|Game 33: Kansas vs. No. 6 Texas
||Saturday, March 5
||6 p.m. (CT)
||Oklahoma City, Okla.
||Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
||Texas leads 21-10
Jayhawk Radio Network
|Stats at a Glance
|Field Goal %
|3-Point Field Goal %
|Free Throw %
OKLAHOMA CITY – After snapping its 20-game losing streak, Kansas women’s basketball advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship and faces No. 6 Texas on Saturday, March 5, at 6 p.m., inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Following the Jayhawks
Kansas’ match-up with Texas will be broadcast on FSN and the Jayhawk Radio Network, along with audio streaming via KUAthletics.com. Live stats are available through the Big 12’s website, big12sports.com. For the most up-to-date information, follow Kansas women’s basketball on Twitter (@KUwbball).
- Since the inception of the Big 12 Championship in 1997, Kansas has recorded a 13-19 mark in conference postseason action. Dating back to 1983, the Jayhawks are 33-30 in league postseason play. KU played in the championship game in 1998, but lost to Texas Tech, 71-53. The last championship title that Kansas won was in 1993.
- Texas leads the all-time series over the Jayhawks, 21-10, including a series sweep during the 2016 regular season.
- The Jayhawks are 0-2 against Texas in the Big 12 Championship and haven’t played the Longhorns in postseason action since 2003.
- When Brandon Schneider-coached teams are leading with less than five minutes to play, his overall record is 352-12, and 6-0 at Kansas.
- Sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge leads Kansas in scoring with 11.1 points per game and has netted 20 double-figure scoring efforts in 2015-16, more than any other Jayhawk.
- Aldridge netted a career-best 23 points against TCU (3/4), the most points by a Jayhawk in a single game this season. She has logged double-digit scoring performances in six of the last eight games.
- Aldridge needs just one more three-pointer, currently with 57 on the year, to move into a four-way tie for the ninth-most triples made in a single season.
- Redshirt junior guard Timeka O’Neal averages a team-best 41.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. The Raytown, Missouri native is on pace to record the seventh-best single-season three-point shooting performance in Kansas history.
- Freshman guard Kylee Kopatich is averaging 32.7 minutes per game during her rookie season. Her minutes per game rank eighth in the Big 12 and second among freshmen in the league.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks will face the No. 2 seed Texas Longhorns in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Conference Championship, after a convincing 81-64 victory over TCU in the first round on Friday night. Texas leads the all-time series 21-10, and won the lone Big 12 championship matchup against the Jayhawks, 87-56, on March 12, 2003. Kansas holds a 4-5 record in Big 12 Conference Championship games in the last five seasons, and is looking to win back-to-back conference tournament games for the first time since the 1998 Big 12 Championship.
For the second-straight game, Kansas outpaced TCU in several statistical categories, including field goals, rebounds, assists and points in the paint. Kansas shot 29-for-53 (54.7) from the field, its most accurate shooting performance this season. The Jayhawks’ collected 39 rebounds, 10 more than the Horned Frogs, to earn their best rebounding margin since gathering 14 more boards than Memphis on Nov. 19. For the eighth-straight game, Kansas logged double-digit assists, its longest streak of the season. Sophomore guard Chayla Cheadle was one of three Kansas players to tally four assists, setting a new career high.
For the first time this season, four different Jayhawks netted 10 or more points, and sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge led the way with a career-high 23 points. The team’s leading scorer this season, with 20 double-digit games, Aldridge set a new single-game scoring record and broke her previous record of 20 points, set against Oklahoma (2/20). Over the last five contests, Aldridge is averaging 16.4 points per game.
In the last two games, Kansas has benefitted from its ability to defend the three-ball. TCU ranked first in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage this season, but the Jayhawks held them to just 4-of-18 (.222) shooting in the Feb. 29 game, and then 5-of-16 (.313) in Friday’s matchup. In both games, Kansas shot more efficiently from beyond the arc, despite owning the sixth-best field goal percentage from long-distance, and the conference’s worst defense against the three-pointer, allowing opponents to average 33.9 percent.
Free throws, a consistent issue for Kansas this season, helped the Jayhawks seal the win on Friday night. Kansas earned 26 trips to the line, more than double its season average (12.31/gm.), and found the bottom of the net on 17 attempts, a .654 average. Kansas ranks fifth in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.674), but earns trips to the charity stripe far less often than its opposition. Kansas’ 383 free throw attempts are the least among conference opponents, and 89 fewer than Texas Tech (472), the team ranked ninth in free throws attempted. The Longhorns rank fourth in the conference in free throw percent (.691), but have earned 598 attempts this season, averaging nearly eight more per game than the Jayhawks.
Kansas’ magic number for Saturday might be 65; when allowing more than 65 points from opponents this season, the Jayhawks are 0-14. The Jayhawks held TCU to 64 points in Friday’s win. In Kansas’ six victories this season, the Jayhawks netted 65 or more in five of them.
Scouting the Longhorns
No. 6 Texas finished the regular season with a 26-3 record, and 15-3 record in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are coming off a 74-48 loss to No. 4 Baylor in their regular-season finale, which snapped a four-game winning streak. Texas swept the season series against Kansas, first in a 75-38 victory in Lawrence on Jan. 13, holding the Jayhawks to their second-lowest scoring output of the season. The Longhorns then won in similar fashion back home in Austin, 70-46, on Jan. 27. Texas is 1-0 in neutral site games this season, beating Arkansas 61-50 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, back on Dec. 20 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Longhorns were picked to finish second in the Big 12 by the coaches’ preseason poll, after a sixth-place finish and trip to the NCAA Tournament last season. Texas made it all the way to the Sweet 16 a season ago, before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut. Proving the Big 12 coaches right, Texas finished conference play in second place, two games behind Baylor but three games ahead of third-place West Virginia.
Three Texas players currently average double-figures; sophomore guard Brooke McCarty and senior center Imani Boyette are tied for the team-high, averaging 12 points per game, ranking 12th and 13th in the Big 12. Boyette owns the third-best rebounding mark in the conference, pulling down 9.1 boards per game, and shoots 51.7 percent from the field, good for ninth in the Big 12. McCarty is Texas’ threat from beyond the arc, ranking fourth in shooting average (.421) and three-pointers made (1.83/gm.) in the Big 12. Sophomore guard Ariel Atkins averages 10.0 points per game, and shoots 52.9 percent from the field. Senior guard Celina Rodrigo’s 3.76 assists per game are sixth-best in the conference.
Texas holds the second-best scoring offense and scoring defense in the Big 12, ranking just behind Baylor in both categories. The Longhorns rank fourth in the conference in defending the three-pointer, allowing opponents to average 28.2 percent from long range, but the Jayhawks may still welcome the change after facing the league’s best three-point defense in TCU for two-straight games. Kansas will look to continue its improved effort on the glass after amassing a +14 rebounding margin over the past two games, but it won’t be easy. Texas is second in the conference in rebounding, and averages a +10.2 rebounding margin per game this season.
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.
One – Two – Three!
On the season, Kansas is connecting on 31.4 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. Both redshirt junior guard Timeka O’Neal and sophomore guard Lauren Aldridge are shooting above average, making 41.7 and 35.3 percent of their long-range shots, respectively.
Tough and Together
First-year head coach Brandon Schneider has brought a “tough and together” culture to Allen Fieldhouse and Kansas women’s basketball. The Jayhawks begin end every practice with t and t, which is short for tough and together. 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.
Kansas in the Spotlight
Kansas is among one of the most televised women’s basketball programs in the country. The Jayhawks have four games featured on FOX Sports Network, while every home game aired on the new Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3. KU is scheduled to play 30 contests in 2015-16 on television, that’s five more than a year ago.
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