Jayhawks open exhibition play with Fort Hays State

EXH 1: Kansas vs. Fort Hays State
Date Sunday, Oct. 30
Time 2 p.m. Central
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Venue Allen Fieldhouse
TV Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3
Radio Jayhawk Radio Network
Audio Jayhawk Radio Network
Stats KUAthletics.com
 Record 6-25 25-6
 Points/Gm 54.4 71.4
 Field Goal % 36.1 38.3
 3-Point Field Goal % 31.1 29.5
 Free Throw % 67.9 72.7
 Rebounds/Gm 32.9 37.5
 Assists/Gm 10.7 11.6
 Blocks/Gm 3.5 2.2
 Steals/Gm 7.3 10.5

Game Notes // Buy Tickets

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball tips off its 2016-17 exhibition lineup with a contest against Fort Hays State on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. Kansas enters the matchup with the Tigers with a 22-game winning streak in exhibition contests, dating back to 2004.
Prior to Sunday’s contest against Fort Hays State, the Kansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Booth Family Hall of Athletics are teaming up for another family-friendly, community-oriented event around Halloween by hosting the annual “Trick-or-Treat So Others Can Eat” event, in the newly remodeled Hall of Athletics at Allen Fieldhouse. Children and families are invited to come in costume to Trick-or-Treat with Jayhawk student-athletes for free with a non-perishable food donation, which will be given to Just Food and distributed to those in need in Douglas County. The event runs from 12-1 p.m. and after 1 p.m. guests will need a women’s basketball ticket. A portion of ticket sales will go to Just Food with $3 admission for kids in costume and $5 admission for parents.

  • Kansas is 46-9 in exhibition play dating back to the 1986-87 season and enters Sunday’s match up with a 22-game winning streak against opponents in exhibition action. Inside Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks are 25-1 when hosting an exhibition game.
  • After completing the 2015-16 season with the youngest team in the Big 12, Kansas will enter this season with one of the conference’s most experienced squads. The 2016-17 Jayhawk roster will include 12 returning players, more than any other Big 12 team.
  • After sitting out the 2015-16 season to comply with NCAA transfer rules, redshirt junior guard Jessica Washington and redshirt sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert will be eligible to compete at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
  • Senior guard Timeka O’Neal averaged a team-best 41.1 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. In 2015-16, the Raytown, Missouri native recorded the seventh-best single-season three-point shooting performance in Kansas history.
  • O’Neal’s three-point shooting average (.411) also ranked fourth in the Big 12 last season, and her career-high six triples against Kansas State (2/13) were the second-most in any game for a Big 12 player in 2015-16.
  • Sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich averaged 33.0 minutes per game during her rookie season, ranking eighth in the Big 12 and first for the Jayhawks among returning players.
  • Kopatich logged 16 games with double-digit scoring performances, including a team-best nine-consecutive contests.

A season ago, first-year head coach Brandon Schneider fielded one of the youngest squads in the Big 12 Conference with 10 underclassmen and no seniors, but 2016-17 is looking up for Schneider, as the Jayhawks will have one of the most experienced rosters in the league. With 10 upperclassmen on his roster, Schneider went from the youngest team to one of the most experienced with over 50 percent of his personnel being a junior or senior. In all, Kansas returns 12 Jayhawks that played for Schneider during his first season at the helm of KU women’s basketball.
A year after not having a single senior on the roster, Schneider and the Jayhawks have five graduating at the end of the 2016-17 campaign. Forwards Jada Brown and Caelynn Manning-Allen came in together as freshmen in 2013. Guard Timeka O’Neal was added to the class after utilizing a redshirt year following a knee injury. The trio, along with a pair of newcomers, give Kansas its largest senior class in the last four seasons. Also bringing experience to the upperclassmen-heavy roster are junior Chayla Cheadle and redshirt junior Sydney Benoit.
While Schneider has 10 players on his roster with multiple seasons under their belts, he also has five sophomores who played enough minutes during Big 12 Conference play last season to be considered upperclassmen. Four of five Jayhawks in the sophomore class appeared in every game last season with guard Kylee Kopatich leading the way, averaging 33 minutes per contest. Aisia Robertson, Jayde Christopher and Chelsea Lott each made an impact as freshmen and look to continue to build that momentum as sophomores. Schneider and the Jayhawks took a loss with the news of forward Tyler Johnson being out indefinitely during the 2016-17 season due to a knee injury that required surgery.
Five Jayhawks will be hitting the hardwood for the first time in the Crimson and Blue as a quintet of transfers will look to make an impact this season. In 2016-17, Jayhawk fans will finally be able to see redshirt junior Jessica Washington and redshirt sophomore McKenzie Calvert take the court. Both guards had to sit out the 2015-16 campaign to comply with NCAA transfer rules. Washington and Calvert were both highly recruited student-athletes out of high school and are eager to contribute this year.
Rounding out the newcomers are a pair of graduate transfers and a junior college transfer, all of whom are eligible to play immediately. Seniors Lisa Blair and Sydney Umeri transferred to Kanas after playing at Ohio State and Virginia, respectively. Junior guard Eboni Watts joins the Jayhawks after two seasons at Tallahassee Community College. The three upperclassmen aided in Schneider’s roster becoming one of the most experienced in the conference.
Fort Hays State is coming off of a 25-6 campaign during the 2015-16 season. The Tigers were picked to finish fourth in the conference this year according to the 2016-17 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll. FHSU’s fourth-place selection is the fourth-straight year the Tigers have been picked to finish in the top four in the league.
In 2015-16, the Tigers appeared in the NCAA Central Region tournament for the second year in a row, earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. Fort Hays State has won 18 conference games in each of the last two campaigns, finishing in the top two in the final league standings each year.
Entering his ninth season, head coach Tony Hobson returns seven players from last year’s squad, including two starters and two All-MIAA honorees. Jill Faxon, a third-team All-MIAA honoree in 2015-16, returns for her final season. Fellow senior Nikola Kacperska averaged 8.3 points per game last season and earned honorable mention All-MIAA accolades. Taylor Chandler, Tatyana Legette and Carly Heim all return valuable experience after playing in at least 29 contests a year ago. The seven returners are joined by eight newcomers, including seven freshmen and one Division I transfer.
Head coach Brandon Schneider has brought a “tough and together” culture to Allen Fieldhouse and Kansas women’s basketball. Schneider has vowed that his squads will compete and play together every day. Whether the Jayhawks are hitting the floor, flying over the scorers’ table or passing to a teammate, they will play tough and together until the final whistle blows.

Dating back to the 1986-87 season, Kansas owns a 46-9 record in exhibition games. The Jayhawks have a 22-game winning streak and haven’t lost an exhibition game since 2004. The largest margin of defeat in an exhibition game for Kansas was 97 points after earning a 136-39 victory over the Monterrey Tigers on Aug. 30, 2003. Since 2003, the Jayhawks have posted a 25-1 exhibition mark inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas concludes its exhibition slate with Washburn on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse.
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