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Archive for Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Afternoon tip spices up Pepperdine-KU women’s game

The KU women's basketball team returns to action Wednesday after the holiday break. The Jayhawks will take on Pepperdine.

December 30, 2009

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That’s not a typographical error. Kansas University’s women are indeed playing a basketball game on a weekday afternoon.

KU will resume competition following the holiday break today against Pepperdine.

Tipoff will be at 1 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Sunflower Broadband Channel Six will carry a live telecast.

Why a day game?

To cut expenses in tight economic times. By playing in the afternoon, the visitors from Malibu, Calif., will save motel and meal money. Instead of overnighting following an evening game, the Pepperdine party will have time to take a flight back to Los Angeles tonight.

“They did the same thing for us last year,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said, “so we returned the favor.”

The No. 21-ranked Jayhawks are on a roll. Since dropping a pair of games in the Bahamas, they’ve captured six straight, including an 89-69 road thumping of Houston eight days ago. Yes, the Jayhawks (9-2) are unbeaten on United States soil.

Meanwhile, Pepperdine (9-4) is on a roll, too, having captured four in row. The Waves’ latest victory was a 91-74 pasting of UC Irvine. They’ve also defeated San Diego State, Nevada and UC Santa Barbara during their current sizz.

This Pepperdine team appears to be much stronger than the one Kansas flattened, 82-54, in Malibu just before Christmas last year.

Miranda Ayim, a 6-foot-3 senior center, leads the Waves with 14.3 points and 7.0 boards per game. A native of London, Ontario, Ayim will be facing another Canada native today in KU center Krysten Boogaard, who hails from Regina, Saskatchewan.

The Waves are not accomplished shooters — 35.4 percent overall, 26.7 from three-point range — but they are forcing foes into an average 23.4 turnovers a game. Also impressive are the Waves’ offensive rebound numbers. They’re retrieving their own misses at a 17.0-per-game clip.

Since returning from the holiday break Sunday night, the Jayhawks have been practicing twice a day, and, Henrickson said, “Everybody is getting their legs and lungs back.”

Kansas will finish the nonconference portion of its schedule Sunday afternoon in Las Cruces, N.M., against New Mexico State. The Big 12 opener will be Jan. 9 at Kansas State.

Notes

• Today is a designated “Dollar Day,” with tickets, popcorn, candy, chips and hot dogs going for just $1.

• Danielle McCray was named Big 12 Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 37 points against Houston. It was her fourth league POW. With 1,778 career points, McCray has moved into fifth place on the KU scoring chart, passing Lynn Pride.

• Kansas hasn’t lost to Pepperdine in three previous meetings.

• Porscha Weddington remains questionable while continuing to recover from mono. The 6-1 senior forward from Temple, Texas, has missed all 11 games.

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