Kansas University's women's basketball team will take the court in Allen Fieldhouse tonight in search of its first Big 12 Conference victory, but so will its opponent -- 20th-ranked Kansas State.
Tipoff is 7:05 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse and will be broadcast live on College Sports Television (Sunflower Broadband Channel 147). The game also will be the annual Kids Day, and children 13 and under get in free.
Both teams enter the game under different circumstances.
KU coach Bonnie Henrickson found plenty to be pleased about in falling to No. 7 Texas, 66-51, Wednesday night. KSU was upended by Iowa State the same night and finds itself in unfamiliar territory toward the bottom of the Big 12 standings early in the new year.
But Henrickson said KSU's slow start didn't indicate it was a weaker Wildcat team than KU fans might be used to.
"It doesn't change our opinion of them," Henrickson said. "They're still a very, very good team."
They're an even better team when preseason All-America forward Kendra Wecker is in the lineup. Wecker missed three games in December after injuring her ankle against New Hampshire on Dec. 3.
Since returning, Wecker has averaged more than 21 points a game, thanks in part to an astonishing 60 percent shooting from three-point range this season. Henrickson said she wasn't sure how to neutralize the Wildcats' main scoring threat.
"I don't know that you can slow her down," Henrickson said. "She can score in so many ways."
Iowa State did manage to stifle Wecker offensively, forcing her to shoot 7-for-25 and only 16 points.
Even if the Jayhawks can limit Wecker, the Wildcats' can turn to several other options in their high-flying offense, including guards Megan Mahoney and Laurie Koehn, who average nearly 12 points a game each.
But the Jayhawks have been finding options of their own in recent games instead of relying on forward Crystal Kemp.
Guard Erica Hallman chipped in 20 points against Texas, adding scoring threat to her roles of bringing the ball up the court and starting the plays offensively.
Guards Kaylee Brown and Aquanita Burras also have turned into reliable scorers.
It will take consistent offense from the Jayhawks to compete with the Wildcats' powerful offense. The Jayhawks have not defeated the Wildcats in their last six tries, dating back to Jan. 27, 2001.
|Tipoff: 7:05 tonightWhere: Allen FieldhouseTV: CSTV (Sunflower Broadband Channel 147)PROBABLE STARTERSKansas (0-1 Big 12, 7-5 overall)F -- Taylor McIntosh, 5-11, Fr. (4.4 ppg.)F -- Crystal Kemp, 6-2, Jr. (16.0 ppg.)G -- Kaylee Brown, 5-8, Jr. (9.3 ppg.)G -- Aquanita Burras, 5-9, Sr. (10.9 ppg.)G -- Erica Hallman, 5-8, So. (12.8 ppg.)Kansas State (0-1, 9-3)F --Kendra Wecker, 5-11, Sr. (21.0 ppg.)F --Claire Coggins, 5-11, So. (9.9 ppg.)G --Laurie Koehn, 5-8, Sr. (11.8 ppg.)G --Chelsea Domenico, 5-6, Sr. (1.8 ppg.)G --Megan Mahoney, 6-0, Sr. (12.0 ppg.)|