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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Kansas-ORU women at a glance

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When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Allen Fieldhouse

Who: Oral Roberts

Series: Kansas leads, 12-0

Non-con finale: Tonight marks the final nonconference tune-up of the 2015-16 season, as the Jayhawks will have nothing but Big 12 foes on the schedule from here on out, starting with the Dec. 30 Big 12 opener at Oklahoma. Because of that, the Jayhawks are locked in on getting as much confidence as possible out of tonight’s match-up with Oral Roberts so they head into conference play feeling good about themselves.

Free-throw woes: The Jayhawks got to the free-throw line a whopping 26 times in the loss to Washington State, but made just 15 of them for 57.7 percent. KU is shooting just 65.8 percent from the line this season (106-of-161), and coach Brandon Schneider said his team’s struggles at the line are creating problems elsewhere. “I think when you don’t make shots and you don’t make free throws, it puts a lot of pressure on your defense,” Schneider said. “When you get to the free-throw line, when you get those opportunities, you’ve got to step up there and knock them down.”

Paging all offense: A common theme for Kansas this season has been rough nights on the offensive end. The Jayhawks enter tonight shooting just 39 percent and have not topped 40 percent since shooting 49 percent in a loss to St. John’s on Dec. 6. KU’s 31.4 percent shooting in Sunday’s loss to Washington State marked the second-worst shooting percentage of the season, and KU also tied a season low for assists, with eight.

Streaking: KU junior Caelynn Manning-Allen has reached double figures in scoring six times this season, including each of the past two games. Manning-Allen’s 10-point, seven-rebound, three-block effort against Washington State followed up a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime win over Navy. Those strong efforts came after her worst game of the year, a scoreless, 0-for-6 effort in a home loss to UMKC.

Slumping: Although she reached double figures for the seventh game in a row on Sunday night, freshman guard Kylee Kopatich finished below 50 percent shooting for the third consecutive contest. Seven of her 10 points came from the free-throw line, and the Olathe product made just two of 12 shots from the floor against Washington State.

Probable starters

Kansas (5-5)

G — Lauren Aldridge, 5-7, so.

G — Aisia Robertson, 5-7, fr.

G — Kylee Kopatich, 5-10, fr.

G — Chayla Cheadle, 6-0, so.

F — Caelynn Manning-Allen, 6-4, jr.

Oral Roberts (2-9)

G — Jordan Doyle, 5-6, so.

G — Bria Pitts, 5-8, so.

F — Dorottya Balla, 6-1, jr.

F — Blair Bryce, 6-5, sr.

F — Maria Martianez, 6-3, fr.

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