Kansas Concludes 2015-16 Home Slate with Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball hosts Texas Tech for its 2015-16 home finale on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks look to even the 2016 series with the Lady Raiders with a victory. The game will air on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Around the Arena
Kansas welcomes alumnae of the women’s basketball program for the 2015-16 home finale on Saturday. Prior to the game, all former KU women’s basketball players in attendance can be a part of a high five tunnel to greet the team. Court towels will be given away upon entrance to all fans, while supplies last.
- Kansas has won two of the last three final homes games of the season and look to make it two-straight with a victory over Texas Tech on Saturday night.
- The Jayhawks trail Texas Tech in the overall series, 17-9, and are 5-7 against the Lady Raiders when playing inside Allen Fieldhouse.
- Kansas has a record of 410-176 (.705) in Allen Fieldhouse. Over the last five seasons, Kansas has posted a 65-40 mark on its home court. This season, Kansas owns a 4-12 mark at home.
- When Brandon Schneider-coached teams are leading with less than five minutes to play, his overall record is 351-12, and 5-0 at Kansas.
- Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge leads the Jayhawks in scoring with 10.5 points per game and has netted 17 double-figure scoring efforts in 2015-16.
- Aldridge netted a career-best 20 points against Oklahoma (2/20), the most points by a Jayhawk in a single game this season. She has logged double-digit scoring performances in three of the last five games.
- During her career, Aldridge has hit 36.2 percent of her attempts from behind the arc, which ninth all-time in Kansas history.
- Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 32.6 minutes per game during her rookie season. Her minutes per game rank seventh in the Big 12 and second among freshmen in the league.
- Junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen has swatted away a team-high 36 blocks this season, averaging 1.3 per game, and 78 blocks in her career. She needs 17 more to crack Kansas’ top-10 season list and seven to etch her name into the junior record.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas (5-22, 0-16 Big 12) awaits a rematch with Texas Tech for its home finale of the 2015-16 season. The Jayhawks first faced the Lady Raiders on Jan. 30 in Lubbock, where Texas Tech sank 10-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to earn the win, 54-44. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak against the Lady Raiders. The Jayhawks are 5-7 all-time against Texas Tech inside Allen Fieldhouse, but have won the two previous home matchups. A win on Saturday would not only draw the season series even, but also bury an 18-game losing streak and give Kansas its first win in Big 12 play this season.
The Jayhawks are facing a short turnaround after No. 17 Oklahoma State bested Kansas, 71-49, on Wednesday night. Senior guard Brittney Martin proved to be a tough matchup, tallying a game-high 24 points and pulling down seven rebounds. The Cowgirls’ size inside, primarily with sophomore center Kaylee Jensen, also caused problems for the Jayhawks. Jensen finished the night with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and the Cowgirls collected 34 points in the paint.
Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge put in a team-high 13 points, her team-leading 17th double-digit scoring effort this season. Freshman forward Tyler Johnson also cracked the double-figure mark, recording the game’s final basket to finish the night with 11 points. The two combined for 16 points in the second half, more than 50 percent of the Jayhawks’ total offense. Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich dished out a career-high five assists, leading the Jayhawks in dimes for the second time this season. Kansas totaled 11 assists on the night, its fifth-straight game with 10 or more.
As a team, the Jayhawks now hold the sixth-best three-point field goal percentage (.314) in the Big 12, just edged out by the Lady Raiders (.315). Both teams struggled from beyond the arc in the prior matchup this season. The Jayhawks made just 3-of-16 three-point field goals, while Texas Tech connected on 3-of-11 long-range shots.
On Wednesday, Kansas shot 87.5 percent from the free throw line, but only on 7-of-8 attempts. The Jayhawks rank fifth in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.676), but earn trips to the charity stripe far less often than their opposition. Kansas’ 327 free throw attempts are the least among conference opponents, and 97 fewer than Texas Tech (424), the team ranked ninth in free throws attempted.
A Kansas win would be its first since the 19-point comeback, overtime victory over Navy on Dec. 13. Kansas’ magic number for Saturday might be 65; when allowing more than 65 points from opponents this season, the Jayhawks are 0-13. In Kansas’ five wins this season, the Jayhawks netted 65 or more in four of them.
Scouting the Lady Raiders
Texas Tech is 11-16 on the season and 2-14 in the Big 12 after surrendering an early lead to No. 8 Texas on Wednesday, and eventually falling to the Longhorns, 76-55. The Lady Raiders took off on a 16-0 run in the first quarter, but were outscored 22-5 in the second quarter and never regained the lead in the second half. Texas Tech is now 0-6 since its win over the Jayhawks in Lubbock on Jan. 30.
The Lady Raiders were picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 by the coaches’ preseason poll, after a last-place finish a season ago, with a 5-13 record in conference play. Texas Tech’s first Big 12 win this season came against Iowa State in a 69-66 overtime victory. Both Kansas and Texas Tech are 1-0 in overtime games this season. In the first installment of the season series, freshman guard Japreece Dean led the Lady Raiders in points (21), rebounds (8) and assists (4). Dean shot just 4-of-13 from the field, but converted on 11 free throws, many coming in the waning moments of the game to seal the victory.
Redshirt junior guard Ivonne CookTaylor is Texas Tech’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. CookTaylor ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring and 17th in rebounding, and is the only Lady Raider to start every game this season. While averaging less than two three-point field goal attempts per game, CookTaylor does hold the team’s best average from beyond the arc, making 35.6 percent of her tries.
Freshman guard Japreece Dean and senior guard Rayven Brooks pick up the bulk of the team’s minutes and production along with CookTaylor. Dean averages 11.6 points per game, second among freshmen in the conference, while Brooks contributes 8.9 points per contest. Dean and Brooks rank 10th and 15th in the Big 12 in assists, with 3.26 and 2.67 per game, respectively. Dean is a sharpshooter from the free throw line, making 78.4 percent of her attempts, the fourth-best mark in the Big 12 and first among freshmen. Brooks is not far behind with a .781 average from the charity stripe, and has netted more three-pointers this season (40) than any other Lady Raider.
Texas Tech ranks one spot ahead of Kansas in scoring offense (62.7/gm.) and in scoring defense (65.8/gm.). The Lady Raiders and the Jayhawks are the only Big 12 teams to own a negative scoring margin, at -3.1 and -13.1, respectively. Texas Tech and Kansas also claim the two lowest assist/turnover ratios in the Big 12, and will look to take better care of the ball when they face off on Saturday. Kansas will, once again, try to limit the Lady Raiders’ efforts on the offensive glass. In the first matchup this season, the Jayhawks held Texas Tech to just six offensive rebounds. On the year, the Lady Raiders average 14.11 boards on the offensive glass per game, third-best in the Big 12.
This Day in KU Women’s Basketball History
Record on Feb. 27: 3-5
Kansas women’s basketball will play on the 27th day of February for the ninth time in program history. In 1988, Kansas defeated rival Missouri, 80-72, on the road in the regular season finale. The Jayhawks shot 58.5 percent from the field, while the Tigers connected on 34.3 percent shooting from the field. The Jayhawks were led by Lisa Baker, who contributed a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Pair of Jayhawks Earn Academic All-Big 12 Honors
For the first time since 2012, Kansas women’s basketball had multiple first-team honorees earn academic honors, after junior forward Caelynn Manning-Allen and sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge were named Academic All-Big 12 First Team selections. This marks the third conference academic honor for Manning-Allen, while Aldridge garnered academic rookie honors last season.
Aldridge Named CoSida Academic All-District
Kansas sophomore Lauren Aldridge has paced the Kansas women’s basketball team on the hardwood all season, but it’s not just her work ethic on the court that deserves recognition. Aldridge’s achievements in the classroom have garnered attention after being named to the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. To be nominated for CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at their current institution. Nominated athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s games.
Kansas finishes the 2015-16 regular season on the road with the final meeting against TCU on Monday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m., inside Schollmaier Arena. The game will be broadcast on FSN and the Jayhawk Radio Network.