-best 13 assists. She is averaging 4.9 assists per game and has a total of 59 on the year. Freshman forward Caelynn Manning-Allen collected her first career start in the final game of 2013 against Yale. She is averaging 1.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez continues to be one of the first Jayhawks head coach Bonnie Henrickson calls upon from the bench. She is averaging 4.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. She has appeared in 10-of-11 KU contests in 2013-14 and is playing 13.1 minutes per game. Senior Markisha Hawkins has played in all 12 games this season and is averaging 14.4 minutes per game. Hawkins is scoring 4.3 points per game. Junior forward Bunny Williams has also appeared in every game and started eight this season. She is averaging 2.4 boards in 14.8 minutes per game.
Sophomore guard Lamaria Cole is averaging 14 minutes per game in 11 appearances. She has 18 assists and 12 steals on the year and is averaging 3.9 points per game. Freshman forward Jada Brown has appeared in 11 games averaging 9.5 minutes and 1.3 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Dylan Gonzalez is averaging 1.5 points and 3.3 minutes per game in four appearances.
KANSAS VS. West Virginia: THE SERIES
The Jayhawks and Mountaineers met twice before WVU joined the Big 12 Conference in the summer of 2012. Kansas first played West Virginia in 1992 and opened the series with a 106-64 victory in Lawrence. KU won the first three meetings, while West Virginia’s first win in the series came last season after defeating KU, 72-56, in Allen Fieldhouse.
SCOUTING THE Mountaineers
West Virginia comes to Allen Fieldhouse on a 10-game winning streak and with an 11-1 record. The Mountaineers started the 2013-14 season with a 70-61 loss to Ohio State and have since won their last 10 contests. WVU averages 83.1 points per game, while surrendering only 58.4 points per game. Four Mountaineers average double figures: Asya Bussie (14.5), Bria Holmes (14.0), Taylor Palmer (12.7) and Christal Caldwell (12.5). Bussie leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game and 24 blocks on the season. Brooke Hampton and Linda Stepney have dished out a team-high 44 assists in 12 games and as a team are averaging 17.3 assists per game. The Mountaineers are averaging 45.8 rebounds per game, while their opponents are averaging 32.9.
- Four Jayhawks scored in double-figures against Yale: Chelsea Gardner (26), Asia Boyd (17), Natalie Knight (14) and Keyla Morgan (11). It marks the third time in 2013-14 that four Kansas players have scored double-figures in a single game and the second time in as many games.
- The Jayhawk defense held Yale to 36.9 percent shooting, making that the sixth time this season that Kansas has held its opponent under 38 percent from the field.
- The Kansas offense recorded 79 points, marking the sixth time this season KU has reached the 70-point total. The Jayhawks are 109-13 under Henrickson when scoring at least 70 points.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
The Jayhawks open the conference slate for the second-straight year on Jan. 2. Last season, Kansas started its Big 12 schedule with in-state rival Kansas State and won, 72-63, in Allen Fieldhouse. The KU win snapped a four-game losing streak to K-State and helped the Jayhawks open Big 12 Conference play with a win for the second-straight season. Angel Goodrich led the team with 17 points and was an assist shy of a double-double. Then-sophomore Natalie Knight finshed the game with 16 points.
HOT JAYHAWK TRENDS
Kansas has outrebounded its opponents in the last five games and in 9-of-12 games this season … The Jayhawks have trailed at halftime only twice this year … KU has held 6-of-12 opponents to under 38 percent shooting … Kansas’ bench has scored in double figures in 11-of-12 games and reached the 20-point mark in seven games in 2013-14 … Junior forward Chelsea Gardner is shooting 70.4 percent (43-61) from the field and averaging 21 points per game in the last five games … Four Jayhawks have scored in double figures in the last two games … Gardner and Asia Boyd both recorded a double-double against Yale, the second time this season they have recorded a double-double in the same game.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
After 12 games, Kansas is among the top five in several Big 12 statistical categories. The Jayhawks are fourth in the conference in blocked shots with 4.3 per game and fourth in free throw percentage at 72.6 percent. KU recorded the most free throw attempts in a single game with 54 and shot the second-highest field goal percentage at 61.4 percent against Creighton on Nov. 17.
Individually, junior forward Chelsea Gardner is first in the league with four double-doubles on the season. Gardner ranks fifth in the conference standings in scoring (17.7 ppg) and third in field goal percentage (.623). She is also third in rebounds with 8.3 per game and second in defensive rebounds with 6.4 per game. Junior guard Natalie Knight has the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.7. Senior guard CeCe Harper has 59 assists on the year for 4.9 per game which is seventh among the Big 12. She is also sixth in the conference standings in steals per game with 2.0. Junior guard Asia Boyd is 13th in scoring in the Big 12 with 13.8 points per game.
Junior forward Chelsea Gardner has stepped up to the challenge of filling the scoring void left by graduating three 1,000 point scorers at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. Gardner has scored in double figures in 11-of-12 games this season and is averaging 17.7 points per game. In the last five games, Gardner has shot 70.4 (43-61) percent from the field and is averaging 21 points. She scored a career-high 30 points against Texas Southern on Dec. 12. Gardner has recorded four double-doubles this year and 10 in her career. She has 644 career points and is on pace to reach 1,000 points by the end of her Jayhawk career.
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